Wednesday, 14 November 2012

“The rate at which a person can mature is directly proportional to the embarrassment he can tolerate.”

...said by Douglas Engelbart, most notable for the fact that I've never heard of him - oh, and he co-invented the computer mouse.

I have plainly matured at a very slow rate.

SO...

After yesterday's revelation about believing, for years and years, something silly my father told me when I was very young (scarred for life, me!) - it brought to mind an incident that DID actually, in its way, have a huge impact on my life.

I had to check the date...1968...so I was 13 years old. 13 years old and as innocent and naïve as they come.

At school...Northampton High School For Girls...yes, an all-girls school.

Here's a picture of one of the buildings:

44 Derngate
In class, we were playing some sort of quiz game like Twenty Questions, where the answer had to be the title of a pop song.

The song that I chose was...I shudder to mention, even now...a reggae number, popular at the time called...gulp...  

Wet Dreams by Max Romeo...


...which I thought had a lovely, lively beat.

I DID NOT KNOW WHAT THE LYRICS REFERRED TO.

This is what happened. All my classmates sniggered and talked behind their hands and I didn't know why. The teacher was furious and thought I'd chosen the song on purpose to cause a stir.

(Actually, at first I think my classmates thought I had too and were full of admiration, until they realised I didn't know anything about nocturnal emissions...)

Incidentally, the song was subsequently banned by the BBC.

See that rock? It's the one I wanted to crawl under.


Or, alternatively, I hoped the ground would open up and swallow me.

It didn't.

SO - after that, I took the decision, subconsciously or otherwise, that I would NEVER put myself in that position again. 

I would just keep quiet and then I wouldn't risk further humiliation.

So that's what I did, pretty much. For years and years and years.