On letting the snogfest begin
If there was an exact moment in my life where I realised that I am, in fact, old, I can put my finger on exactly 7.34pm last Sunday night.
For there I was, tidying a few things away in 13-year-old Scaryduckling's room, when I noticed a book, perched on top of her bookcase.
It was called - frighteningly - "Let the Snogfest Begin".
"Buh!" I said, my youth falling away like apoo from a goose with particularly bad food poisoning.
"Mmmmmng!" I continued, the bloke with the scythe and the big grin appearing just that little bit closer than he had been at 7.33pm-and-a-half.
"Christ alive!" I eventually expounded, "Whatever happened to the Famous Five?"
And: "Was there much snogging involved?"
"Yes. Yes there was", she replied, "Loads."
"Does Craig Charles from Robot Wars appear at any stage, shouting 'Let the Snogfest BEGIN!' before running off to take loads of drugs?"
"No. No, he does not."
"And get out of my room."
This exchange now means that I have no officially crossed the line into OLD. Gone, gone are days of youth, frolic and fun. The day Enid Blyton wrote 'Five Go Dogging' without stopping to think of the sordid, alternative meaning now ancient history.
The more I think about it, however, the more I find Enid Blyton's got to answer for. Take a look at these titles from the 'Withdrawn from Stock' archive in the Dorset County Library:
* Five Go Happy Slapping
* Five Discover Snakebite
* Shari'ah Secret Seven
* Secret Seven Get Spit-Roasted
* Noddy Drops an 'E'
* Noddy Gets an ASBO
* Five Get Hold of Six Barrels of Baby Oil, A Ton of Chapatti Flour and Hydrogen Peroxide and a Crate of Vodka and Go Fucking Shit Crazy
I might have made one or two of these up.
However: My point still stands. It is your duty to scour the much-loved books of your childhood, and out them as the filth-mongers that they are.
Let the Snogfest BEGIN!