Stratford-On-Guy Series 5

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Fifteen short stories recounting the high school days of the late 1990s and early 2000s of eleven teens in Melbourne, Australia Samuel Beck is a teenage boy living in suburban Melbourne, Australia. Throughout his adolescence, he recounts some of the most interesting moments between him and his best friends in their high school years, both inside and outside of school.

Age Rating:

Chapter 1: Australia Day

Year 11 – 2000: January 26

It’s a new day, week, month, year, decade, century, and millennium, and considering all the hype, I feel…not much different, actually. For the last year and a half, the word millennium had been on everyone’s lips, and now we have to wait another thousand years to hear it again. Too bad I’ll be long dead by then. I wonder if people made this big of a deal about the turn of the millennium in 999 AD.

What I found the most amusing was that so many people thought the world was going to end on the first day of 2000, but we’re three weeks in, and we’re still here. Besides, wasn’t the world supposed to end six years ago? And so many other times before? Everyone’s next guess for the world to end is 2012, so I guess my death was coming earlier than I thought. The reason for this theory about the world ending is because the Mayan calendar ends on December of 2012. Did people actually buy this bollocks? Nobody fucking knew when the world was gonna end, and we were all gonna die at one point, anyway, so just enjoy your time on Earth right now.

January had gone by pretty quickly, even though I spent most of it sitting in bed playing video games. I always dreaded the end of January, since it meant my birthday was coming up and I actually had to make plans with my mum. That was always fun. It seemed that every year, I had more and more responsibilities when it came to preparing for my birthday and other events. Great! I was becoming an adult already, and I hadn’t even turned sixteen yet. Before I knew it, I had to find a job and receive my own income. A few of my friends were doing that already.

My mum came running to the dinner table with papers, pens, and invitations as I was having a late breakfast.

“Ok, so Samuel…”

I rolled my eyes when she called me that.

“Yes, mum?” I sighed

“Who are you inviting for your birthday this year?”

“The usual people. You know, Liz, Craig, Tiffany, Johnny, all those other idiots.”

“At least you got the idiots part right,” Claudia smirked, walking by

“Oh, shut up!” I exclaimed, throwing a pen in her direction

She squealed and ran to her room.

“You know, Sam, you could be a lot nicer to your sisters.” My mum said

“Mum, I’m an older brother; I’m not meant to be kind to my sisters. Siblings are supposed to hate each other.”

“If you say so. Now write your invitations.”

I wrote all the invitations for my birthday, even for Melanie and Steve, though I knew they weren’t gonna turn up, so why the hell did I bother? I just thought that they turned up to Tiffany’s party before, and so they might attend mine. Plus, I felt bad if I didn’t invite all of my friends.

My mother asked, “Where do you wanna do the party, Sam?”

“I was thinking…maybe the arcade?”

“Arcade? Sam, you’re gonna be sixteen this year.”


“You’re becoming an adult soon. Don’t you think you’re a bit too old for that stuff?”

“Come on, mum. You’re never too old for an arcade.”

“Ok, if you say so. Something tells me you’ll still be throwing birthday parties there at thirty.”

“Why not?”

My mum sighed and rolled her eyes. She probably thought I would grow up to be a bum, but I think that’s what everyone thought of me, including myself.

“Well, my actual birthday is on a Thursday, so we have to do the party on the Saturday.” I said

“You sure you don’t wanna do it on a Friday night?”

“Sure. Why not?”

We got the invitations ready and just an hour later, we went to every one of my friends’ houses, putting the invitations in their mailboxes.

That evening, I went to my laptop and connected it to the internet to chat with the group.

Sam: Hey guys. Did you receive the invitations?

Tiffany: Invitations? For what?

Sam: My 16th birthday

Melanie: Oh my God! You haven’t turned 16 yet?

Sam: No. I turn 16 on the 3rd of February

Liz: Wow. I turn 17 in 2 months

Sam: I’m aware

Janet: I didn’t know you were the baby of the group, Sam

Sam: What? How did you not know?

Steve: It’s not really information that will help us in the long run

Stacey: So, where are you having the party?

Sam: At the local arcade

Dave: Sounds fun, actually

Sam: Yeah, it’s on the 4th at 7pm

Craig: Are we gonna have dinner there or are we expected to eat beforehand?

Sam: We’ll be providing dinner, Craig, don’t you fucking fret

Mike: Of course, Craig asks the question about food

Craig: What? It’s a legitimate question

Sam: It is

Johnny: Speaking of parties, you guys remember that we’re having that barbecue tomorrow, right?

