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Monday, February 21, 2011

And to my 17 year old self I say...NA NA NA NA NAAAA

I was under my bed, just staring at the underside of my mattress as you do, and I came across my essay notebook from school. There are some serious works of cringe in there from when I went through my ''TIME TO BE A POIGNANT WRITER AND USE LOTS OF SIMILES'' phase. Those will of course never see the light of day and I will be ceremoniously burning them later tonight. However, I found a TRUE story which I'd written when I was 17 which my 20 year old self took a lot of joy in reading. The fact that I know I'll never have to go through this shit again makes me want to share it with you all. ENJOY!


'My Greatest Fear'

Have you ever felt your whole body stiffen, and then sink and soften as though it were fudge in a furnace? Felt the deep searing pain as you swallow hard and wipe the stinging beads of sweat from your brow? Ever felt your stomach flop about like a fish just swiped from a river and discarded on a marshy bank?
        Ever been uncomfortably conscious of every hair on your head, every step that you take? Every eyelash and fingernail? Awkward and aware, like a deluded closet transvestite going for a smear test. Have you ever wanted so badly for this moment to end; to get it all over with; to give anything to know what will happen next? Just to be able to CONTROL the situation. The frustration! It's pot luck here, and you know it. The odds are against you but your hoping against hope that it will go your way this time. It could just as easily be you. Do you want it to be you? You don't even have time to consider that. In a mere second, it's over. Just. Like. That.
     Every feeling you felt before has been discarded like an annoyingly un-recyclable styrofoam burger box, and each one replaced by one much worse than before. A sick, sticky feeling takes over you. You deflate and collapse, the back of your eyes are stinging with tears of frustration which you blink away quickly with agitated pride. Your fists clench and you dig your nails into your palm. You bite your lip and hang your head. Your shoulders slump, defeated. Eventually, you turn around and walk away. If you've ever felt like this, you'll know what I mean. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Saucy's greatest fear: being turned away from a nightclub because you are underage.
        Is there anything more degrading in the world? It may possibly steam from my fear of mortification of any description. This is a whole other level though. There's no denying that walk of shame. All that effort, all those notions you had of being glamorous and trendy, dancing the night away with all these glamorous and trendy people. You just know it's like a Smirnoff ad in there*. And now what? Davitts**? I'd rather have terminal diarrhea, thanks. Sit outside the chipper sulking in a pit of self loathing? What about your friends? Psh. There seems to be an un-official code of 'every girl for herself'. Although you can't say much, you'd sell your nan to get into that club. Either way, you can understand my despair. 
       One night though, possibly after too many illicit blue WKD's, I decided I make my own luck. 'I am getting into this club no matter what'. I'd seen people chat their way in before, laughing jovially with the bouncers as they shove their cleavage in their faces before swanning past. I didn't really feel like profiting on the bouncers obvious dis-regard for state licencing laws in preference of some juvenile sexual assault charges. I wasn't cool enough to be jailbait. I'd find some other way in. I'd just staggered out of a pub, proud as punch. I saw gaining entry to this particular bar as the benchmark for how old I must be looking. In hindsight business was obviously very slow that weekend so an influx of over excited teens bursting with pocket money was clearly needed. Propelled on by some dutch courage and the laws of physics in my stilettos which were quickly gaining velocity, I strutted towards what were, at this late stage in the evening, the multiplying lights of my local nightclub. 'I.D?!?', I thought to myself. (At this stage I'm yelling drunkenly in my own head.) 'PUH-LEASE! As if a sexy little city slicker like myself needs I.D. I've just come from a BAR. Where they serve ALCOHOL. To PEOPLE. PEOPLE LIKE ME.' Tonight, I have armed myself with the do's and don'ts from past mistakes. I have my sensible 'I am a working girl' trench coat on, the standard issue for any desperate under-ager worth her salt. The big lapels of which are pulled up of course to conceal my ridiculous extensions and create the illusion of a 'I am leading a hectic over the age of 21 life' style bob. My cheeks are sucked inside my mouth, in the vacant area where wisdom teeth have yet to grow. This is to create the aged and chic expression, far too voguish for any baby faced 17 year old. I have my best bored expression stuck to my face to give the impression that I'm very blasé about this whole 'going-out' scene. I obviously had to be dragged out tonight by my less cool friends. The only reason I'm going out in this tiny Irish seaside town is in a completely ironic and hipster way. I'm even frowning for optimum wrinklage. I also have a handbag and a watch, alien items which I'm trying desperately to act natural with and not fiddle.
