A Life Less Scary
"The interesting and varied life of Scary Duck, Genius, French Cabaret Chantoose and small bets placed."
The big white telephone
Let’s be honest here. I’ll be the first to admit to the fact that I was a right lazy bastard in my late teens. So lazy, in fact, that I managed to duck out of college altogether and ended up sitting with my feet up in a backwater civil service office. For three glorious years I shuffled invoices into different folders without anyone even noticing I existed. My brother, on the other hand, evolved from classic third-child underachiever to thrusting college student within a matter of months. The smarmy bastard.
This arrangement, however, did have its advantages. I had a regular income and a car. He had access to the best parties Kingston Polytechnic had to offer and relatively good quality student digs to crash out in afterwards.
I’d drive down to Kingy, pick up Nige and all his mates and head for the Student Union. I’d blagged myself in as a member at the beginning of term by claiming I was a physics student, along with Paul, Mark and James who all managed to flunk off their courses within weeks, but we still claimed membership a good six years later.
Often, we’d sit there and get drunk, dance badly to the student disco and talk a load of bull about football to each other and any other person pretending they were students who happened to be drinking there at the time. Great if you liked The Smiths and didn’t mind other loons who danced like, and I quote, “a spastic passing a magnet factory”, but otherwise the only real attraction was the bar prices, about half that of the local pubs. Which was why we were there.
The first Saturday evening of any new term was a highlight. That was when the Rugby team had their ban lifted and were allowed back into the bar. Within hours, they’d have drunk the place drier than a Frenchman’s bathmat, started singing songs such as “I’m a stupid dicky-di-dildo” and get themselves banned for another term with the initiation ceremony on their new players.
It was called “The Dance of the Flaming Arseholes”. They’d roll up a piece of newspaper, stick it up the intitate’s arse-crack and set fire to it. He would then have to run a circuit of the bar (no mean feat on a crowded night) and down a pint with chasers before being allowed to douse the flames. We’d watch through tears of laughter as yet another initiate was carted off for first aid to his scorched ring, while the rest of the squad was defiantly marched out by the bar manager for another three months of getting banned from all the pubs in Kingston, Richmond or any other town that would have them.
But it was the parties we lived for. Kingy Poly had its own halls of residence which were in their own compound a mile or so off-campus, and hence, a mile or so away from adult supervision. Every month or so, each hall would hold a party, and with Animal House still a barely fading memory, drink, motorbikes and nudity were compulsory. Togas were frequently involved, and with the Rugby squad on double secret probation, a wild time was expected. Always.
It seemed half of Kingston had descended on my brother’s block that fateful night of early summer. Most were students, but there were plenty of hangers-on too. Mr Thresher had had the good sense to open an off-licence right next door to the student flats, and we’d managed to clear the shelves of everything except the Babychams and that green stuff that looks and tastes like washing up liquid.
Oh yes. Drink flowed that night. Bodies littered the common room and most of the dorms, and the toilets were rich with the sound of students calling out for their friends Huey and Rolf down the big white telephone. I had fallen in with a crowd of serious drinkers in my sixth-form days and could take my ale, but there were plenty who couldn’t. And as usual, dear reader, I was cursed with the ability to remember every sordid detail despite being three sheets to the wind. Happy now?
And when you’re drunk, you do stupid things. Stupid, illogical things that seemed a good idea at the time, but you just can’t explain to the judge afterwards. That is why, I suppose, Nige and I led a raid on the communal kitchens to see what we could snaffle. And being students, the cupboards were completely bare, all except for Samantha’s.
Samantha: bringer of nutritious foodstuffs. Samantha, the nice innocent girl. A commited student, a hard worker, and let’s face it, the only decent cook in the entire block. She was also face down in the common room, drunk off her head, with pervy James trying to look up her skirt. So we raided the kitchen cupboard marked “SAMANTHA’S FOOD - KEEP OUT!!!” in big red letters. She had eggs. Eggs were good. Eggs would be fun. We stole eggs.
Armed with out ill-gotten gains, we roamed the student campus looking for victims. Cracking an egg on the chest of an unconcious drunk to see if it would fry itself off his body heat (it didn’t) was OK for a laugh, but merely a passing fancy. We wanted to hear the crack of flying egg on passer-by. We needed to squelch egg against drunken party-goer’s head. But it was not to be for the moment, as we were soon distracted by an open upstairs window, and the sounds of passionate love-making emanating therefrom. How could we refuse such an invitation?
Like well-trained commandos, we lobbed handfuls of eggs up and in through the window and into the Den of Lust. There was a series of hollow “toc” noises, a short silence followed by a girlie scream. A figure appeared at the window. It was Dan, the captain of the rugby squad, a man who commanded the loyalty and respect of at least fifteen hairy-arsed drunkards who could beat us to a pulp in nano-seconds without a second thought.
“COME BACK HERE YOU BASTARDS!” he screamed as we ran for our lives.
Had we learned our lesson? Oh no! We still had eggs. We hid behind a handy bush ready to jump out on the next person that came along. That would be funny. Giggling, we laid low, and moments later we heard the unmistakable sound of footsteps approaching. We jumped out, brandishing eggs.
“AH HA!” I shouted, letting fly.
“Comeonthenyoutosser!” screamed Nige.
It was at the point-of-no-return moment that our collective brain cells registered who it was we had ambushed. Only the local Police Constable doing his late night rounds.
“Oh fu... NOOOOOOOO!”
Thanks to the miracles of drunken double-vision, I’d aimed for the wrong victim and had missed by a wide margin. Nige, on the other hand, was not so lucky, and his drunken lob had caught Plod squarely on the helmet. Yolk and white dripped comically down the brim and onto his pristine uniform. We were doomed.
We did what any sane drunkard would do under the circumstances. We stood there and pissed ourselves laughing. It was then the gravity of the situation struck home. Plod wasn’t laughing. He was getting his notebook out and wanted “particulars”, and quite possibly our arses too.
It’s at moments like this the adrenaline rushes through your body, and you sober up pretty quickly as the self-preservation instinct kicks in. That’s the scientific explanation. In real life this means only one thing: we legged it. We legged it as hard as we could twice round the block until we lost him, and arrived breathless, legs wobbling and vomit rising back at the the student flats to tell our sorry tale of woe.
It had been a disaster. We’d only just escaped with our arses intact. And worse news was to come. We’d only gone and missed the rest of the Rugger boys turning up plastered and doing a massed Dance of the Flaming Arseholes, leaving one lad with second degree burns to his arse and carted off to hospital, giggling and screaming in a supermarket trolley. It had been, in dudespeak, a most triumphant sight. If only we’d been there to see it. We were having such a terrible, terrible time trying to have fun, we missed all the fun. Only one way to get over that....
Drink?! Don’t mind if I do, thank you very much.
While this story is based on actual events in the life of Scaryduck, certain identities and venues may have been changed to protect the innocent.