Friday, 14 October 2011

She wasn't even doing her homework!

So did you see the Inbetweeners movie? Of course you did. Everyone did. It says so on the internet, in numbers. I saw it, and I liked it. It's one of the funniest thing I've seen this year - and I've seen Drive! (They could put that on the posters - "Funnier than Drive! But not as gut wrenchingly violent.")

Unusually for a big screen adaptation of a British sitcom, it truly resembles its progenitor. It's heroically inventive in the foul mouthed debauchery of its characters, terrifyingly accurate in its depiction of male adolescence and - occasionaly - surprisingly touching.

The film offers its various protagonists - four young men with little understanding of the opposite sex - a shot at happiness; having them each encounter a girl who actually likes them and seem to understand what makes them tick. Of course, as is the nature of the show (and sitcom in general), each does their very best to make a pig's ear of it by becoming either possessive, sulky, ignorant or chronically incapable of just enjoying the good thing he has in front of him.

Now, I'm not trying to say any of this resonated with me. Anyone who knows me will be aware that sulking furiously and acting like a jerk are things I would never, ever do. I've certainly never started pointless arguments with people about imagined acts of betrayal, kicked a stool to pieces rather than have a sensible discussion, or imagined punching that dick Terry in the face repeatedly for pretending to be your friend when he clearly fancied you even though he knew you were my girlfriend. The gaylord.

But it must be said, there are moments in my life that I look back upon and go 'Ooooh..!' Not 'Oooh!' like you're watching some lovely fireworks or an amusing kitten, but 'Ooooh!' like you're watching a 'Funny home videos' programme and some child has just fallen off a chair and smacked its head into the fireplace. Bad 'Ooooh...!'

The 'Ooooh..!' moment that wandered pointlessly back into my head recently was an argument I had with a girlfriend when I was, indeed, a teenager. I wanted her to come over to my house, as was my boyfriendly right, so I could pray to Jesus/molest her. She said she couldn't, because she was doing her homework. We were doing our A-Levels at the time, and she had some kind of Home Economics rubbish to research. I graciously allowed her to do this, and at no point did I secretly call her a whore.

Anyhow, it turns out she was a whore, because - as I discovered later - she wasn't doing her homework at all! No. She was swimming! She'd gone swimming, with her family, in some water, using her arms and her legs. Arms and legs that I, by rights, should be stroking/nibbling/writing my name on in indelible ink. Property of Rob Reed. Get off. Unless you are some kind of cool, time-travelling future Rob, come back from 2011 to revisit the firm young flesh of his youth. Then you can have a go. But otherwise, no. Begone.

How I imagined my time-travelling future self might look.

(No copyright infringement intended. If you made this,
 frankly awesome, picture, please get in touch.)

Where was I? Oh yes, that's right. Furious. When I found out about this water based betrayal, I had a real old go at her. "You went swimming!" I screamed in fury, as if I was Charlton Heston, gazing at the shattered head of the Statue of Liberty and realising it had lied to me about its homework. "Swimming!"

Well, did she understand why I was cross? Did she hell. hadn't a clue. I may as well have been talking complete nonsense.

"You weren't even doing your homework!" I raged, angrier than anyone had ever been. She stared at me like some kind of idiot goldfish, totally unaware of the seriousness of her crimes. And then, still like a goldfish only much, much sadder, she started to cry. The weapon of woman! Tears in the face of irrefutable logic.

This went on for some time, until she mournfully accepted that whatever she had done, it was wrong, and I was unhappy. What could she do to make things better? Nothing, obviously. I was in a bad mood, and no longer sure why, and no way was I giving up now. I resolved to sulk myself into a black, swirling maelstrom of bitter unreason, only surfacing a few days later when I felt inexplicably better and demanded that we forget about the whole thing.

She got married to some Irish guy and went off to work in a bakery, having managed to fail every single one of her A-Levels. Upon hearing of her academic failure, my mother expressed surprise. "But you spent all that time revising in your room together," she said. She was either very naive, or possessed of a very, very dry wit.