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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Would You Care To Dance?

The good old awkward moment, a social nightmare that we all deal with from time to time. For me, that time was first thing this morning.
My motorbike needed a new rear tyre, so off I trot to the tyre centre at the bottom of the road with the wheel in the back of the car.
The pimpled youth who is apparently the manager has the tyre ready for me, I'd ordered it beforehand, that's how slick I am. 'Danny', as his nametag tells me, suggests I wait in the appropriately named waiting room as it'll take 10 minutes to fit the tyre and that I should help myself "to coffee, 'n that, ma man". I secretly hope he becomes the victim of a violent crime.

As I park my rear in a seat in the waiting room, as far from the other customer as possible, the silence begins, only to be broken a few moments later:

I turn and look at the man who has dared to intrude on my waiting space.
He appears to be older, slightly heavier and with less hair than me, though that must be hard to believe. "That must be his Vectra getting two new tyres that I can see through the window" thinks I.
"Yes" I say.

"Aye, I thought that was you, how you doing, mate? I've not seen you since school. How you been?" says the intruder.

"School?" I think to myself "but you must be way older than me??"
I start to wrack my early morning brains trying to figure out who the hell this charlatan is.
"You don't remember me, do you?" asks Captain Mysterious.

"Erm . . . " is the best I can come up with.

"It's me, G_____ _____!" says The Captain *

"Oh aye, I didn't recognise you, mate. Still early!"
I say, neglecting to mention that the extra weight, bad goatee beard, shiny head and couture by Mat Alan didn't help my recognition skills either.

It's at this moment that I should point out that me and Captain Mysterious here absolutely detested each other throughout high school. He was in the school football team and I didn't like football, which clearly marked me out as a 'poofter', a fact that he took great pleasure in reminding me of whenever our paths would cross. How I laughed the day that he pissed in my bag during the PE class. All in all, he was a shite of a man.

"Oh so it is! Fuck's sake, it's been years!" I say, joining in with the social pantomime that is small talk"

"That your Vectra is it?"
I venture, and on and on we go, dancing around the elephant in the room that is the fact that we hate each other.
The minutes seem like hours and eventually Danny the manager breaks the magic by announcing that The Captain's Vectra is "good to go".
Captain Mysterious heaves his bulk out of the chair, clasps me firmly by the hand, and tells me that he hopes that it's not another 21 years before we bump into each other again and that if we do we should go for a pint.
I find myself bizarrely agreeing, even though I find quiet comfort in the fact that The Cap is on his second wife after the first one saw the light and buggered off with "a prick 2 doors down".

My faith in human nature is restored.

*Name withheld because he's a wanker.


Jaggy said...

Once a poofter.....

Steve said...

At my sister's wedding I ran into an old school friend - in fact, someone who was once my best friend. I learned afterwards he'd been excited for weeks at the thought of meeting me again. So up be bounds with the old "Hi Steve - how are you doing...?" line. Then the silence. He expecting instanct recognition. Me wondering who the hell he is. Not only could I not place him but I took a guess as to who he might be and got it hopelessly wrong. I've never seen someone's face fall so low. That pretty much killed any chance of resuming the friendship. I've never seen a conversation die so quickly. I still feel guilty when I think about it. So I tend not to.

Groanin' Jock said...

I get the same thing with Bebo and Facebook - people I hated at school adding me as a friend, even though they would probably blank me in the street. Dicks.

Inchy said...

Steve - I bet he thought you were just taking the piss. He's probably plotting your downfall as we speak.

Jock - I'm fairly lucky, most of the people I was at school with are either dead, have fucked off to Australia or are successfully managing their own international companies . . . if Friends Reunited is to be believed.

Löst Jimmy said...

Such encounters as you describe Inchy are precisely the reason I never go to school/class's bollocks

Löst Jimmy said...

PS But then maybe I am just an anti-social bastard...

Inchy said...

Welcome to the club, Jimmy.