Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Happy Birthday Joe

I can’t quite believe this as I type it but today is the 18th birthday of my eldest nephew Joe. That’s him on the right of the photo below having a right good laugh after challenging his brother Fraser (in the middle) and cousin Tommy to see who could eat their ice cream the fastest. Aw, look at their poor wee brain-freeze faces.

Like most teenagers, Joe’s a sensitive soul who thinks his uncles are the bees b#llocks so I won’t embarrass him by saying that it only seems like yesterday since we were playing Spyro the Dragon together on his Playstation and watching his video of The Little Mermaid on a seemingly continuous loop.

Tonight, no doubt, he’ll be experiencing his first ever sip of alcohol (HA! HA!) but if he’ll accept one more piece of uncle advice from me, DON’T do what I did on my 18th birthday.

It was… *gulp*… 1982, I was still at High School and I was due to sit my Maths Higher exam (for the second time) that afternoon. On completion of the exam, my so-called friend Donald and I decided we’d go straight from the school assembly hall to the corner bar just down the road and demand alcohol of some description. Being the smart-arsed individual that I was (although come to think of it, Donald might’ve talked me into this) I was wearing the full school uniform (shirt, tie, blazer, lederhosen, etc.) and I’d brought my birth certificate with me in the sincere hope that I’d be asked my age. The scenario played out a little like this…


Strapping 18 year-old Neil and stocky friend Donald enter deserted bar, faces fixed with a fox-like focus and smug smiles seeping from the corner of their mouths as they straighten their school ties. A wench-like barmaid appears from below the bar.

NEIL (smugly): “Two pints of lager please.”
WENCH (disinterestedly): “I’m sorry son , I cannae serve ye.”
NEIL (in high pitched squeal as he removes birth certificate from inside pocket and slams on bar): “But I’m 18! See?”
WENCH (smugly): “Naw son, we’re CLOSED.”

Neil and Donald emerge with bowed heads into blinding sunlight to be met by howls of derision from assorted classmates.

So a very happy birthday to you Joe and I hope the party goes well on Saturday night. Drink responsibly (i.e. use a glass) and don’t hesitate to get in touch with your favourite uncle for more style tips and life wisdom.


At 11/10/06 5:32 pm, Blogger Stuart Sutherland said...

Neil, thanks for this. Very funny. So THAT'S where you went after that exam, which I also sat that day. I remember wanting to discuss the finer points of the trigonometry questions with you afterwards but you were nowhere to be sign - ho ho ;-) Did you get an A too?

At 12/10/06 10:08 am, Blogger Neil said...

You know damn well I got a f#cking 'B' ya bas! Still, I'm sure the trig has come in handy on many occasions since that day.


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