Tiffany: Yep, at your place at 11am sharp

Johnny: Exactly. However, there’s one problem

Janet: What is it?

Johnny: At 10:30, I have an appointment with the orthodontist to tighten my braces

Stacey: You don’t know how happy I am that I never had to deal with those things

Melanie: That’s because you were born with perfect teeth. Lucky bastard

Stacey: Haha!

Sam: I’m glad I got rid of my braces almost 2 years ago

Liz: I didn’t know you wore braces

Sam: Yeah, for like 2 years, albeit they were invisible

Liz: I wore them for just as long. Damn canine teeth

Sam: Tell me about it

Mike: Didn’t you wear braces, Craig?

Craig: Yeah, to fix like, one tooth? That, and Liz had them too

Steve: That’s it? Because your best friend got braces? Isn’t that a waste of money?

Tiffany: I actually think it’s kinda sweet

Craig: Thanks Tiff

Johnny: Yeah, guys. This is interesting and all, but I kinda have a problem on my hands. I have a dentist appointment, but I need to get the party ready

Tiffany: Well, we’re gonna be there, anyway, so we’ll get everything ready

Johnny: You sure?

Dave: Absolutely! Besides, with Tiffany, how can you go wrong?

Steve: I can think of twenty good reasons

Johnny: Anyways, I gotta go. It was nice chatting with you all

Sam: Ok, bye.

The next morning, just before 11am, we were all at Johnny’s house, except for Johnny himself, who was still with the orthodontist. We all huddled in a group like a football team at quarter or halftime, and Tiffany was our captain.

“Alright, so we need to get the barbecue, music, and pool ready, as well as the snacks. Sam and Dave, you do the snacks; Liz, you do the barbecue; Craig can get the warmed up; Steve you can get the turntable and CDs ready; and Janet and I will clean the place. Everybody must be done before Johnny gets here, got it?”

Mike raised his hand, “Uh…what about me?”

“It’s ok. You don’t have to do anything.”

“Hey Mike. How about you do the barbecue instead?” Liz suggested, touching Mike on his chest and shoulder

“Sure thing, but what are you gonna do, Lizzie?” Mike asked

“Oh, I don’t know.” She replied, climbing onto the hammock and lying down.

“Ok. Whatever.” Mike shrugged

Great. Now I wish I thought of going for a nap, but I knew that Tiffany was gonna kill me if I did that.

It was 11:25am, and Tiffany was beginning to panic.

“Guys, guys! Quick! Johnny could be here any minute now.”

Dave and I were finished with the snacks, and Craig was finished with the pool. Steve got the music ready. About ten minutes after we were all done, Tiffany and Janet were done cleaning. As soon as we completed our tasks, Johnny quickly got out of his mum’s car and rushed to the backyard.

“Hey Johnny boy.” Tiffany said, panting from exhaustion.

Johnny’s jaws dropped as he looked around the backyard, and quietly said, “Oh…my…fuck…”

“See? I told you we’d get everything done on time.” Dave said

“W…wow. I have no idea what to say. Thank you, guys.”

“You’re welcome. We all in a lot of work.”

“Yeah, except for…one person…” Tiffany said, glaring at Liz as she said it

“Uh…excuse me?” Liz asked, starting to get angry

“It’s true, Liz. You didn’t help us. You just slept on the hammock like the lazy bum you are!”

“Hey, hey! I may be lazy, but at least I’m not an uptight, opinionated bitch!”

“Oh, you did not just say that, you blonde cunt!”

Mike and Steve start laughing. Tiffany turned to them, “What the hell is so funny?”

“Nothing, it’s just that…well, she’s got a point, you know…” Steve replied, trying not to laugh

Tiffany turned back to Mike, looking furious, “She’s got a point?”

“Well, yeah.” Mike replied


“Oh come on, Tiff. Don’t you see what everyone else sees? Probably not because your ego gets in the way of your view. Even when you do see us, you always think of us negatively.” Steve explained

Tiffany scoffed, “Well, can you blame me, Steve, you fucking pothead? You and that stoner whore you call your cousin?”

Steve started fuming and walked up to Tiffany, “Ok. Listen, you can say whatever the hell you like about me, but say one more thing about Melanie again and you’ll hear it from me. Got it?”

“Oh, I’m not done, Steve. What about Stacey? Huh? That girly-haired fuck! Does every goddamn thing in the world make him angry? Oh, hello Stacey. FUCKING HI, BITCH! Then, we’ve got Mike. Ooh, look at me. I think I’m sooo hot. Let me impress some bimbos by taking my shirt off, even though I’m still legally a child.” Tiffany took her top off, and we all couldn’t help but stare.

