This weekend I found myself curled up under my duvet nursing the hangover from hell. Armed with a rather large mug of tea and a much needed bacon sandwich, courtesy of my good ol’ Mum, I managed to crawl out of bed and painstakingly pick a box set to sit and watch whilst I felt sorry for myself.
Alas, The Inbetweeners saved the day!
In particular, the THORPE PARK episode sprung to mind as it whisked me back a few years when I went with a group of friends: A rite of passage in any Sixth Former’s educational career.
It was mid May 2005 just before our A-Level final exams, and my BFFs and I had decided to skip school and take a much needed day-out filled with adrenaline and screaming like school girls. Now I can only speak for myself with regards to the screaming, although I would just like to add that I wasn’t the only one to wail at the top of my lungs as we queued for Tidal Wave.
Thankfully, my friends and I were far from the social misfits that are Neil, Simon, Jay and Will. And I must stress that there was no incident with a wasp in a costume. Nor was there any breach of the political correctness code and what’s more, my car door definitely did not fall off.
All started well, although in hindsight, meeting at a destination only a two minute walk from school on a Wednesday morning at 8.30 was probably not the smartest idea. We definitely could have been a bit savvier there.
Twenty minutes into our trip and we had managed to get lost on the M20, diverted because of an accident. The drive seemed to be never ending, especially when a certain someone made it his duty to frequent every service station upon our journey.
We arrived eventually, and in relatively good time. The park was bustling with a hubbub of fellow truants, tourists and teachers (thankfully not our own) escorting other school children. That being said, the park was relatively quiet in terms of queue time and the thrill of running onto a ride, coming off and running around again for another go with barely enough time to catch your breath and stop giggling was intoxicating.
So there we were, four seemingly mature adolescents living the teenage dream. We had ditched school and laughed at the prospect of our peers having to sit in silence and do cram revision ahead of the impending examinations.
Being a hay fever sufferer and not taking my daily dose of antihistamine was slightly stupid as my eyes bloated to tennis balls, and a sneezing fit caused me to project my chewing gum across the queue and land on the hat of a small child… we decided to miss Loggers Leap until later in the day.
The excursion was everything we wanted and more, filled with mischief and mayhem and one that I always look back on with fond memories. I should point out that skipping school during very important exams is not something I condone but that day at THORPE PARK was probably the last time we had a carefree day before we each went our separate ways into adult life; I embarked on an academic pilgrimage to uni, and the others got jobs and went to college etc. I may not see my friends as much anymore, and throwing a sickie to go off gallivanting to a theme park is out of the question now that I’m a career boy.
So with this in mind, I decided to do the next best thing and I got a job that paid me to do just that.