            200 yards to go. It's showtime, baby! Whoops. With that thought I let out a delighted and involuntary ''woot!''. Control. Shoulders BACK. Confident now, sophisticated. Step left right clicky click  heels left right frowny frown. Look directly at the bouncers. You, yeah you baldy. I'm comin' at ya. And you're gonna let me in. Not only are you gonna let me in, you're gonna let me in FOR FREE. No. Bit much. But I'M GONNA GET IN. Stop staring at bouncer so much. Look at shoes. Nice shoes. Back up. Flick out phone and oh so casually check the time. Fuck. YOU'RE WEARING A WATCH WOMAN! Never-mind. Utilize this moment to ensure phone is on silent to avoid embarrassing Chris Brown*** ringtone situation. Step left right fake flicky flick of hair. Not too much. You'll ruin your disguise. I can see the door! Shoulders back as far as they will possibly go. Fixate dramatic 'I am meeting someone poignant in here' look on face. Quicken the pace a tad and....YOU'RE IN! Don't act happy...DO NOT SMILE. Ohmygodohmygodohmygiddygoodygod. On foot forward and............
                 WHOOSH! My goodness they have big arms.
'I.D there love, please'
I look up at him in my best surprised, 'who, me?' face. Although he doesn't seem to have his arm pinned around anyone else.
His expression remains unchanged.
Alright then.
'Oh you musn't be serious...ah....' no name badge, feck.'I'm QUITE the regular!'
My voice comes out a hell of a lot higher than I imagined in sounding in my head. In fact my mouth seems to have run out of water and a few raspy swallows are required before I can properly string the words together. Man, it's bright in here. I squint up at him hopefully.
Emotionless and bored he instantly replies:
'No I.D, no entry.'
Well I'm not having that. I falter for an absolute split second before I remember a key element and jump back into operation age 11 months in the next 3 seconds. I might not have been telling a complete truth when I said I didn't exactly NEED I.D earlier on. In my ugly handbag, (old people have ugly bags) I begin to fish around for the agecard which is a friend of a friend of a friends. But she has brown hair too so I reckon we should be grand. I smile in what I hope is a sexy and sophisticated way, but from Mr. Bouncer's grimace I guess it was just watery and sideways. I flash him the I.D as quick as possible concealing most of it with my hand while striding forward mumbling ''yeahwellgreat ok sooo thanksyeahcyaaa!!!'' but he cuts in front of me with the skill and swiftness of a Russian ballerina. To my absolute horror he whips the I.D out of my hand and holds it up IN THE LIGHT.
'You're telling me this is you?'
The lie is almost laughable. He looks at me.
'I've am....lost some weight recently.'
And also had complete facial re-constructive surgery by the looks of it. This is preposterous. I mentally prepare myself for the inevitable shame.
The bouncers eyebrows arch in disbelief as he glances from me to the I.D and back again, and then frowns gormlessly.
'Hmmmm' he says
My mouth hangs open. Clearly this man is an absolute idiot. Anyone who could ever even momentarily entertain the idea that I could BE this picture of a random stranger is obviously a moron. I get so wrapped up in concentrating on how striking the resemblance between this man and a monkey is I barely catch the end of the next thing he says:
''mumble mumble mumble....your name on it''
Oh. Jesus.My eyes widen to what I imagine is the berth of my had. Oh holy sweet mother of Christ. Abort abort abort. In all my meticulous staring at the I.D, trying to fashion my hair in the same style, I forgot to address a very important detail.
        I have NO IDEA of not only the date of birth on the agecard, I don't even know the name. Ok Saucy calm now. Oh jesus he must be able to SEE me sweating. If not smell it. I wobble from side to side a little. Were these shoes always this unstable? You have to salvage this or you will never ever get in again. He knows your face. HE'S STILL LOOKING AT YOUR FACE. My stomach churns, I'm not really sure why. You're past the point of no return but your legs are instinctively itching for the door. He's big, but he's bulky. Could you outrun him? Maybe you could run away and start a new life, in a new town, where you are actually 56 but have a chronic disease that makes you look 16 at best.....YOU'RE TAKING WAY TOO LONG TO THINK! HE'S LOOKING AT YOU STILL. Recover.
I smile sweetly. It takes a second for the words to fall outta my mouth.
''Sssshorry, what?''
'I said.' He is not a patient man, that's for sure. 'Do you have anything ELSE with your NAME ON IT?'
Have you ever wet yourself when you were younger, after bursting for a wee for ages? And something warm spreads through you, but you still have this awful feeling you're in trouble? That's how I felt right there.
'Ooooh alrighty. Am well....BEAR WITH ME NOW! You see what happened was...I must just ring my friend. She am...funny story! hahahaha...I gave her my wallet. With my atm card, and library card.'
