When we last left our hero he was hiding out in the Mediterranean sea trying to keep his virtue in tact from the teenage Sabrinas who were making smiley eyes at him.
For those of you either too old or too young, this is Sabrina:
With the divine intervention of the holy spirit (we were the only 3 teenagers sitting in Mass in Calvi that summer) I was spared the ravishing and made it back to Paris in one piece.
Following a trip around the ‘cultural highlights’ of Paris we retraced our steps back to the ferry and after another night sleeping on a sticky disco dance floor carpet we got off the ferry – In Rosslare. 123 miles from home.
A slight miscalculation.
Thankfully Tom’s dad turned up in the family car
and took us home.
On this ride home I had one of only about 3 moments of complete clarity in my whole life. I realised that it didn’t really matter what I did in University and that I would just roll with the waves and take what live gave me.
So now I am a Civil Engineer.
Marry in haste, repent at leisure I think is how the old saying goes.
After a fairly quiet September I enrolled in University College Cork in October for a 4 year degree in Engineering. Back then, like now, engineering wasn’t the most popular choice in university. The joke in the library toilets was an arrow pointing down at the toilet roll dispenser with the words:
Civil Engineering Degrees – please take one
scribbled over the arrow.
So I turned up on the first day for freshers. I was full of Mediterranean dreaminess with the last of my tan still hanging on, long hair and wearing my star sign around my neck like a born again hippy.
Everybody else was wearing acrylic pattern jumpers, dingos jeans and black shoes and was borderline aspergers. And that was just the girls.
the only up-side to the whole sorry sight was the comfort that through a simple regime of deodorant and teeth brushing I would be in a different league and might actually have a chance of leaving University not a virgin.
And so began my transition into adulthood. It’s still under way – physically at least. I’ve long ago given up on the maturity bit. You are born a certain age. Everybody has a friend that was born 55 or 65. Me? I was born 14. Any other age just doesn’t suit me – like a suit for work – to be tolerated rather than enjoyed.
The best thing about university as opposed to secondary school was that it was a meritocracy based on intelligence rather than physical size. Boys’ secondary school in the 1980’s in Ireland was not the sort of place where you wanted to flex you intelligence when you didn’t have the muscle to back it up.
Once I got over this revelation I was able to get on with the main activities in University. Abusing my liver with pints and pints of cheap/subsidised black stuff and trying to find a girl who would take my virginity off my
Back then, in olden days, you could get 3 pints of Guinness and a bag of chips for £5.00, then cycle home all ready for college the next day.
All to the backing track of the hothouse flowers and the Waterboys.