2014. That Friday was the shittest day in my recent history, at least, but what made it significant was that it had its roots to four weeks prior. My birthday is in the middle of June but that weekend clashed with my mates going to Poland, I assumed they went for the week but found out it was just for a few days as one of them was using Twitter on Sunday night and had geotagging enabled. Then there was the small matter of the World Cup, which rendered every single weekend for the next few weeks otherwise engaged.
With the wallchart at hand and a hypothetical list of potential knockout ties, the best day would be the Friday on the eve of the final, when there were no games on. Being the disorganised fuckers my pals are, I was relatively pestering them because it was the first time we would be doing anything for my birthday since 2008. After finalising a time and a meeting point with four of them, that should have been that.
The 11th beckoned and the events started after organising an online swap with my World Cup stickers, I signed and sealed the envelope and the moment I stepped out of the door, I clocked that I have forgotten my keys. Why did I need them? Postbox is only round the corner and I’ve walked to it barefoot once before or after, forgot when that was. This was at just after 2pm so I can timestamp proceedings.
To find a way in, I tried to climb in through the top living room window which I left open because it was humid as Hell, that didn’t work as it was too high up and I didn’t want to risk breaking my few week old TV if I did fit through. I rolled the wheelie bin to the porch and try and climb up to its roof and open the big bedroom window via the open top one, but I pussied out of that situation in fear of ruining my belated birthday bash.
Being me, I used my intuition and got the wooden washing prop in an attempt to drag my phone from the middle of the living room floor next to my laptop, which is where I sit so I can keep everything plugged in. That didn’t work as the prop was taller than the living room itself, there were a few old detachable parasol poles in the shed and so I put 1 and 1 together, and what happened? It fell apart inside the house.
There was a third part to this pole thingy and that miraculously worked, I found a shorter wooden rod to try and chopstick my phone out of the window, with me having one foot on the window ledge and another on the neighbour’s wall separating our gardens. Not too reminiscent of a situation at school, where my critical thinking got the ball from the top of the cloister roof; I used the Morrisons bag lying there in next door’s garden and got a newspaper from the blue recycling bin — my only saving grace, the blue bin not going out that day as the binmen come each Friday.
I used the pages from newspaper and line it around the rim of the bag to keep it wide open, which was my idea to save the stranded ball and hoist it up into our classroom above. The key difference this time was that I didn’t have any sellotape to hold the paper in place, I had to use more paper to reinforce the structure and it just about held. After an hour of struggling and an additional one locked out, I salvaged my phone albeit with a small scratch across the top of the screen.
I tried calling my dad but it wouldn’t let me, despite having the full 100 free minutes remaining. Texting is effectively ineffective with him as he gets back to them two hours later, I messaged my sister over Facebook to tell him to call me. He did call me but with the reception being shit, I couldn’t grasp what he was saying so I waited for another hour for him to come round.
In the sweltering heat, I took my frustration on the ants running amok on the garden wall and began to kick out on them in my steel-tipped boots. Little did I know, it was that day of the year when the flying ants come out to play. Not knowing it was that day, the ants evacuated from the cracks in the wall. I thought it was me who caused this mass exodus that caused tremors on all the nooks and crannies in the other walls down the street, I felt worse than God for a bit.
After another hour waiting for my dad, I got fed up and texted him knowing he’d be close to his phone this time, he told me that he’s been drinking since he got home from work and so couldn’t let me in. I was left with no choice other than to walk round to his house, which took 40 minutes and had to do part of it barefoot because I was starting to develop blisters in those boots.
I finally made it, dad gave me his keys, I asked for a pair of socks to cope with those blisters and he also gave me £3.90 bus fare, 10p short for a Stagecoach DayRider yet would still mean walking some of it home. That was another 40-odd minutes walking back as I took a longer route via the tram stop in Didsbury, saving that bus fare to get the bus to town later. It was just after 7pm that I tasted confinement again, five hours sweating my balls off in the outdoors.
I told everyone to meet up at Deansgate at 9:30, despite knowing that Sam had to drop out; giving me just over an hour to have my tea, shower and get dressed. Being more or less on schedule, I got on the £1 MagicBus to town and WhatsApp’d Adam on the way there for a sitrep, he said Luke has gone camping for the weekend but he’ll be there at half 10, giving me an extra hour of fuck allery. Luckily, Matt was coming in from Preston and would arrive at the same time as him.
I tried to use this time to get in a few pre-drinks but no, I wasn’t allowed in anywhere — despite only trying one place — because I was wearing shorts. Sorry it was fucking boiling, you allow girls in who have their meatflaps hanging out. Wasting time at Deansgate Station, I overheard that a nearby James concert in Castlefield was reaching its climax and the station will be filling up. I told everyone about this hopped on the next train to Oxford Road, oblivious to Adam getting off where I got on.
When I got off at the next station, he called me which made me aware of this fact so we agreed to meet up outside Sainsbury’s near my end, closer to town. As Oxford Road station has ticket gates installed, I couldn’t exit freely and so had to pay £1.50 to buy myself out of the station. We finally met up at Sainsbury’s just the next block along, he told me to go back home and put on some proper trousers.
With a total of around £28 down the drain, I could finally meet up with everyone else and celebrate what was supposed to be joyous occasion, sweating my balls off even more. The highlight of the of the entire day was when I got back into town and on my way to the Printworks, a foreign tramp called me a faggot for snubbing him. I’m not sure what the Daily Mail would think of that, a foreigner serving no purpose to British society but ineligible to scrounge off the state.
Following the infamous FA Cup semi-final weekend of 2013, I pledged to stick to English-looking drinks from then on. I had a few pints of Carlsberg and two shots of Jägermeister as the English people descended from Germans. Lots of lager just gives me a headache and Jägerbombs don’t seem to have any effect on me but because of those two measly shots, I felt like shit the morning after and threw up four times, don’t think I touched the Devil’s nectar since.
So what all this was a month ago? I leave this shit fashionably late because it’s in my nature.