Not only have I never owned I library card, I don't even have a bank account at this ploint in time. So to make this story more authentic, I look at him in a 'imagine that! Crrraaazy me! A yo-yo dieter who entrusts friends with large amounts of cash and I.D on a whim.' After four attempts, I punch in my best friends number. She answers and it is quite obvious from the bass drilling from my phone that she is on the dancefloor several feet away.
'Hello Michelle darling....''
''BLAAAAAA MICHELLE! Michelle....Ahem. Michelle....could you pop out with my wallet there love hahaha yes yes I know, haha no no, not letting me in! Think I'm underage! hahaha yes imagine. Hahaha...''
I slam myself against a wall and slump there with my back to the bouncer.
'Michelle listen to me. I have no idea what the name or age on the agecard you gave me is....'
'Did ya loose it?'
'No....the bouncer has it'
'And where's he?'
'....beside me.'
'Michelle? hell....'
I sit there seething silently as I listen to Michelle not only get a good laugh out of the situation, but listen to her re-tell the story to all around her before they collectively gather whatever information they knew about the fraudulent identification. I eventually understand that my name is Sarah Welsh and my date of birth is the 12th of June 1985. 1985?! I couldn't even name a song from that year, never mind a person.
I turn back to face the bouncer. I can tell he and I have not hit it off.
''Well! It seems she's run off with my wallet! hahahahahaha''
I laugh, but he doesn't.
He sighs. He must be getting sick of this now, I know I am.
'FINE. What's your date of birth?'
''12th of June 1985''
He pauses. I doubt he believes me but I know I'm slowly tearing down his spirit.
'What's the year again there?''
'...1985' it sounds even more ridiculous the second time. I hesitated. Did he notice? I better seal the deal. I take a stab in the dark....
'I'm a Pisces!'
Just as I begin to panic and hope he's not an astrology fan, or worse, a Pisces, a voice interjects:
'Ah sorry there?'
Me and the bouncer whip around. It's a lad from town I know called Joe. I notice the recognition on the bouncers face. This dude knows people. My heart flutters and I actually release an audible yelp of hope. I hope no one noticed.
'Ah yeah. You know me, and this girl.... is older than I am'
Between me and the bouncer, I can't tell which of us is more shocked. Bouncer-ape scratches his head in confusion. YESSS!!! I look back at Joe, awestruck. He's casually leaning against the door of the club with his arms folded and he gives me a reassuring wink and I almost explode with delight. All he needs is a matchstick in his mouth and he'd look like Fonzie. The bouncer stares at Joe.
Joe nods. The bouncer falters. Oh my god.
I had never had feelings for Joe that went beyond the realms of friendship, but at this moment, as I painted a halo over his head I could see us having kids together. And I was but a child myself at this stage. THAT HAPPY.
'Right. Fine. You, once again, what's your date of birth?'
I reply at the speed of light.
Joe nods to confirm my ridiculously over the top age. The bouncer frowns, and finally, in the most beautiful movement I have ever seen, steps aside to let me pass!  
Oh my goodness. It's so beautiful. The holy grail of hormones and over-priced alco-pops. I stumble forward in a trance...already putting a twist on the story in my head to make me sound cool when I re-tell it to everyone inside. Ooh they're going to think I'm so....
'Hold on'
I turn around and face the bouncer, BEAMING.
The bouncer squints at me and then turns to Joe and says,
'What's her name?'
Oh no. Oh nooooo. The sweat drops from my neck to my tail bone so fast I feel like I've wet myself through my arse. Time slows down to an impossibly slow pace. I widen my eyes at Joe but he grins at me in what he probably thinks is a really reassuring, 'I got this' kinda way. I can feel everything crashing down around me. I feel dizzy. For a second I concentrate really really hard on Joe's face, desperately hoping that this will be the moment my telepathic powers kick in and I can somehow communicate with him that my name, is in fact, Sarah Welsh. Aka the name on my fake I.D. If I had managed telepathically communicate with Joe...he did a really really good job of acting as if nothing had happened.
Oh god. I look from the bouncer to Joe about 6 times anticipating what's going to happen next, and how I NEED TO STOP THIS. But my stilettos seem to be super-glued to the floor.
Joe opens his mouth, and drawls:
'Saucy, her name is Saucy Cow.'
For a blissful second nothing happens. Then unfortunately, a second later, everything seems to happen.
Time speeds up again and the bouncer catches me by the elbow and drags me outside, past a very confused looking Joe.
I stand back outside in my rightful place, where it is now raining as Monkey-Bouncer and two of his amigos who have appeared out of nowhere surround me. They stand there, arms folded like something out of The Sopranos, positively glaring at me in a, 'SO! You think you can withdraw our right to humiliate you and kick you out of a club eh? Well, WE'LL SHOW YOU HUMILIATION.''
Questions questions questions fired at me left right and centre.
'Do you know what you just tried to do was illegal?'
'We could have lost our licence....I could have lost my JOB....'
''s little brats like you who should be home studying for the leaving cert.....'
'......are you even OLD ENOUGH to sit the leaving cert?....'

