You'd never guess looking at me, but, once upon a time, a long time ago, I was a very fit, very athletic, and very sporty schoolboy.
So much so, at the tender age of fifteen, I was asked to try out for my local rugby club.
Even better, I was given each Wednesday afternoon off school, instead of doing endless laps at PE lessons with the other kids, I was allowed to get the crosstown bus and spend the afternoon ….well, running endless laps with the under-21 squad….but at least it was a proper club.
Even better, I didn't have to wear my school uniform on Wednesdays. Strutting around in cool jeans, a cool (usually Black Sabbath) tee shirt, and my cool badge covered denim jacket, I was sure I was the envy of my mates!
One particularly warm Wednesday evening, I had finished training and slouched against the bus stop, in what I presumed was a cool way. Puffing coolly on a cigarette I'd nicked from my grandad, trying coolly not to cough too much. (Yeah, I was actually that cool!)
Anyway, suddenly my world got a whole lot cooler. A stunningly beautiful creature, (OK, she had red hair and a Deep Purple tee shirt under her biker jacket) walked up to the bus stop, smiled at me and asked when the 17c was due.
Me! She smiled at me! Not for another fifteen minutes. (I wished it was an hour, two, ten, a week away!)
We got chatting. Chatting! To me!
She had just moved to town to do work experience or something for her University something or other...she was lovely! And smiling at me again! Me!
I was brought back to earth as she smiled, waiting to hear what I did for a living...me!!!
She pointed at the rugby club. She'd seen me leaving, did I work there?
Without the slightest hint of shame I told her I did indeed work behind the bar at the members club, head barman in fact, did a rock disco on a Friday, place couldn't run without me, be manager ...I nearly said before I was sixteen....but luckily, coolly coughed on my grandads ciggy again, and finished with 21 instead.( it must've been the long hair, but I did look a few years older than I was, though 20 was pushing it, 18 maybe, in a soft light, at night, at a smoky gig maybe?)
The gorgeous redheaded Purple fan chatted away. Then I saw the 17c coming our way. My heart broke. I had to act. Did she fancy coming to a concert on Saturday? Local band, local club, maybe get something to eat before?
To my utter shock, and total delight, she said yes! Said she'd meet me outside at seven. Oh, and, my name's Sall….
The bus doors took the end bit away, but I was sure it was Sally. Yeah, Sally sounded right, cool! A cool date with Sall..!
I positively bounced into school the following morning, even the stupid tie didn't bother me, the stupid blazer was as cool as my Wrangler, my shiny shoes….OK, you get the picture, I was in my bloody school uniform.
I floated through Maths, smiled my way through History, wafted down the corridor to be delighted by Art lessons.
Our teacher beamed at her students, telling us we were to have a newly qualified teacher with us til the end of term, be nice to her Year 5, the door opened and in walked….yup… I never got that date!
(But she was a very, very good art teacher, and very, very cool...even with me!)