As I was strolling from Canada Water tube station to my little office last week, I glanced upon a small boy walking alongside his mother. Suddenly, something caught my eye. Instantly, my gaze was drawn towards a silvery trail running half the length of his sleeve, as though a daredevil slug had conducted its own X-Games on his forearm. Clearly this young lad was still at that carefree, joyful age when wiping a runny nose on his clothing was still totally acceptable, nay encouraged. Occasionally I smell something that takes me back to my childhood – the smell of rain after a particularly hot spell, cut grass – but rarely have I seen something that reminds me of being a young whippersnapper quite like this. How unfortunate that in this instance it was a small boy’s grubby sleeve. Groceio, as some might say…
Anyway, it got me thinking about other stuff that was once entirely acceptable or enjoyable, that we gradually grow out of as we get older. I mean, come on, when was the last time you remedied a dripping shnoz with brisk rub from your favourite sweater? And does anyone really have a favourite sweater anymore? So here you go, a brief rundown of other stuff I used to do, but gave up as time took its toll…
1) Be honest, when was the last time you pointed to various relevant parts of your anatomy whilst singing “Milk, milk, lemonade, round the corner chocolate’s made”? Once a playground mainstay; now relegated to occasional wistful thoughts over several alcoholic beverages. As a youngster, there was no situation where that rhyme wasn’t perfectly appropriate. As an adult? Next time you’re asked to give a presentation in work, deliver that and see how it goes down. Maybe wink and tap your nose before doing the bit about chocolate/poo. Let me know how that goes down.
2) A couple of weeks ago I saw a little boy standing on his seat on the train, banging on the windows with excitement at the sights whizzing past outside. I no longer have that excitement about Berrylands rail station. And even if I did, standing on my seat and screaming would see me swiftly arrested upon arrival at Waterloo. Shame.
3) Once upon a time, a little boy called Andrew John Durrant had the sweetest fucking mauve tracksuit you’ve ever seen in your life. What’s more, it had MY INITIALS ON THE CHEST. I strolled around, knee-high to a fully-grown adult human, earning nothing but respect and praise for my outfit. Nowadays, I’d be routinely shouted at in the street, mocked, laughed at and maybe even physically assaulted. Who’s in the wrong? I don’t make the rules.
4) When I was at school, maybe up to the age of about 12, I would head out for lunch, play football for an hour and return to afternoon classes a sweaty, sweaty, red-faced, sweaty mess. I didn’t feel self conscious, nobody minded, everybody did it; it was fine. If I went back into the office after lunch, covered in sweat and smelling like an alpaca’s genital rucksack, I’d be called into a meeting about personal hygiene quicker than James Corden could eat a Gregg’s steak bake.
Anyway, it’s Sunday, I’m tired and no one is paying me to do this, so that’s your lot. Cheers for now, see you again soon.