"This is the book of life I should have read before leaving university in London.
It's got it all.
Sex, sex tourism, drugs, alcohol, alcoholism, prostitution & suicide.
In my search for sex and sobriety I travel from London to Amsterdam; to San Francisco, California; to Bangkok & Pattaya in Thailand and to Manila, Angeles City & Subic Bay in the Philippines.
Don't end up a loser like me.
Read this book."
- Paul Pisces
Chapter 1 : Toilets & Knickers
I have my first drink when I am a rather inexperienced 16 year old. For the last thirteen years I have been living with my parents and two brothers in a village on the outskirts of Colchester and I have recently joined a local youth club in the town. At the club I find that once the evening disco starts, most of the lads mosey up East Hill to a pub called "The Sun" (which is alas no more) where the landlord has a reasonably flexible approach to the licensing laws and you can usually get a drink even if you are only knee high to a grasshopper.
As it is my first time in the boozer, I let a rather bolder, taller and more
experienced lad order first.
Then it is my turn.
"What'll you have?" asks the landlord.
"A half," I reply confidently.
"Yes but what of?"
"Beer," I suggest but with rather less confidence.
"Lager or bitter?" demands the landlord.
I order lager and hope no-one noticed my gaffe.
After this success I proceed to pints and even spirits in the weekly binges in Colchester's town centre. After a visit to the pub, the disco is a lot less daunting. I might even progress to asking a bird for a dance eventually, but let's not rush things.
In the lounge bar of 'The Sun' I am able to pick up all sorts of useful tips. For example, a very popular drink with many of the underage crowd is vodka and coke. I think it tastes pretty awful but apparently the alcohol in this drink is virtually undetectable if a police officer should just happen to make one of his unscheduled visits. At least this is what I am reliably informed. Is this the start of my slide to surreptitious drinking?
Vodka and coke quickly becomes my firm favourite as I sit quietly at a corner table of the lounge bar desperately hoping that an officer of the law won't appear to interrupt my furtive sipping and the religious practicing of ordering alcoholic beverages in a particularly deep sounding voice - God hasn't my voice broken yet? I'm sixteen for Christ's sake. Perhaps it has - it's all the not knowing that's so worrying.
I continue studying A-level Biology, Chemistry and Geology at Colchester Royal Grammar School (which at this time is depressingly an all-boys school) with at least a modicum of success. The incredibly good news this year is that I become one of the three part-time Biology lab stewards (thanks to good old Roger Beatty - my biology teacher) and with the money I receive from Colchester Council for tending the school boa constrictor and other creatures of rather less distinction, I purchase a second-hand yellow Yamaha FS1E 50cc moped (known ubiquitously as a FIZZY). This allows me to attain a serious amount of independence from my parents, despite their judgement that I will probably kill myself. I nearly do. Several times.
However, now suitably endowed with a not entirely insubstantial method of propulsion, I am in a position to capitalise upon my new found, alcohol inspired confidence and my rather abnormal sense of humour. I've always thought I was slightly abnormal ever since I was eight and used to fantasise about tying up mature young ladies ( a contradiction in terms that I concede) in order to subject them to encounters with spiders and the like. But there again, men are basically peculiar beasts and a male human with a vivid imagination can be a very peculiar being indeed.
Deep thoughts of any substance have not really surfaced in my confused psyche at this point but I am fascinated by all things scientific and anything to do with toilets and knickers.
Going up the boozer of a Thursday night is still an interesting experience and some of the blokes I know have even managed to pull birds (with tits). I, unfortunately, remain an ornithologist; watching tits in great detail but not actually handling any.
But joy of joys, after many unsuccessful forays into the disco dancing throng, once the slow dances have started, with a polite "Excuse me would you like to dance?", I eventually begin getting the occasional acceptance.
Since that time I have learned of some rather more unusual opening gambits. One of my favourites is "Can I kiss your pussy?". Or for the really dangerously ambitious "Do you take it up the arse, darling?". However, for those interested, the most reliable opening gambit is thought to be "Can I buy you a large drink?" After a lot to drink there is a temptation to use the rather less successful "Would you like to buy me a large drink, love?" but this approach should generally be avoided.
Once on the dance floor with the girl, preferably vertical in the early stages, the idea is to maneuver the hands toward the buttock area and you can monitor your potential by how far towards the buttocks the hands are allowed. I always favour the right hand lead nestling in the small of the back followed by the unobtrusive buttock stroke to gauge the resistance of the opposing forces. Needless to say a double handed buttock clench is a dead cert.
The problem arising at this stage is that of nonchalant, confident conversation with a member of the opposite sex without getting a hard-on. After several not very substantial conversations on what flavour gum the girl is chewing, I decide to do some homework.
In many respects I am lucky because I go to Colchester Royal Grammar School, which is one of Colchester's best schools and I have got a good grounding in the art of study.
This means that when I decide I need to study the art of conversation, I am
familiar with the process of how to go about it and I am confident that I
will succeed, eventually, in gaining a reasonable understanding of what is
Learning anything is a process. It can be defined in a nutshell as follows:
1) Decide what you need to know.
2) Read and study the available resources.
3) Formulate your hypotheses.
4) Test your hypotheses in the real world.
I happen upon a pretty old text (even at this time) called "How To Win Friends And Influence People" by Dale Carnegie. I think it was written in the fifties for budding sales executives but there is some useful stuff in it. The most memorable is his assertion that conversation often works best if you talk about or show interest in the other persons interests or problems. Simple really but it works. This isn't necessarily a recipe for smooth-talking or conning people (it can be) but if you are genuinely interested in someone then you should show it in your conversation.
One thing I discover from using this technique is that some of the girls I am physically attracted to, I am not compatible with emotionally or intellectually. Relationships based purely on physical attraction are normally doomed to be short-lived.
My school years are a success of sorts. I end up with three 'A' levels in
Biology, Chemistry and Geology.
My school report contains the following:
"Both in written work and orally is inclined to be superficial at times."
"The level of his comments in class is still very superficial."
"Excellent. Considerable promise for the future. Well done."
(Good old Roger Beatty!)
"Progressing well though hardly to Oxbridge standard."
University beckons. Well, it beats working, especially when you don't know what you want to do. Oxbridge is out (see comment above). Veterinary school is out, so is medicine (results not good enough). Research in biochemistry could be fun. You know; DNA, the double helix, Watson & Crick. Go for it.
Back to Home Page