You know, l have come to learn in life that even the most well oiled strategies can come apart and usually, it is as the result of the smallest of things! In my case it was a single half of a dry roasted peanut and the fact that my Mother as a person had the most astounding if not profound sense of astuteness than l HAVE EVER KNOWN to be present in one single living human being! I have of course come to learn since then through Suze that apparently ALL Mothers possess these amazing abilities!
Not even a full dry roasted peanut was to blame, but a half and a half of such a peanut was discovered in the unlikliest of places … hidden it wasn’t, but in full view it wasn’t!
Now fact is, that as my readership you should feel privilaged that l am finally sharing this musing with you here and now, and that very few people know the truth of that night, when a solitary half dry peanut escaped my own astute sense of perception and it somehow miraculously tucked itself into the oddest of locations that l missed it, and yet when my Mother walked up those stairs it somehow became visible to her!!
Anyone ever seen the classic 1983 film starring Daniel Peacock called Party Party? It really was quite funny …
………. well this sort of happened to me!
Okay, so now y’all in the mood for some high pranks and frolics right? You might have been, l wasn’t!
Saturday 11th July 1981 which is a little over 37 years ago!
If you are keeping up to speed with things, and you read yesterday’s Carry on Travelling episode of France First, The World After, then you will know that l was jilted by my parents for my Hike so that they could go to Malta, and l was left in charge of the house and l had to babysit my younger Sister [5 years my juinor]. I was also 18 that year, having had my birthday in May, and l had had an 18th Birthday party. So l was sort of in the mood to continue with that theme … of sorts! I was on my second year of Catering college and working full time as well – well part time, but it’s a long story, but l worked most nights and on the weekends.
However, l booked some time out for the “Party.”
My parents had taken three weeks out to holiday in Malta, and were due back on the 12th July – Sunday. It was in fact one of the last few holidays they would take as a couple ever again. Both my Sister and l had declined to go. The result was that l had to babysit her, which was trouble in itself as we were not the best of buddies. One of the deals l had to strike with her to at least try to be good during their absence was that l would host a small party before our parents got back. I wasn’t really for a party, not because l was a prude or anything but mostly because l didn’t always like being in the house and preferred college and working, and the only joy in the house was Jasmine my cat, probably one of my best friends.
However, time got away with me, and pretty soon we were fast approaching our final week and my Sister was hampering and badgering me and threatening to simply disappear if l didn’t hold up to my end of the bargain! So on the Tuesday l finally relented and agreed that we would have the party on the Saturday, just a small affair, a few of my friends and a few of hers!
She gave me a list of her guests, and combined with mine there would be around 15 people inbetween the ages of 14 – 19. Sounded easy enough, after all l was a caterer what could go wrong with such a small amount of manageable people? I swear that should be on my gravestone “What could go wrong??”
I invited a few of my college friends, a couple of my school mates and from Tuesday to Friday we got everything prepared, l bought some drinks in, someone else agreed to bring some music, got the food prepared. Hid all of my Father’s alcohol [because some things are not worth being murdered over especially his damn specialist and rare whiskeys] and come Saturday morning, the house was ship shape and ready to rock and roll. I had spoken to the neighbours and said l was having a small get together, and would they mind looking after Jasmine, which everyone was happy about including my cat. I assured everyone within five houses that there would be no terribly loud noises, but there might be a few cars in the street and people around the house!
My nerves were already shot to hell, living in my house that was hardly surprising, but this was quite a large endeavour and back then l was horribly naive, not so much inncocent, well l guess l was in truth. My Sister was none of those things, l was considered the tame one of the household in consideration to some of her behaviour!! But l knew l was cutting things kind of close to the day my parents were set to arrive back and so the house had to be more than ship shape if l was to pull this off correctly.
I could afford no errors, no flaws to my carefully laid out plan – NONE!!
But l had underestimated my Sister and her l guess disdain for me, l think that’s the right word. I also had underestimated my college friends who obviously misunderstood ‘small get together‘ for ‘huge fuck off frat party!!‘ I had underestimated disaster!
Despite my apprehensions, l had this wild fantasy circulating through my head that l might end up ‘lucky’, l was still a virgin at 18, and many of my friends had already ‘lost it’, which l always had found such a strange concept. Lost it? How could you lose it? I used to think, if you have lost it, then surely you don’t where it is, but if you were doing it, then it wasn’t so much as lost, but surely if anything you had found it? But that was just one of the mad ideas floating through my head that night, there were many others, that it might be ‘nice’ to have some decent chat on a more serious note without having to resort to clownish humour just to be awarded a few smiles from the girls.
