Back when I was a teenage I’m pretty sure teenage rebellion was something to aspire to. Before the youth of today got all emo on our arses and started taking guns to school and/or listening to fucking Sandi Thorn and reading whatever shiteful shit is in Peaches motherfucking Geldof’s new magazine we used to be cool. I’d swear to it.
At least the rebellion bit used to be cool, though I’m sure it will stun and amaze you to learn I wasn’t very good at it. I wallpapered my room with a mish-mash of cringingly pretentious “literary quotes” and song lyrics, which my mother cunningly praised as “lovely and creative” (well played, madam). I listened to music at high volume as I sulked on my bed, prompting at last some urging from dear Mum to open the door so she could hear it better. Arguably my fault for choosing Belle and Sebastian as the soundtrack of my revolution but STILL.
Fortune did start to favour me somewhere in my later high school years when the police turned up at some random party to shut it down. Easily the closest I had ever come to a brush with the law in my 16 years. I forget why they were there or what we’d done wrong exactly but they herded us outside the house, where we milled about awkwardly. My friend Alley Cat and I made ourselves comfortable on a nearby kerb - too nervous and mildly squiffy to call our parents, too poor to consider a taxi. While we sat there, our bags filled with at least, gosh, two (mid-strength?) beers apiece a loitering cop came up to speak to us.
“You girls need a lift home?” he asked.
This, though it may not sound like it, was one of those questions I would later replay to relive that little prickle of pleasure (as in much later years it would be “do you want to stay over” or a few other things I won’t mention here).
My grin, as I clambered into the back of the paddy wagon, my heart only slightly panicked by the unmistakable sound of the beer cans banging together in my bag, was not the thrill of a child getting to ride in a cop car – it was the delight of a moody teenage getting to rock up at home with sirens (I hoped) blazing.
It was then, of course, I remembered I was staying at Alley Cat’s house but still, I reasoned, surely her parents’ concern was as good as my own. So I resolved to enjoy it. The ride is, these days, a blur, but I distinclty remember the arrival: pulling into the quiet Dalkeith street, clambering awkwardly out of the paddy wagon and thanking the (admittedly pretty damn decent) cops and heading in to face a barrage of questions. Except not quite so much.
The flaw to the plan? Well the cops had broken up the party pretty early and so it happened that while WE were home before midnight Alley’s parents were not. The cheeky sods were still out. Alley and I sat up eating chocolate for a bit and then went to bed. We didn’t hear them when they came in.