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Devoted to my old friend Cameron, who recently passed away back in the homeland... R.I.P mate.
There was a time, and I mean this, that I wasn't such a grumpy bastard. It is true, and some of you who have read some of my past blogs recalling my many antics with 'Stig' will know there was a time in my youth when I lived for the "crack" (Crack - was a word used to describe 'great fun' back home in England back in the day. Until the American drug scene turned it into, well, what it refers to in modern times.)
For example: "Steve and I had a crack at the party the other night."
This would mean "Steve and I had a lot of fun at the party the other night."
NOT: "Steve and I got fucked up and acted like a pair of silly bastards and stole all the silver at the party the other night."
OK, clear? So when I use that word, 'CRACK' you'll now know I mean FUN and not drugs... deal?
So anyway, yes my old mate Cameron passed away a few weeks ago, and it left me with mixed feelings. Sadness because he's left us, and I'm just left with memories from times long ago. But, also, an element of satisfaction and relief exists because he fought a long battle with cancer and I'm now relieved he's no longer in constant pain and satisfied he's in a better place.
Although I spent much of my youth running around with that crazy fucker Stig, there was also another crazy kid that I had the good pleasure of spending time with, and that was Cameron. A farmers son (As was Stig) and absolutely unpredictable, Cameron could always be relied on for a 'crack.'
On one occasion, Cameron, myself and a gaggle of other kids boarded some vehicles one sunny, Sunday morning and decided to drive to the scenic park some miles away. During the trip Cameron had told me he had installed a stolen, Army PA system to his Dad's car (Which we were riding in, without his Dad's permission as we were only 14 years old.) He had apparently stolen it from the local Army Cadets building and now here it was wired to his Dad's car.
You have to understand that what happened next may not come across as that funny. That's because you wasn't there and we didn't have smart phones to record our antics. So you have to rely on my writing and your imagination. Hard for those of you who rely totally on your devices to show you what fun is. *Sigh*
But to us, there at the time, it was funny as fuck.
At the park there was an icecream truck. Mr.Softy or something similar, and a large crowd of people had gathered around it, queuing for a lolly. Cameron drew the car up behind the throng of eager icecream wanters and grabbed the PA mike.
He turned up the volume to it's loudest setting on the unit and then said calmly...
"I'll have two Mr.Softy icecream cones, one Orange Maid lolly and a Rocket lolly please."
What a fucking crack! It scared the fucking life out of everyone there, and they scattered, lolly's and icecream's flying around, I couldn't stop laughing!
In the chaos, Cameron then drove up to the now almost deserted icecream truck and parked with his window down, right alongside the trucks serving window. Looking up at the startled icecream bloke starring him in the face, and the mike pressed and close to his mouth, he repeated...
"I said, I'll have two Mr.Softy icecream cones, one Orange Maid lolly and a Rocket lolly please."
And you know what? That guy served him! I absolutely cracked up, and never ever forgot it.
Then there was the time at the motorway services. We lived close to the M1 motorway and one night, out of boredom we walked to the local motorway services(No stolen cars this night,)to play the amusements there.
We had to be careful at the the services, there was always a few cops around and they definitely knew us all, and they definitely didn't want us there.
Soon bored, or skint in the amusements we went into the restaurant and sat drinking cups of coffee.
Cameron immediately went into swap the condiments mode. Something he did everywhere we went. He would empty the salt shaker, fill it with sugar and put the salt into the sugar dispenser. Then, and this is pretty gross, he would scrape up dust and dirt from the floor in his hands and place this in the top of the pepper shaker.
This was no big thing, I had seen it so many times, and it's only funny if you move to a another nearby table and watch for the next unsuspecting dinners to use the shakers. We had a crack in the past watching the effects of this, but this wasn't the night for that because Cameron had other ideas.
The restaurant was served with a conveyor that ran around the edge of one side of the room. The purpose of this was to take dishes into the kitchen from tables being cleaned by the waitresses. It moved slowly and traveled towards a hole in the kitchen wall covered by clear plastic flexible slats that moved aside for the dishes.
Not telling us what he was about to do, Cameron went to the conveyor, about 30ft from the hole in the wall and climbed on board. He was a lanky kid, but bending his long legs up to his chin he managed to sit his skinny arse on the conveyor facing the kitchens. A big stupid grin on his face.
Of course we were all cracking up, I mean what the fuck was he doing? Several waitresses walked along side him, telling him to get off, but Cameron ignored them completely, and slowly drifted towards the hole. Watching the other diners in the restaurant as they looked on in disbelief as Cameron rode by on the conveyor was priceless!
He never moved a muscle as he slowly went through the hole, a picture I would give anything to have in my possession.
Within seconds of disappearing through the hole pandemonium broke out in the kitchens. The noise of braking crockery and shouts of alarm broke out, and we, left in the restaurant were roaring with laughter. Our fellow diners were just staring, amazed at what they were witnessing.
Moments later Cameron broke out the kitchen behind the serving counter with two cooks chasing and hollering at him. I heard the word 'Police..." and that's when we knew it was time to get.
We caught up with Cameron just outside the restaurant and he was cracking up and yelling at the cooks, calling them fat bastards etc.
We didn't get far, as we went to run for the exit two cops were entering. And we ran straight into them. They caught Cameron and another friend and while they struggled with them I slid right past and with a couple of mates scarpered to the woods behind the services.
Later that evening we caught up with Cameron. He had been taken home to his Dad who had beaten his arse but was still his usual self. We spent the next hours reflecting excitedly about the night's fun.
Being caught by the cops and taking a beating from our parents was nothing new, and it certainly wouldn't stop us searching for the next 'Crack.'
I will miss you Cameron.
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