Mirth and Woe: Where are they now?
I know what you're asking. What happens to all the people that appear in my stories? You read about all these friends and relatives that turn up on these pages, get puked over, and then disappear again with barely a word.
Do they get special counselling?
Do they ever sue?
Do they ever return and get a second dose of rich, brown vomit, jets of fresh poo, or even the chance of red hot rumpy action with my good self? No. No, they do not.
And how can you possibly blame them?
My friend Matty, who lived next door to me for much of my youth, coming to grief on numerous occasions in hedges, playgrounds and raging river torrents. He found himself, over the years, cheating death most heinously as go-karts have smashed through hedges, survived home-made bombs that have ripped through waste-ground, and fled for his life as the baying hordes of parents have borne down on the lot of us, seeking awful revenge.
Matty is now in Australia. And if he could get any further away, such as another planet, he would.
Richard, similarly has fled to the West Coast of the United States. At least one of my other childhood neighbours works for an airline, so he too can put some miles between himself and repeated woe. Meanwhile, my entire family have all put at least 150 miles between me and them. It's for the best, to be honest.
But others are not so fortunate. Some can not, or transfixed by the sheer mank, will not escape for their lives.
Take, for example, my former colleague Paul. He worked with me for a while at that famous tyre and exhaust company that rhymes with "Motor Gay".
Paul had a singular chatting up technique, which he used whenever he was, well, anywhere, really.
At work. Down the pub. In the frozen products aisle of Tescos. Anywhere women could be found, he used his chat-up technique.
It was this: "Fancy a shag?"
Some afternoons, after a particularly heavy session down the pub, his face would be redder than Alex Ferguson's with the succession of slaps he experienced. And that's if their boyfriends didn't catch up with him first.
Yet, despite his suffering, he always claimed to be ahead of the game.
"Even if it only works one time out of a hundred, I'll still get laid more than you," he said, and damn it, he was right.
"So," I asked, "How many times has it worked?"
"Anybody I might know?"
"Yeah, as a matter of fact. She used to work here."
"Yeah, you remember Sharon?"
Yes. Yes, I remembered Sharon.
"God mate, never again. You'll never guess what she's into."
No. No, I'll never guess.
"I mean, good thing we went back to my place straight from a couple of pints in the pub. Otherwise I don't think I could have managed."
"Oh. God. No."
"So… I… err… you know… she made me… well… you know… she… she… err… made me… err…"
"You pissed on her tits, didn't you?"
"How did you know?"
And that, my friends, is what happened to Barking Mad Sharon.