Apologies for the lack of columns of late! I’ve been so busy squandering away my best years with my numerous hobbies such as collecting beer can stickers, inventing a new sport called street soccer and taking photos of an erotic comic called ‘Laurence’.
As it’s been so long, I thought I’d get straight back into the writing game by dredging up a ‘terrible thing I’ve done’ story from a deep dark corner of my mind. The first one that sprung to mind was from a trip to Portugal last year.
The plan was to stay for around 5 days to shoot an interview for the local magazine called Surge and film a short clip. I’d been there once before and jumped on the chance because Portugal is a skater’s paradise – natural wave spots, friendly people, cheap beers, dick-shaped bread and a local specialty called ‘little French girl’, that’s basically a massive triple layered sandwich filled with steak, bacon, sausage, ham, covered in cheese with a fried egg on top, on a plate filled with chips and a bucket of gravy thrown over the whole thing. What more can a man ask from life?
My host’s house was in Almada, a suburb of Lisbon (around 45 minutes by car) where he lives with his wife and baby boy. We were pretty much just on a skate mission every day so one night he told me he wanted to take me out in Lisbon and party a bit, so we drove into town and proceeded to crawl from bar to bar drinking like the country was running out of booze. The last stop was an old friend’s bar where they fed us shots until they got sick of our endless P-Diddy karaoke and asked us nicely to leave.
“We ain’t go-in nowhere, we ain’t, goin nowhere, we can’t be stopped now, cause it’s bad boys for life blah blah blah”
It wasn’t until this point that I started thinking about how we’d get back. It was about 3am, no trains, no busses and I was almost certain that my man was in no fit mental state to safely transport us home in an automobile. As soon as we walked outside I hailed a cab and let my friend give the address in Portuguese. To my surprise, the cab just drove around the corner and dropped us off at the car park where we’d left the car! To make matters worse, he was now emptying his stomach of the little French girl, dick shaped bread, and various liquors by spewing it all over the wall. I knew it was bad news when I saw his outstretched arm pointing the car keys in my direction, but I knew the chances of survival were probably higher with me behind the wheel than him.
I have a driver’s license but at that point I hadn’t actually driven for about 10 years, paired with the fact that I was drunk enough not to be able to land a kickflip for any amount of money, meant that I definitely drove like a total dick. I also had absolutely no idea where I was going, and my guide passing out every 30 seconds in the passenger seat meant that I had to keep screaming out “HEY! HEY! Which way?” for him to keep murmuring, “uuuuuuh go straight go straight” without even opening his eyes. I was only too aware of how little control I had over my body and after the car got scratched the first few times I was already regretting accepting the mission. The biggest miracle was driving through the police infested town centre and over the bridge toll booth on a Friday night, swerving all over the road like a dodgem without getting pulled over, which would have meant instant jail and the loss of my license.
Waking up the next day filled with regret and gratitude for life, I promised never to do that again. I’m still bad boys for life, but want to live a little bit more…