You know that phrase.

I nearly died of embarrassment.

Well, one time.

When I was (I think) 17.

I nearly did.


When I was at school.

The best girls were the ones that stood around the chip shop at lunchtime.


Wearing short skirts.


And, I think, spitting.

They were fucking brilliant.

They were the best girls because they were the worst girls.



Some way.

By some miracle.

I persuaded one of these ladies to go out with me when I was 17.

I was not one of the cool kids.

But she and I somehow found ourselves in a taxi, on our way to Derby City Centre from Allestree (about 2 miles outside) where I lived.

She was brilliant.

She had boobs.

And brown skin.

And a bob.


I drank cider back then.

Because it was the only thing I could face as a whole pint.

And on that night – and I do remember this really clearly – I had 3 pints.

It was sweet cider.


In the taxi on the way back, I sat in the front.

She sat in the back.

For the two mile journey from Derby City Centre back to Allestree.

As the taxi swung around the corners, the smell of apples in my nose became more vivid.

And the cider within me began to rise.

And rise.

Until, quite suddenly actually, it projectile vomited against the windscreen.

And the dashboard.


She screamed.

He growled.

I said ‘sorry’ to my right.

Then ‘sorry’ over my left shoulder.

Then I slowly opened the door.

And stepped out of the taxi.


I remember how the taxi smelled.

And how I smelled.

And that my chest was wet.

As the taxi rolled slowly away.


This taxi experience was bad.

Really bad.

But not quite as bad as the knock on my door the following day.

She was stood there with her mum at her side.

And I was stood just behind my mum.

Who had answered the door.

Peering over her shoulder.

As this girl stared me in the eyes stony-faced.


And her mum asked my mum for £25.

Because that was the amount she had to give to her daughter, so she could give it to the taxi driver the night before.


And that.

Was the moment I nearly died.

Of embarrassment.


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