She continued her rant, “Then, we’ve got Sam. Oh boy, Samuel.”

“What? What the fuck did I do?” I asked. I was so confused. What the hell could Tiffany have against me?

“Don’t call me Samuel. Oh, I don’t care. I don’t care about anything, just as long as I’m sleeping because I’m a fat, lazy fuck. I just wanna sit in bed and sleep all day. It’s not like I’m a responsible human being with work to do! Oh, wait. There is! I just don’t care!”

I folded my arms, sighed and rolled my eyes, then proceeding to say, “I’m not fat.”

Dave poked me on the shoulder and said, “Ha ha!” in the same tone as Nelson Muntz of the Simpsons. I know I was supposed to be annoyed, though I couldn’t help but laugh.

“And let’s not forget Craig. Oh, boy. Mr. Craig Taylor. Where the hell do I begin with this two metre tub of lard? Have you seen that fucking man eat? I’ve seen better table manners at a fucking pig farm! He eats more in a day than I do in a goddamn week, or even a month! Next time I see Craig eat or whatever the hell he does, I’m gonna give him a trough.”

Craig walked to the pool and asked, “What the hell is going on?”

Steve sighed, “Tiffany got annoyed that Liz didn’t do any work to prepare for the party, so she got mad and called her a lazy bitch.”

“Oh…” Craig replied

“Can you blame me, Craig?!” Tiffany asked

“Well…honestly…” Craig paused then sighed, “No.”

Steve and Mike gasped.

“What the fuck?” I asked

“WHAT?!” Liz screamed

Craig started getting nervous, “Well, heh, Liz, to be fair, I don’t see you doing much work around the house. You even said that you and your family hate working. It runs on your mum’s side. I can see it too; you never wanna handle any responsibilities.”

“What the fuck, Craig? Are you actually going to take Tiffany’s side? The same person who makes comments about your weight behind your back?”

Craig looked at Tiffany, who was moving her eyes and body around, pretending to be innocent, “Now, what makes you say that, Liz?” She then asked, “By the way, Johnny?”

Johnny turned around, “Yes?”

“What’s the maximum capacity of your pool?”

“I don’t know…like, thirty people or something?”

“Ok.” Out of nowhere, Tiffany pushed Craig into the pool, letting out a loud splash. She then said, “Well, that brought it down to twelve.”

“What?” I whispered, trying not to laugh

Liz started fuming, with Steve saying, “Uh oh.”

She then grabbed a plank of wood lying on the floor and hit Tiffany on the back of her head with it, resulting in Tiffany being knocked unconscious. Steve and Mike couldn’t help but laugh again.

“Good going, Liz.” Steve said, giving her the thumbs up.

“Hey Steve. Where the hell are Melanie and Stacey?” I asked

“Who knows where those idiots are?” Steve replied, scoffing while opening a beer can

“Can you at least give me one of those?”

“What? A VB? Get it yourself, you lazy prick!”

I sighed, “Fine!”

Just minutes after asking where Stacey and Melanie were, in they came with their arms around each other’s necks.

“About time you guys came.” Johnny said

“How late are we?” Stacey asked

“By about an hour.”

“You missed on a lot of fun, Stace.” Steve said

“Why? What happened?”

“Tiffany and Liz got into a tassel.”

“Yeah, and she knocked Tiff out!” Mike said ecstatically

“Uh…huh…” Melanie said, “And where is Tiffany right now?”

“Janet and Dave took her to Johnny’s room.” I replied

“Ok, so where were you guys?” Steve asked

“At home.” Stacey replied

“And what were you doing?”


“Pfft! Please! The two of you don’t sleep.”

“Or wait. You don’t mean…” Mike said

“Don’t mean what?” Stacey asked

“You and Melanie are…you know…”

“That can’t be true either. Melanie hates being touched!” Steve exclaimed

“Yeah, and for good reason too, Steve!” Melanie shouted

“Well, maybe I was trying to help her overcome that.” Stacey said

“Through exposure therapy?” Steve asked

“Yep. Come on, she’s been my best friend for years!”

“Ok. Who cares? You guys are here. Let the party begin!” Johnny said

“It’s definitely a party without Tiffany.” Mike remarked

All of us swam in the pool throughout the afternoon, with Johnny providing the music as usual. To make up for what happened, Liz was preparing the barbecue with Mike. The hammock was empty, which was the perfect chance for me to nap in it.

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