Crushed Diaries

A blog for Young Adults

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

My first Adult Film

When I was a preteen, two things happened to me which made me feel grown up. I saw my first 'X' film and if that wasn’t thrilling enough, I graduated from reading Mary Poppins and devoured a book for adults.

The film was called "Tom Jones", and starred Albert Finney, as ‘a presumed bastard child, taken in and raised as the child of an English gentleman.’ In those days, the word ‘bastard’ was enough to send a guilty shiver of excitement down my spine. Now, I see the movie’s rated AA, but in those days "Tom Jones" was definitely for adults only.

I was on holiday in Devon with my parents at the time, and a sister and brother act (about the same age as me) whom I met on the beach asked me if I would like to see an ‘X’ film. I had to ask my parents’ permission if I could go as they liked to know what I was up to during my parental 'off-duty' hours. They said I would never get in and to make sure I didn't, insisted I take my little sisters with me. I did my best, but they looked like miniature clowns after I smothered them with a tube of Mum’s bright red lipstick. I like to think I really did look like a teenager as I sloshed layers of my mother’s makeup on, and wore a beret jammed down over my eyes. I needn’t have bothered to make an effort as the ticket man at the cinema was obviously sloshed, for he allowed us all in without any form of interrogation. The film was disappointing – my sisters went to sleep - but from that moment in time I felt I was an adult. I had got into my first 'X' film and I was illegal.

The first grownup book I read was ‘Lord Of The Flies’, The first time I heard about it was when my father burst into my bedroom in the middle of the night, in a great state of excitement screaming ‘kill the pig’. I think he was probably drunk at the time, as in those days he used to worship his whiskey. I was only eleven so didn’t have enough pocket money to buy myself a copy, but there was no need as my father lent me the book after he finished it.

After I raced through it, my father and I used to scream ‘kill the pig kill the pig’ over breakfast before he put on his bowler hat and went off to work in the city. Our manic behaviour didn’t please my mother one bit. She was the Jane Austin type and would never have read William Golding’s masterpiece in a million years. From that moment on, I realised Mum and I had nothing in common but Dad and I did.

Copyright: Frances Lynn, 2007

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Never Go On Holiday With An Acquaintance

I used to see a boy called Roger in my exercise class once a week. He was very quiet and smiled a lot. One day, he asked me to go to the local fish and chips restaurant after our workout. After we had finished gorging ourselves on our food – we had finished ourselves off with an apple crumble, he asked me to go on holiday with him.

‘I’m desperate to go away,’ he said.

‘I’m game,’ I enthused.

My parents had offered to take me to South of France for a holiday but I declined their generous offer, as nobody I knew went away with their parents any more. When I went to Nice with them when I was twelve, I liked the chocolate croissants for breakfast but loathed the rest of the French fodder like onion soup, which I vomited up after gulping it down – a bit unfortunate really, as I was having lunch on the beach at the time.

Roger and I marched into the local travel agent after we had finished stuffing our guts, and bought a package holiday to Tenerife. Neither of us had been there before, so we were both excited. My parents were dubious when I told them I was going on holiday with a boy, but when I lied and pointed out Roger wasn’t remotely interested in girls, they were happy to let me go.

I’d only ever seen Roger in his gym clothes before. Even when we went to scoff fish and chips, he hadn’t bothered to change out of his track suit. So, I had a big shock when I arranged to meet him at Gatwick airport and saw he was dressed in shocking pink jeans and a vivid turquoise shiny jacket, which was decorated with what appeared to be the crown jewels. If that wasn’t embarrassing enough, he was wearing a straw hat with the words, ‘Kiss Me Quick’ on it. Horrors!’ I tried to pretend I wasn’t with him, but he stuck to me like glue, cracking loud and obnoxious jokes to anyone who was unlucky to catch his eye. He was usually such a quiet kind of fellow but suddenly it was as if he was a gaudy butterfly emerging from his drab chrysalis. He was louder than crashing symbols.

Fortunately, my holiday companion and I didn’t see each other during the day when we were away. He went to a gym, while I played tennis with the local pro, but in the evening we would always meet up and go out for a meal. Roger was so thick-skinned he didn’t realise that everyone in the restaurant was staring at his gaudy appearance. Every night, without fail he glittered from head to toe in his gigantic pieces of costume jewellery and wore clothes garish enough to illuminate the whole of Tenerife. If that wasn’t bad enough, he would then get wildly merry on a glass of wine and insist we go out clubbing afterwards. But, luckily he had no interest in dancing with me. He was after the locals and insisted on doing a dance which he called the rum baba, gyrating his hips and gliding his nose over the floor when he drunkenly fell over, which was all the time. I wasn’t the only person who judged him a crashing bore for nobody would go near him with a bargepole.

Night after night, he insisted on staying at clubs until dawn, leaving me to walk back to our self-catered apartment by myself when I could no longer stomach seeing him make a daft spectacle of himself. After a week of this, I was ready to delete him from my address book for good. I had gone off him in a big way. What had happened to the meek and polite Roger I knew in England? And, would he ever be the same again? I would never know because after we returned to London, he informed me I was no fun at all and that I had ruined his holiday. He stopped coming to my exercise class and I never saw him again. I later heard he became a holiday rep in the Costa del Sol.

Copyright: Frances Lynn, 2007

Friday, February 02, 2007

Misery Guts.

I used to play tennis with a girl called Shirley. The only thing we had in common was Sarah Lee deserts. Once a week, we’d go to each other’s homes after playing singles and prepared the sickliest dinner we could think of. Once, we guzzled an entire Sarah Lee cheesecake between us, and I felt so full up, it kept threatening to spew out of my throat on the way home. I thought Shirley was one of my closest friends until we decided to go on a last minute cheapo package holiday together.

I knew my holiday was doomed the moment we got on the plane to take us to Minorca.
‘I hope it’s going to be hot,’ she moaned like a mantra, round and round it went in my brain.
‘I don’t care what the weather’s like. I just want to eat foreign food. ’I said. Well, I knew our friendship was on the rocks when we ended up sharing a room in the self-catering flat we rented out for the week. Shirley accused me of talking in my sleep, and I told her off for keeping me up all night, due to her grinding her teeth. It’s a wonder she had any teeth left at all.

If that wasn’t bad enough, it never stopped raining. I persuaded Shirley to hire a car so that we could explore the island. I can’t drive, so I had to rely on her to chauffeur me around everywhere. Poor Shirley. I would have felt sorry for her but she never stopped moaning. And, when we almost got arrested after she mistakenly drove the wrong way up a one way road, she flipped completely.

She screamed and swore until she turned blue in the face. Unfortunately, she wasn’t dying but stressed she was cold and hungry. We ended up in a deserted café overlooking the wind blown sea front and ordered mussels and chips. My holiday companion was in such a vile mood, she didn’t enjoy her food, which must have been the first time in her moaning life.

I only saw Shirley smile once when the sun came out on our last day. She rolled up her jeans, took off her trainers and paddled in the contaminated sea. She didn’t even bother to drown herself, but kept saying she loved the sun. When the sun went out, she sulked and sulked and didn’t speak to me until we were back in England.

I suspected our friendship was on the rocks and the way I was feeling about her after the holiday, I was delighted. However, I knew it was up to me to make the first move if I wanted to continuing being friends. I never realised she was such a misery guts until we went on holiday together. I couldn’t care less if I never saw her again. But, when she mumbled those magic words, ‘Sarah Lee’, I knew I could never dump her and those sickly dinners. We’re friends again now but we never dared to go on holiday together ever again.

Copyright: Frances Lynn, 2006