Tuesday, 17 November 2015

CHILDHOOD CAPERS - CHAPTER ONE...


Image copyright DC COMICS

It was around 1970/'71, and myself and two pals were leaning on a railing outside a row of apartments above the neighbourhood shops.  Passing below were three thuggish, slightly older females who hung around with the local neds.   They glared up at us.  "Whit ur you f*ckin' lookin' at?"  they trilled in their delicate, girlish way (sarcasm). "Dunno - the label's fallen off!" I yelled back.  The gauntlet had been thrown, and the nedettes responded by mounting the stairs, their Doc Martins pounding the steps in pursuit of ourselves.

I say 'pursuit' because the moment I opened my gob, the other two legged it and I followed.  These girls were bigger and older than us, and as hard as nails.  Having been brought up never to hit a 'girl', we'd have been at a distinct disadvantage trying to defend ourselves against the furious assault that was surely forthcoming.  We fled past the front of the apartments towards the door to the interior stairway which led down to the shops below.

We reached the bottom door with a sigh of relief.  Once we were through that exit, our safety was secure and an inglorious fate would be avoided.  Alas, 'twas not to be - the door was locked, being early evening, and that avenue to freedom was denied us.  We considered going back up the stairs to the first floor offices above the shops and below the apartments, and using the corridor leading to the library to escape.  Too late!  We heard the 'girls' on the steps and realized discovery was imminent.  What to do?

Then I had a brainwave!  The bottom flight of stairs wasn't closed off, allowing us to seek shelter under them, so I beckoned my comrades to conceal themselves as I did likewise.  We bunched together tightly, as the merest glance under the stairway would've revealed our presence, and tried hard not to make a noise.  The nedettes pushed and pulled at the locked door, then grunted in frustrated rage.  "They must've got out on the first floor!" one snorted.  We expected them to return to the upper levels again, but they plonked themselves down on the steps above us and each lit up a cigarette.

We moved not a muscle and feared even to breathe, lest we betray ourselves.  After a seeming eternity (but was actually only a couple of minutes or so), they ascended the stairs and made their exit, amidst much muttering and detailed descriptions of what damage they'd inflict if they saw us.  We stayed rigid for a few moments longer, but once their voices were no longer audible, we exhaled a collective sigh of relief.  What a narrow escape and we knew it.  I can't recall any other moment in my life when I felt more alive, every sense attuned to my surroundings, and I'm sure my two friends felt the same.  (I wonder if they even remember it now?)

Even today, I think back to that moment and recall how I felt at the time;  the excitement, the exhilaration, the fear, and, of course, the sheer relief and gratitude at having survived a precarious predicament unscathed.  It was like something from a Investigators or a Mission Impossible tale - a truly thrilling moment that lives on forever in my mind, and reminds me that, once, my life was more than the uneventful series of events that it is now.  I felt like James Bond, even 'though, at that time, I'd not yet seen a Bond film.  However, I knew that anyone who had a real car like my Corgi Toys Aston Martin must be a cool guy in the face of danger - much like myself, in fact (he said, modestly), as the tale I've just related surely testifies.

Okay, so, technically, we ran away from three girls - but that's only because we didn't want to hurt them.  (Well, that's my story and I'm darn well sticking to it.  Wanna argue?)

Ever been in a similar situation?  Then let's hear all about it in the comments section, o cool Criv-ites.  Spill the beans!

8 comments:

Phil said...

I love a boring life. One time we jumped s security fence monitored by cameras to get to a bar because the gate was closed and we didn't want to walk to entire complex to the other gate. When we got over we ran all the way to the bar. Good thing we weren't black or some cop would have probably arrested us ..... I don't know why we ran we shouldn't have been scared of some rent a cop we lived there and were leaving not breaking in.

Kid said...

I remember being down in London in 1987 and I stood in a sentry box while the depute editor of Buster snapped a photo of me. After I vacated it, the police were straight over, searching it to make sure I hadn't been planting a bomb. I still have the photo - maybe I'll post it one day.

Colin Jones said...

Kid, how can you say your life nowadays is uneventful - you write these blogs and interact with people from all over the world that you've never met. Much more interesting than hiding from a bunch of thickos.

Kid said...

More interesting perhaps. More exciting? Nah!

Colin Jones said...

By the way, Kid, the term "neds" is only used in Scotland - I first heard the phrase a couple of years ago when the film Neds came out - have you seen it ? I haven't but I did read a review.

Kid said...

Nah, I see neds in real life every day, CJ, so there's no way I'd pay to go and see more.

WOODSY said...

Great story kid. Beautifully written. Those two gals remind me of the grubs in David Walliams' the billionaire boy! Never heard the term neds. As a kid in Lancashire we had neb. I think it meant to nut someone. In fact two brothers at our skoo were called big neb and little neb! Terrifying as I recall. In my adopted Yorkshire neb means to look at something as in let's have a neb.

Kid said...

We use the term 'neb' occasionally as well, Woodsy. One of the girls later married one of the biggest neds in the town. She succumbed to cancer a good many years ago. Haven't seen the other two in decades, that I recall. Glad you liked this true tale from childhood. I'll post more as I remember them.

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