It must have been like a ‘B movie’ horror for our parents really. This sweet little kid goes to bed on a Friday night and emerges from the bedroom on a Saturday morning full of mad opinions and a desire to throw stones at the windows of the old lady next door who is clearly evil because she hates dogs.
That’s kind of how it happens isn’t it? One moment we are accepting of everything adults say because they are adults and then, we retire to bed at the time stated by our parents, go to sleep and BANG! Puberty sets in and we wake up demanding that the world must change for us and we know how to change the world for the better because our parents are old and don’t understand and how can they not see that David Bowie is a God and Chopin is just and idiot at a piano?
There was a time – just before the onset of puberty – when all food was great, apart from Brussels Sprouts obviously. Every book you read was great. There were no bad books. When the England football team played the manager had selected the best players we had. Why wouldn’t he? What would be the point otherwise? TV shows were brilliant – well the one’s you watched were brilliant. Of course you had to put up with stuff your parents wanted to watch but it was still on TV so it had to be at least halfway decent didn’t it?
Then it happened. Puberty. The ability to critically analyse everything. Well, not so much any ability but the uncontrollable desire and knowledge that you knew better.
You knew that the food your mother cooked was crap. You knew that the TV show was useless. You knew that if you picked the next England team they would beat Brazil 10 -0. You new without a shadow of a doubt that Deep Purple were incredible so how could your pals sister actually think that David Cassidy was even vaguely good? Was she really a moron? You hadn’t noticed that before.
Your Auntie thought that you would think she was cool because she bought you a ‘pop’ album for your birthday. You’d send her home virtually in tears because she’d bought you a K-Tel album with session musicians playing the hits of the day. On the Friday you would have danced and sang to it delighted but on the Saturday of puberty your critical ear knew it was crap. Puberty had told you session musicians pretending to be David Bowie or Status Quo were crap and you would tell your Auntie so because she was old and stupid.
(In fairness K-Tel albums were pretty crap)
If only the world had listened to us when puberty kicked in and we’d be living in paradise right now. No need to work, more than enough money to live in luxury, only talented rock stars on the airwaves, only top TV shows on TV – preferably those that showed a woman’s boobs at least!
Puberty changed so many things didn’t it? The innocence of childhood gone for ever. Your best friend at school wasn’t anymore because he hadn’t hit puberty as soon as you and he was just a little kid with glasses. How could you look cool in front of the girls with a friend wearing glasses who’s balls hadn’t dropped?
If only my mother hadn’t found that Playboy magazine in my toy fort hidden beneath all the plastic soldiers I could have ruled the world and made it such a good place. Really I could.
If only that girl in school had said “Yes” I could have been the worlds greatest lover because I could have practised enough with her. It’s is entirely her fault that I never became the 20th Century’s Casanova.
If only that teacher had given me top marks just for turning up occasionally to class instead of giving me a D minus because all I could do was spell my name right I could have been President of The World!
If only Manchester United’s top scout had seen me play football I could have been better than Beckham ever was. Really I could.
If only the casting director for Oliver had heard me sing I could have been a mega rich movie star. Really I could!
If only I hadn’t met my gorgeous wife and got married and had a beautiful daughter and bought a house and enjoyed owning so many cats (actually, I suspect they owned me really) and made lots of friends and had reunions with old friends and moved through life with a smile and enjoyed every minute of it and shagged loads of beautiful girls (well a few anyway before the married bit) and partied so many nights and days away and met Elvis Costello (not that he’d remember but I always will) and travelled to loads of places like Austria and Spain and Lithuania and Portugal and had so much of a ball since I hit puberty I don’t want it to ever end.
If not for that, I could have made a great life for myself.
Puberty eh? What do adults know?
Well, your adult Auntie knows you like The Rubettes even though you tell her they’re crap so you can look cool in front of the girl you fancy even though said girl wouldn’t let you touch her with a barge pole.
Actually, I didn’t need a barge pole in the end
Just maybe the world didn’t need me that much after all. It didn’t matter though. If you end up loved and loving who gives a damn eh?