They said we wouldn’t make it. There were times when I thought so too. Three men, more hens than a Chicken Cottage warehouse, a broken boiler and the hard streets of Newcastle. Essentially the odds were against us. And they were odds. Some of them in fancy dress – using ridiculous head garb and name badges to make them seem harmless. Silly even. In fact, they were vicious. The kind of people you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. Actually that’s not true. They’d probably get on with my worst enemy. Instead I’d wish them on my worst enemy then bombs on all of them. Big bombs. Bombs made of bad things. Like gone off biscuits and toenails. Yeah I’m mean, but sitting here in this war (craft) ravaged Internet cafe, I realise that being mean was the only was through. And when I say mean I don’t mean mean like Greenwich Meantime or mean like meaning mean. I mean mean. Mean like telling someone they can finish your bag of crisps and when they take the packet there’s no crisps inside. That kind of mean.
After Friday’s onslaught of stags, yesterday was tough. We had all survived one night, but we knew the war wasn’t over. In fact the battle was yet to begin. A battle of wits, and sanity, and Roundtrees Fruit Pastille lollies. Our base had been hit bad. A broken boiler meant the water situation was bad. Temperatures known only to ice man, the ice queen and Johnny Icey Ice Face were firing out of the shower like shards of, er, ice. None of us could take it at first, having not recuperated from previous battle. As the day wore on though, the stench of air was overwhelming. Then we realised it wasn’t the air, but more the odour of three men watching Harry Potter, all hungover and not having washed. So Sgt Keith went first. He was brave but myself and Cole heard sounds coming from the bathroom that day that I hope I never hear again. Sounds of a man truly in pain. A man who has felt cold, and then got colder. He reappeared some minutes later, having only managed to wash half of his body before it got too much. He was brave, but not brave enough. Then I stepped up. I’d dealt with these situations before. The beach in Bournemouth on a not very sunny day, I’d had one of those showers there. Once in France, the same. I knew what I was about to undertake.
I’m not saying it wasn’t bad. In fact I’m saying it was bad. It was really bad. I got brainfreeze from washing my hair. Bad bad bad and not in the way funky people say bad and actually mean good. But as I emerged, a clean and shivering man, I knew this was another hurdle of the weekend, that would eventually lead to my becoming a true soldier. Or at least, slightly less of a big wuss. Unlike Cole who didn’t wash and stayed smelly. The afternoon passed by. A stroll round the surroundings proved futile. There was little in the area of any interest, the whole city appearing much like it had suffered during the war. The war of dullness and nothing to do. Some emos by the old city walls were sitting around waiting to die, hoping that if they stayed in the sunshine they might just melt. They scattered as Keith and I walked past. Afraid of two, seemingly smiley people. Our rations were slim. One half eaten Naan bread in the broken fridge. One melted lolly in the freezer of paradoxes. Its front had completely frozen over, and yet Cole’s lolly had melted in it. We wondered if a rift had been opened around the kitchen area. This would also explain the ectoplasm like dirt on the floor and the small face I made out of pizza crusts. So Cole took the initiative and bought more Fruit Pastille lollies while Keith and I gathered tea and milk. It was tough, but combining them we had, er, fruit pastille lollies and cups of tea.
Time passed. We whiled away the hours watching a poor Marilyn Monroe film and further Harry Potter while Cole shouted ‘Get Your C*nt Out’ at the TV. This was funny at first, but when Harry Potter was on, it just seemed a tad inappropriate. Then after a while, it seemed funny again. Eventually after what seemed like eternity, we had to re-enter the battle field. We’d seen what can happen. The staff had watched many of our comrades fall before, but we’d already stood up to the challenge and not fallen over again on the previous night. I spent 30 minutes seeing how quickly I could say the phrase ‘dickbag’ knowing it would come in use. Soon I was saying it so quickly anyone hit by the phrase wouldn’t have known what they’d been called until it was too late. Well actually they would have just thought I’d said ‘drrrbg’ which isn’t really all that effective, so I slowed it down again.
Then the gig, rather oddly, was really quite nice. There were 7 hen dos in, but they were all lovely. We did the gig, actually enjoyed it a bit and all left feeling like something was missing. Until we realised what was missing was the dickheads and it was bloody lovely they weren’t there. That was it. I’d earned my Hyena stripes without too much of a struggle. So to make up for that, we walked into town to get further sustenance. Newcastle on a Saturday night looks as though someone has carpet blitzed slag bombs all over the place. Its a bad place. Keeping our eyes down low in case one of the indigenous peoples questioned ‘wha ya lookin’ aat?’ we zig zagged through hordes of overweight women who had crammed so much body flesh into such small skirts, it looked like it was trying to physically escape the rest of the bodies via the armpits and breastal region. It was one of the worst sites we’d seen, but these things happen in a warzone. Men, driven crazy by the events, were shouting at each other for seemingly no reason. All dressed in combat gear of disgustingly designed shirts, spiky hair and tight jeans, it was reminiscent of ‘Nam. If ‘Nam had been in a colder, shittier place, and full of arseholes.
One curry later we were back at the flat knowing that our work in this place was done. I wouldn’t have got through it without my comrades, both of whom are now sadly no longer with us. That’s because the fuckers have gone home. As for me, I have just a few more hours in this hell hole, before I can snake away unnoticed and head to Darlington where they have warm showers and people who wear clothes. With any luck I will be able to write tomorrow a rested and happier soldier. God forbid I am attacked before I can get out of here. I have been practising my Geordie accent should anything kick off. Its all going to be ‘alreeet’.