I’d imagine most of the people reading this probably think I’ve only been using the written word as a means of embarrassing myself in public for as long as I’ve had access to the Internet.
How I wish that were true.
Actually, I’ve been embarrassing myself in public since I learned to write, and as proof of that, today I present to you Forever Amber: The Early Years. Yes, way back in the mists of time my school required its young students to keep what they called a “News Book” but which was actually just a personal journal – an early “blog”, if you will. Every few days we would write an entry in our “News Book/Early Blog” detailing what had been happening in our lives, and every single time I would write something so toe-curlingly embarrassing my parents would have to call the school and make excuses for me. I’m not joking.
Witness, for instance, an entry I wrote when I was six, concerning a movie my parents had borrowed from a friend of theirs which turned out to have a little “surprise” on the end of the tape (in those days we used video cassettes, as well as writing things on “paper” rather than on the Internet. Quaint!) …
The full text reads:
“Monday 9th May
I have got a video and I have seen star wars four times and I have seen Bugsy malone twelve and a half times Jennifer has taped Bugsy Malone aswell one night when my mum and dad were watching a film on the video when it was finished a blue moovy came on my mum and dad did not like it and my mum was frightened to get another tape ancase there was another blue moovy on it”
Just in case my parents’ apparent porn consumption* required further clarification, of course, I provided a handy illustration of the events outlined above, so the school would know whether or not they should be calling social services about this:
Luckily when the teacher asked me what a “blue moovy” was, I was quickly able to explain that it is a “moovy” in which everything is coloured blue. Obviously. And when my parents visited the school for parents evening that term, they were able to further clarify (at their own insistence, I have to add – the teacher by this point thought it was hilarious) that this “blue movie” had been as much of a surprise to them as it probably had been to my teacher, and that although the illustration suggests that I had been present during the screening of the infamous moovy (it almost feels like you’re there now, doesn’t it, so masterful was my command of the blue crayon…), I had, in fact, only found out about it because I overheard my mum telling my gran the story. Which I faithfully committed to writing in what I now think of as the very first version of this here blog, a document I spent most of Saturday re-reading and laughing until I cried.
In the years that followed, you’ll be glad to know that I learned how to punctuate a little better. I never did learn to stop embarrassing myself in public, though…
* My mum says she will ground me if I don’t explain that they had borrowed a film someone had recorded from the TV, had watched it, and when it ended, had discovered that it had apparently been recorded over the top of something a little more adult than the film they had borrowed. She would also probably like me to clarify that my parents DID try to teach me that there are some things in life you just don’t share, but given that I’ve already told the Internet all about my knickers and how I keep on dyeing them grey, it doesn’t look like that lesson sunk in particularly well…