Don’t get me wrong, l had more success at college at making girls smile than ever l had had at school, but like school it was usually as a result of acting the clown, something l was really quite good at. Girls used to say of me that l was all talk, and very little action, and my close ‘girl’friends’ were always very keen to try and marry me off with friends of theirs but the biggest problem with that was usually that l didn’t actually fancy the friends of my friends, because l actually fancied the ‘girl”friends’ themselves! So it was very frustrating! However l was forever hopeful, that something might happen even if just a snog in the corner with someone! I think my biggest problem was that back then l was so very desperate to be ‘normal’ in so far as the same as my peers that l simply came across as too desperate and l must have stuck out like a proverbial ‘sore thumb’, that everyone simply stayed well clear of me, in case l turned out to be some kind of deviant!
People were set to arrive at 7.30, and by 8pm, when no one had arrived apart from Sammy one of my closest girl’friends that l began to think l had seriously flunked it all up! However by 8.30pm, that was completely different event completely. Suddenly the doorbell rung and a whole group of my college friends barged in carrying with them beer, wines and spirits, crisps and nuts and records!
Danny, the coolest chef of my year at college suddenly declared that my music was too drab and so commandeered the stereo system and then at what seemed like decible 10, let rip with Ant Rap by Adam and the Ants!
Which admittedly certainly changed the theme of the night, and so Danny was then soon in charge of the music for the night! By 9pm, l had most of my friends at the house and with the music blaring, booze flowing into cups, crisps, sausage rolls and a host of other goodies being consumed at the rate of knots, l was fairly confident that the party was a success. However, rather strangely even with only around 12 people in the house l was somewhat curious as 1] where my Sister was and 2] where were her guests?
I needn’t have worried because at 9.30pm, the front door was flung wide open and in waltzed my Sister clearly worse for wear … well drunk as a skunk is more of an apt description followed by at least forty people!!? All of them wearing biker leathers, and in with them came even more booze in the shape of small bloody kegs!
“What are you doing?!” I yelled at her, “Who are all these people and who is that?!” I demanded to know about the fellow sticking his tongue in her ear!
“This is Chris, he’s my boyfriend!” She hollered back above the steadily rising din! “He brought some of his mates, what you going to do about it??”
That’s when the party went to shit! Chris suddenly dominated the stereo and l had to stop Danny and he fighting over whether it was Don’t You Want Me by Human League or this which won the day!
Which Danny thought was better and then the whole house started head banging and jumping up and down on the spot!!! The house was actually shaking, it was vibrating! If that wasn’t bad enough, once more the door was open and in stormed another twenty people l vaguely knew from college and in came even more beer, and goodies and music!!
Suddenly the house and the garden had somewhere in the region of around 80 people prancing about. My Sister was nowhere to be seen, there were headbangers in the garden and the bushes guzzling booze and doing all sorts of things that l really hadn’t expected in even my wildest dreams! The bamboo was shaking and quaking , there were bodies in there, the stereo was under a constant threat of being thrown out the window, and the stress was unfathomable!
A pretty … drunk girl walked up to me and said did l want to shag? “No,l don’t want to shag you, who are you??” She then disappeared off into the garden with some other fellow who l am pretty sure was a chef! My Sister was completely invisible amongst the throng, the music was getting louder and louder and l had to keep going over to it and turning it down.
The garden was full of throbbing fornication, l even walked on a soiled condom in the dining room!! Sammy came running up to me saying l think your Sister may be in pain, there was a smash of glass in her bedroom! “Oh my god!” I screamed and ran up, and listened to the door, sure enough l could hear a lot of moaning and groaning, and without thinking l burst into her bedroom, to find her in an extremely compromised position with her legs akimbo and that bloke Chris on top of her!
Well l flipped out, l grabbed him by the back of his long hair and tanked him off her with strength l never knew l possessed, to suddenly find myself looking at my Sister in a position l never wanted to see her in again, for her then to scream at me “He was coming you dick!!”
“I don’t care if he was coming, as far as l am concerned he is bloody going and all his long haired fucking friends!”
Chris took umbrage at this and took a swing at me and hit me square in the jaw, and came bearing down on me like a loose lion, telling me to take that back about his friends, for me to answer “Have you looked out the window into the garden, they are all ‘fucking’, in the roses, the bamboo on the flower pots – everywhere!!”
Looking around the bedroom whilst on the floor with this manical twit trying to jump me, l noticed my Sister’s stereo front panel glass was broken, and my Sister said that ‘Chrissy’ had accidentally kicked it whilst getting his trousers off!
