Thursday night, and to my High School class reunion at the Scout Hut in Bromley. Walter With The Big Nostrils, from geography class (who I will now refer to as WWTBN to reduce word count), organised the whole thing. He was relentless with his electronic reminders. It was like being stalked by an aardvark with access to email. When I got there it was packed with people. It was a huge relief. My biggest fear was that only WWTBN, me, and a plate of cheese balls would show up.
The first person I clapped eyes on was Ursula Bannon. All the guys in school used to be driven insane by Ursula’s breasts. Even back then they were the size of melons. How ironic that the only person she seemed to be remotely sexually interested in, was me. This was obviously a horrible waste of tropical fruit. She used to giggle French phrases when we passed in the corridor because I’m called Jean-Paul and she assumed I was from Marseille. We didn’t actually get to speak but I could see her enormous breasts still had the ability to pull a decent crowd.
Jason and Carl, from metalwork class, were there. We reminisced fondly over rum punch about the time Jason welded the class door shut. We were trapped inside for two hours. Carl got hysterical and had to suck oxygen from a paper bag to remain concious. Mercifully Jason is no longer welding and is now a librarian. Though he does still have a wonky eye which probably causes mayhem in the indexing Department. Carl is a very enthusiastic car mechanic. What he doesn’t know about cleaning out a carburettor is nobody’s business. Apparently his record for jacking up cars on his garage forecourt singled-handedly in one day currently stands at 16. It was terrific to see them both but if I’m honest the person I wanted to meet again more than anyone else was, Herbie Dunk. You couldn’t help but become best friends with a guy with a name like that.
Herbie loved the antics I got up to. There’s an old metaphor about loading a gun and somebody else firing it. Well that’s what Herbie did. He routinely pulled back the trigger and I happily unloaded the barrel. Then afterwards Herbie would always yell out to anyone who would listen, “You’ll never guess what Jean-Paul has just gone and done!” or “Wait until you hear what Jean-Paul just said to so and so!” It was like having my own personal fog horn.
Anyway Herbie burst into the hut and made a beeline straight for me. I hardly recognised him. He is now a completely bald dentist from Brighton. He does have terrific teeth. The moment I told him I was getting married he got incredibly excited. He just couldn’t stop himself loading that gun straight off.
“No shit! No shit!” he said hopping about, “Hey everybody,” he started to yell loudly, “guess what Jean-Paul just told me.” People stopped talking and looked at Herbie, and then they looked at me. It must have seemed just like old times. “Jean-Paul’s finally getting married! How terrific is that?!” He slapped his brow and then he slapped my back. “So,” he winked, “tell us, who the hell’s the lucky lady?”
I cocked my metaphoric pistol. Then I fired it point blank. When I told everyone it was a giant hairy chef from Malaga it was quite the conversation stopper I can tell you.
Let’s just say Tommy Fisher, who I used to get changed next to in Gym, looked pretty startled.