Anniversary of the widening of horizons
There is schism in the core of old-school friends (the lads I met at school and still form the majority of my physical ‘network’); a schism caused by the 20th anniversary of finishing at our crappy comprehensive which will be marked by an event next summer. Forget the Berlin wall and communism coming down, this is the stuff that shatters. A Facebonk group has already been created for the reunion. Some say ‘come on muzz it’ll be a laugh’ but I have absolutely no intention of going – I left the area for a reason and can see little service in the poorly devised mutual point-scoring system that is finding out what the others are doing. You’ve seen the episode of Peep Show where Mark gets it on with his ex-crush? That’s not going to happen, but dancing badly to Yazz is a distinct and undesirable possibility. The questions are several though – what will have replaced the 80s big hair? Will all the Emmas and Nicolas be there? Will there have been a big enough pool of secretarial work to cope with their entry on to the jobs market in 1990? Or might they have had to consider the bright lights of Camberley or Woking for gainful employment? I’ll go on wondering. It’s bad enough considering a meet-up with expals from a (slightly) broader area from whom there has also been willing estrangement.
Nevertheless, I am delighted to have received a provisional itinerary for the night. Names have been changed where appropriate:
20:00 Arrivals are given masks to ward against the overpowering aroma of cheap perfume; guests are given cheap carbonated fizz in plastic cups just like what used to happen at village hall parties in the olden days.
20:05 Mark Godfree opens up the event with an inspiring rendition of God Save the Queen;
21:00 The DJ, hired out of the back pages of the Farnham Herald naturally, starts up with the 80s pop numbers the crowd craves. Impromptu breakdancing breaks out among overweight men old enough to know better;
21:30 A hubbub is caused on reports that one of the Emmas ‘gets off’ with someone behind a locker. She is married with three kids in a three-bedroom detached in Fleet, for pete’s sake;
21:35 ‘Slow dance’ time. Phyllis Nelson’s Move Closer on repeat. Crowd cleaves to blokes on one side and laydeez as they were never known on the other. This patently doesn’t work and is soon abandoned;
21:50 Old wounds are opened when some of the ‘bad lot’ ‘from the estate’ come down and look surly for 10 minutes;
22:00 Important series of audio-visual lectures from the Guys Who Have Made Good explaining Why Capitalism is Great. Begging bowl goes out for donations to the alma mater;
23:05 Tim Phillips attempts to explain over a beer or three why he cultivated his Aldershot pikey accent;
23:25 Karaoke time – ex-students are invited to choose U2, INXS and Simple Minds songs, them being the bands that got us through adolescence. Small pools of sick begin to appear on the floor;
23:47 Guests are asked to shut up for the playing of Jerusalem. The last train to London has gone.