Each statement feels like its smacking me across the face like a wet fish. I don't feel good. I can't focus on one answer. Oh god. I feel the shame and truth building up inside me. Wow, I really do feel terrible. No like, really terrible....which question should I answer? Oh god how will I get home. Ugh they're still yelling! The air tastes really stale out here...what if I....
I literally feel the answer exploding from inside me.... before a voice from SOMEWHERE screams:
My outburst felt like a liberating explosion. It wasn't until I opened my eyes to find myself bent over and remarking that someone had just been sick on Mr. Bouncers shoes that it hit home that it had been a literal the undeniable smell of Smirnoff ice wafted into the air and I tasted vomit from my own lips. I peered up at Bouncerzilla. Unimpressed was not the word.

As the door closed on the Garda car and my head lolled in shame and drunkeness onto my chest, the jolly rotund garda tried to reassure me that 'this happens all the time', and something about 'stories of your youth' and 'appreciate the days of being a teenager'. The small section of my brain that still operated sensibly recognised that he was right. I should be in no rush to grow up. And this will probably be a hilarious anecdote to share with trendy people in nightclubs at a later date. However, the other, more overpowering side of me was screaming: ''I cannot wait to be 18....''

The Saucy Cow

* Let me assure you I've since realised the nightclub in question is NOTHING like this.
** That place is still a hole
*** Well if I knew then what I knew now, having that ringtone would have been a HELL of a lot more embarrassing anyway.....


  1. Been a while since I laughed this hard at a blog post to be quite honest, I genuinely thought you'd have got away with Joe calling you Saucy Cow, unlucky ay? But if it's any consolation, I still get asked if my ID's my own, and I'm like "Yeah it's me! I've got like, 3 forms of ID in here you fucker!" x

  2. Aw thank you Paul! Fair play for reading it wasn't until I finished that I realised it's quite long. Yeah you think that's bad? Imagine the craic I have showing Welsh bouncers an Irish drivers licence.... they can never believe it's made of paper. Thanks for commenting! x

  3. I still get asked for ID, but I do look twelve whenever I shave. That post is quite hilarious. You should blog more so we can see if your 20 year-old self is as funny as the three years previous version!

  4. Thank's notRuairi :) Yeah I seriously need to cop on blogging wise. I have approx 3,456,789 drafts that I need to write properly and post. I can assure you my 20 year old self is just as catastrophic and embarrassing as the teenage version. It might seem funny to you but all this blog is, is cheap therapy. Thanks for the comment :)

  5. F*cking hilarious!!! was late for my lecture over this but totally worth it :)

  6. Hahaha.. that rang so many bells.. you definitely have got a way with words i was dying to find out the ending.. I'm going to bed with a smile on my face.. looking forward to the other '3,456,789 drafts' :) xxx

  7. legendary story reading dis hungover hahahaha xx


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