That was the last straw, l frog marched him down with the aid of two burly chefs and kicked him out the door, with my Sister screaming obscenities at me and she stormed off after him whilst all his mates grabbed all their beer and every one elses and flew out the door kicking out of their way whatever they could find. By which time, l had had enough of parties forever, and so told everyone to basically go home! The time was 11.35pm and by midnight the house was empty!
I sat there in the loungeroom looking at the complete and utter carnage, and started the lonely walk through the shambles of the house! I was tired admittedly, but my parents were not due home until midday, so despite having been up since the dawn on Saturday morning, l was after all a very skilled house keeper, and so l knew l had the capabilities to completely and utterly clean the house … which after a coffee, l started at 1am.
It was no easy task, but luckily l knew that the dawn would be around pretty early again, so l could start to worry about the mess of the garden at first light, but for now, l had to clean the house!
I spent an hour alone picking up peanuts, crisps, condoms, bottles, cans, plastic cups and straws from all over the house. Someone had managed to throw up in both the toilet upstairs and downstairs and even in the bathroom! There were toilet rolls strewn all over the house it was a nightmare! All the beds in the house had been used .. even my parents bedroom and bed!! OMG!!
However, l brushed, swept, hoovered, scrubbed, cleaned, polished, changed bed linen and in fact l did everything l needed to do to clean up the house. By around 4.30am, l was outside in the back garden, the front garden clearing up and bagging everything! By 9.30 am, l was done, the house was scarily clean! I had just finished tidying up, l had fetched Jasmine from next door and only had to put up with a small complaint from the neighbours about the noise but they were cool, and then l was sitting in the front extension with the slide doors open drinking a fresh cup of coffee feeling very, very pleased with myself, it was a beautifully clear blue sky Sunday listening to my favourite Beach Boys track .. when suddenly l saw my Father’s Capri turn into the garage driveway across the road?
“Oh my god, they are back early!!?” I quickly did a scan of the house and found it superbly clean and so by the time l got to the front door, l opened it just as they were about to unlock it!
“Hey welcome back guys, did you have a great time??!” I almost yelled at them with a huge smile on my face. “Here let me take the luggage!”
My Mother looked at me, and within seconds was looking into every room in the house, with eagle like eyes. “What has happened here Rory??”
“What do you mean Mum?”
“Why is this house TOO Clean? It even smells too clean, have you been cleaning??”
“Yes, yes l have l wanted it to look nice for you on your return, l have cleaned everywhere, l changed all the bed linens, washed all the towels, had a quick go in the garden, hoovered specially, but aaaalso l have a test tomorrow on housekeeping, so l used that and the fact you were coming back today as the right day to do the cleaning!” I answered with a broad smile.
“Mm, ok” And off my Mother tootled up the stairs to her bedroom when suddenly she screamed my name. “RORY Come here!!”
I hadn’t even had the time to let out a sigh of relief before l ran to where she was to find her pointing to a spot on the stairs and there it was ‘a solitary half of a dry roasted nut2 looking lost and forlorn on the stairs!!
“You’ve had a party in our house!!” She screamed at me
I was absolutely mortified, l stammered, “No l haven’t don’t be silly Mum, l don’t do that sort of thing, you know that.”
“Don’t you lie to me young man! Where’s is your Sister?”
Oh grief, things were getting worse.
“I am here actually Mum.” My Sister was standing behind me looking all sweet and innocent? “I just went up to Sarah’s to give her back a book, but l am back now, and l can tell you Mum, that Rory didn’t do anything bad, he was the perfect babysitter.”
I was stunned into silence, what was she doing, except covering my ass, why?
My Sister just looked at me and smiled as Mum walked up the stairs with the peanut in her hand muttering about something fishy was going on, when Mum had gone into her bedroom, and whilst Dad was looking at the garden, my Sister came up to me and whispered “Great party Rory, had a great night, l really must thank you .. but last night l lost my virginity!”
“You are only 13!” l hissed back at her in panic.
“Yeah l know, but also l know that you had a party, so l won’t tell if you don’t okay?”
Good grief, l was being blackmailed by my Sister, but what could l do?
I vowed that l would never ever host another house party in my life and l never have, once was enough! My parents never found out about the party, although my Sister did during an argument with my Mother expose that she had ‘lost it’ one night to ‘Chrissy the long haired biker!’ But it was down to one solitary peanut that my Mother – ever shrewd and cunning was convinced l had a party … one bloody peanut, like how is that even possible? They never proved l had, but both parents and especially Mum were convinced – they just didn’t have any evidence!
Thank my lucky stars!