If a classmate collapses drunk in a pub and is promptly expelled from school seemingly overnight and you never, ever see them again, did it really happen?
Not that it was a school for scandal, but you used to hear about all these awful things happening to people sort of second hand. Whether I walked around in a haze or not is open to debate, but I remember hearing all sorts of things which were never confirmed one way or another, though I'm sure were true.
Two girls got up the duff, one a nice, quiet girl who was going out with some geek and who kept themselves to themselves. Now we now what they were doing with their time.
The other girl was a bad girl with a reputation and a horrible boyfriend who I was scared of. Both those babies were girls - the bad girl called hers Donna Siobhan - and would be over 30 now. Gosh.
Then there was the guy who collapsed in the pub. He was a hoot in my history class. (He loved this song too, which always reminds me of history lessons as we were allowed to discuss what it meant, what with it being about the war and everything). At that age (15) I'd never set foot in a pub as a drinker. In fact, I don't think I'd ever even had a drink. I was certainly shocked to the core to hear he had a drink problem and that he was expelled immediately. Makes you wonder just what was going on at home.
Let me be clear - I was no angelf myself, but I was more Tucker Jenkins than Gripper Stebson. I had the cane and the slipper endlessly, but for silly things like flooding toilets or being mean to Ian Pearce (which I regret to this day). But I didn't run with a fast crowd, more's the pity.
Then there was the school heartthrob, a couple of years above me, who one evening was apparently killed in a motorbike crash, witnessed by a girl in a our class who was his girlfriend. I remember hearing how his ear was completely scraped off as the skidded headfirst into a lampost. I don't remember seeing it in the paper or anything, but it definitely happened.
And what about the the girl who was robbing the till at the tea room where she worked? That one was in the local rag, as was the older boy up the road who got into a fight in a pub.
Let's not forget either, the kid from my maths class whose mother was felled by a rogue garage door and was asphyxiated by exhaust fumes (see entries passim), or the father of a boy in my year I didn't care for who was killed by a runaway horsebox on a deserted country lane.
Growing up where I did which, scary big boys at the rec aside, was a rather gentle place to be, I was surprised by these events but remained curiously unaffected by them. Perhaps because if I thought about it too much something awful might happen to me. Or pehaps it was in one ear and out the other. Or perhaps I'm just a psychopath.