Curse of the Ninja

Was reminded of this childhood memory by Melanie, after my previous post regarding childhood lies!

When I was in primary school, like most kids my age – I used to love The Power Rangers. The kicking, the punching, the flipping, the monsters, and the explosions…I mean, the whole package appealed really. So it wasn’t a rare sight to see me, and a couple of friends acting out crazy fight scenes in our school break times! We’d be jumping out of trees, doing killer rolls…the whole works…basically just battling evil wherever we found it…

And we didn’t skimp on any of the realism…oh no…we’d be using elaborate formations, working together to beat these savage creatures which had every intention of taking over the world. We’d jump in, one by one; “HIIII-YAHH! HUHH! PAAAH! KAPOWWW!” 

Power Rangers Boss GIF

It often took a few hits, especially if our foe was one of the big bosses – but we always, always triumphed…I mean, we’re The Power Rangers, we’re only ever going to win – that’s kinda the whole deal.

But one of these bouts stands out…you see, one of them was very, very different…

Which is odd, because it started out very much the same; we fought over who gets to be who, and then fought again over who gets which stick…just the same as every other time – but after these usual formalities, we were able to continue with our normal crime-fighting ways as per! …but this truce wasn’t to last – and before we knew it we found ourselves  arguing over something else…something which hadn’t ever been an issue before…

“YOU JUST SAID A SWEAR WORD!!!” protested one of my so called Power Ranger colleagues – wagging an accusing finger in my general direction.

“No…no, I didn’t!” I argued, unsure of what he was referring to. I assumed he had misheard one of my amazingly realistic “SHIPOWWWW!” sound effects as something more menacing. So I pleaded my case, I was innocent GODDDAMITTT!

Power Rangers Oh No GIF

“NO. NO. NO. I’M TELLING.” He smirked out the side of his mouth…the grin sent my blood boiling – did he really think I had swore, or was he just trying to fuck with me? I wasn’t sure…but for once, I hadn’t actually done a thing! So I tried to grab him, I had to keep him from spreading his lies – his arm alluded my clutches, and I found myself pulling desperately on his empty jumper sleeve…but with one big yank, he was free – albeit with a stretched bit of material that was now twice the length…

“YOU FUCKING BACK-STABBING PIECE OF SHIT!” I screamed after him, as he ran towards the classroom. Well obviously I didn’t really say that; I was eight or nine – so it was more likely I said “GET LOST, YOU BUM HEAD!” Which roughly translates to the same thing.

I ran away in the opposite direction, hoping that this would somehow make all of my problems go away – or at the very least bide me some time. It didn’t work. Before long I found myself in front of my teacher Mrs. Mc.Dermott…she was usually so friendly; she always appreciated my artwork – even the ones using paint which I constantly messed up. But she wasn’t friendly now, after all he had whispered his bullshit into her ear – and she had believed him.

He was sent away, and the interrogation began. Why had I said it?! What had driven me to use such horrible language?! Where had I learned it?! I tried to explain, tried to sputter out my defense – but she wasn’t buying it. So it was a stalemate. I didn’t know what to do…and hunger pains began to pulse through my body…urgh, now I come to think of it – I was STARVING…

“LISTEN, JOHN! You either own up, and apologise – and then go for your lunch. Or we just sit here. Your choice.” 

 Well obviously I admitted to it. It was like the carrot, and stick – except it wasn’t a carrot on the end of it…it was a lovely chocolate doughnut, apple juice, and whatever other goodies I had waiting for me in my bag. I’d probably do the same thing now, food trumps just about anything…for me anyways! 

You see I needed my energy. I’d be playing Power Rangers again in the afternoon break – and there was a new enemy I’d need every bit of strength to take down…“HIIIIII-YAHHHH!”

Power Rangers Beat GIF

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The Close Shave

I was reading an amusing post from my main man Geraint Isitt, and it reminded me of an old childhood memory. Funny how that can happen! Just one little detail can swerve your brain into a strange direction, causing all kinds of things to come back into context, right to the forefront of your thoughts! Hmm, weird! Anyway here’s the story I was reminded of…

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It is only in the past couple of years that I have been able to grow any real facial hair. Phew….I feel better now that is out there! But therein is the issue! Now that I’m able to possess it (should I want to look like a lumberjack), I hate it! The shaving process itself is just horrific…if I don’t shave I look homeless, and not like your happy go lucky tramp, who plays his banjo and rides the rails ~ no-no-no, I have the misfortune of possessing the scary/vaguely psychotic look. So shaving it is, done deal! Ahh, no you see – because when I do my skin flares up in a very unflattering way…in fact a slice of corned beef has a more healthy looking complexion.

Witches GIF

Strange then, that before all of that I wanted nothing more than to shave…perhaps I thought it was a manly occupation – I felt dis-empowered that some grandmothers had ten times more facial hair than I did. What was wrong with me? Well nothing…but I felt this way even when I was a young child. I remember staring up at my Father’s razor…its solid steel handle, its sharp layered blades – and the embossed writing on the side that always had words with loads of extra Xs…just to make it even more cool. Wowif only…if only…one day…one day…

Well it was a blessed day when I spotted some hair – right above my lip, it wasn’t much – (you had to press close up to the mirror just to spot it) but it was there. I raced to show my Mother, who pretended she couldn’t see it, she claimed it was all in my head…I was eight I wasn’t blind or stupid – IT WAS THERE, I WAS NOW A MAN – NOTHING COULD STOP ME!

That afternoon I had nothing but that razor on my mind…it was taunting me, daring me to give it a go – it took no time at all for me to find myself in the bathroom, right there at the sink – steel blade in hand. I wasn’t really sure what to do, in this light the hair was invisible – maybe I had imagined it? Not good to think that way, negative thinking – so I went ahead and squirted some whipped cream stuff on my hand, squirted too much…smells weird, tastes weird, eww…like minty chemicals…okay, so then I began to cover my face in it, till I looked like some kind of French fancy dessert.

I then jabbed randomly, and sporadically with the razor…YOWWWWW!!!!

Shave Home Alone GIF

That hurt. I had just sliced a rather huge gash in the side of my face, blood was now gushing out, it was mixing with the shaving cream to make a pinky coloured sludge that clumped to my face, and slopped down to the bathroom floor. This was a mess, this was a nightmare.

“TEA TIME! TEA’S READY!” That was my  Mother calling – I heard the usual Jumanji styled rush of bodies piling down the stairs, “I’M COMING…I JUST…I”M COMING!” I managed to squawk out weakly…

I splashed frenetically at my face, used a lot of toilet paper for the clean up – that way I could flush away all of the evidence…but it was using too much, they would suspect me, they would know somehow! So I looked around for a dark towel, there wasn’t one…ahhh…errr…“JOHN, TEA!” that was my Father this time…I shouted back that I knew, I was just on the toilet – no answer, that’s always a good one, they can’t say anything if you are having a poo – it’s just not allowed.

I continued to scrub all the surfaces, and mop up all of the mess, but my face was still oozing with blood, and new drips were being formed every second – I almost cried, but held it together…after it had stopped, I gave one last wipe over, before tossing the used and blooded towel straight in the washing basket. Done, what a relief.

Patrick Britney GIF

URGHHH! The reflection in the mirror was a shock – I hadn’t realised just how ginormous the slash in my face was. “JOHN, GET DOWN HERE NOW – THIS IS RIDICULOUS, IT’S CLAY COLD NOW!” That was the last straw, I knew that – when that phrase is dropped you are out of lives. So I plodded down the stairs…trying to scan what was left in my tired, overworked brain for a valid excuse. Nothing.

I sat myself down in silence, and began to eat my food with my head down. Someone asked what was on my face…how had I scratched it so deeply, what had happened? I paused, quivering with fear…my hands shook, and tears were filling up in my eyes…

“I…I…tripped…I tripped and hit my face on…the sink…”

There was a pause…a long one…this was it….grounded for forever, no pocket money for the rest of time…

“Awww…you should be more careful – now eat your dinner.” replied my Mother, barely glancing –

And that was it. Everyone else was more interested in their ice cream. I was lucky – usually there would be a deep and unrelenting inquiry – but not this day…not on ice cream day.

Still…I think to this day, it’s probably the most exhilarating shave I have ever had – weird, I haven’t ever seen that experience documented on a Gillette advertisement…

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