In 1992, in Poway California, a teenage boy named Tom was expelled from Poway High School for turning up to a basket ball game intoxicated. In order to continue his education, he was forced to enrol in Rancho Bernardo High School. Here, he came into contact with another unruly teenager who (to try and impress Tom) climbed to the top of a street lamp. He subsequently fell off, broke both his ankles and was forced to spend six weeks on crutches. After bonding over that fateful fall, the boys decided that (since they were both as stupid as each other) to start their own band. I tell you this information as these events shaped where I ended up one evening in August 2010. Despite the very rocky start the band that Tom and his broken-ankled-friend started, went on to sell 25 million albums world wide, win 2 MTV European awards, 1 VMA, 3 teen choice awards and became one of the most successful American pop punk bands ever. That band goes by the name Blink 182.
After my run in with DR WTF and finally being diagnosed with having M.E in June 2010, I decided it was best to take it slowly for a bit. I went back to work, gradually at first, building it up week by week and started to feel a whole lot better. Don’t get me wrong, I had my moments:
- The time I went to a theme park (well, I say “theme park” but that would imply it was actually themed. It wasn’t. It was more like the shows that never traveled anywhere). After it I honestly felt like I had went 20 rounds with Mike Tyson. That may have more to do with the safety features of the rides than the M.E though.
- The first time I had seen my friend Sandra Bullock after she came back from travelling the world. We decided to spend the day shopping with no money, so really from the start it was destined to fail. After I dropped Sandy off home I came home and cried as I was so exhausted.
- The time I was walking from work to the bus stop and felt like I was going to pass out. As I didn’t want to pass out in the middle of Glasgow City Centre in fear I may get robbed, I sat down and then missed the last bus.
Apart from these minor set backs, I started to feel better. I thought to myself, “You know what, I will be back to my old self in no time!” (FYI: This is the point in the film were the guy in the scream mask comes through the door, the girl runs up the stairs and the entire audience shout out “Stupid Bitch” because that is exactly what I was being at this time). So when, during my two week holiday in late August, I had tickets to relive what it was like to be 16 again (this time without the fingerless glove and with real tattoos not ones drawn on with magic markers) and go and see Blink 182 I thought to myself, “You know, I have rested for 4 months, I am ready for this shit!”
On August 17th 2010, myself, my childhood friend Courtney Love and Courtney’s mum Sharon Osborne headed to Glasgow’s SECC to welcome Blink 182 back to Scotland’s friendly and ever so slightly scary city. I recently found pictures of this night and for some reason I am dressed like an extra in the Al Pacino film “Cruising”. For those of you who have never seen this film and don’t know what I am talking about, IMDB describes it as follows:
“A police detective goes undercover in the sleazy and underground gay subculture of New York City to catch a serial killer who is murdering numerous gay men”
I shall leave the rest to your imagination and finish this by saying I have no idea why I was dressed like this, clearly I thought it may possibly be the next big thing.
When we arrived at the SECC, we quickly decided that the bar should be the first stop. Now this night was the first night I had drank since I had been not well and I was so looking forward to a nice cool beverage as I love beer as much as a Redneck. We all waited in a queue so long I imagine the only thing that would compare to it would be the queue in to hell. However, I imagine the queue to hell is slightly more organised and has way less scary folk in it. We waited for 40 minuets hoping to God that this was actually the bar queue and not the queue for the toilet. Finally we got to the front only to realise that none of us had our bank cards with us and that between us we only had 22. Now in places that hold events of any kind and also sell alcohol they tend to hike the prices up to resemble the liquors’weight in gold. The SECC is no different. 4 a bottle for 1 bottle of Miller! So what we managed to get for our measly 22 was 5 bottles of Miller. Which when divided up between the three of us and poured into a pint glass equaled just over half a pint each. I mean I could have drank all three of our d rinks and still been eligible to drive (perhaps not in the UK but most probably in at least one American state). I actually could have gotten more intoxicated by drinking half a pint of mouth wash and at least then I would have come out smelling minty fresh. This is actually true, I googled it and apparently mouth wash contains twice the amount of alcohol as wine. Anyway we took our milliliter of beer and went to seek out our spot in the crowd.
The house lights went down, the spot lights came up, the guitars started and”Dumpweed” blasted out the speakers. Ladies and Gents, at this I jumped and I did not stop jumping until the very last”well I guess this is growing up” of “Dammit”. For the entire gig I never stopped dancing once. There was actually a circle of people around Courtney, Sharon and myself much like what happens anytime any one does a dance in any American film. I would like to think this is because they were in awe of my amazing dancing skills, but in all honesty I dance like what you would imagine an epileptic person would look like if they took a fit and stayed standing through out it. That, coupled with the fact I was dressed like a gay male New Yorker from the 80’s, no wonder people were staring. But I couldn’t stop, partly because if I stopped I may not have been able to start again, and partly because I was dancing for that 16 year old weirdo that still lives inside me with the energy of 100 Lucozade bottles and a strange obsession with The Matrix. I never for one second thought of what the consequences were for a 22 year old with M.E to dance about like an idiot for two hours.
The next day was not my greatest; it wasn’t my worst but by no means was it my greatest. I had invited Kylie and the Queen around for dinner that evening. They came expecting an evening of lovely M&S food and my usual brand witty banter. What they got instead was some lovely prepared M&S soup followed by a stir fry that tasted like lemon scented washing up liquid. I didn’t really register what was going on around me due to feeling like a zombie and trying to hide the pain that my muscles were in due to my epileptic dancing, which I hear now is sweeping the dance floors of Glasgow. It took me about a week for my muscle to stop aching, the head ache to clear and to get my energy levels back to where I was before I went to gig dressed in an outfit that would turn Oscar Wilde’s head. But after that week it still never really sunk in that I shouldn’t really be doing that kind of thing because, in the end, they were just going to make me ill. So I thought, “You know what, bugger it! (no pun intended) I can do what I want – full speed ahead Captain!”
Everyone say it with me: