Clowning Around

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A short story about life in the 1980's About antics and fun in our twenties

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Clowning Around

Hello, I'm Jewels my friends call me J, I have a large family, and a some amazing friends. My family keep me grounded, always bringing me back down to earth with a giant thud when I need to seriously get over myself!
My friends on the other hand, have a way of making me feel invincible, it really doesn't matter what length I go to, they will always encourage me to go further, with a huge smile on their face. They too will behave foolishly, with reckless abandonment whenever the mood takes them, which is what I love about them. We were in our twenties, and ready to take on the world. But before we do that, we must go out and have as much fun as we possibly can, while we are young enough, time flies so fast, we have too much to fit into our lives so let's get out there and do what we love, why?..... because we can!!

My best friend is Elizabeth, or El for short.

I met El whilst working at a hair salon. I was the Junior doing all the sweeping up, teas , coffees etc, whilst going to college once a week to study for an apprenticeship in hairdressing. Once I qualified I was finally let loose on the poor unsuspecting clients , this was when I found out that my childhood dream of becoming a hairdresser was not going to be as good as I had hoped, I totally sucked at hairdressing.
But, that was where I met my future best friend.
El came in as the new Junior, to replace me. A few years younger than me, but we instantly hit it off, and not long after we met, we began meeting in the pub after work, having a few too many, and getting up to plenty of mischief, our favourite pastime as it turned out.
We were both single, and together went through many boyfriends, we soon realised that Men came and went, but best Friends are forever. So we pinkie promised we would never ditch each other or fall out over a man.
Which we did often at first, but as time went on we fell into step with each other and mostly stayed single at the same time, but occasionally had a boyfriend each. It all worked out perfectly really.
El was always happy, we laughed constantly, sometimes resulting in tears streaming down our faces. One such time, we had been to the Cinema, I can't even remember what film we saw, but something made El start laughing,
So when we left the Cinema we were walking along the street, trying to discuss what she was laughing about, but we had the giggles so badly, our laughing soon turned into hysterical laughter, we laughed so hard we had to sit down on a bench, we were both clutching our sides trying to control the stitch, whilst tears streamed down our faces, people would stop and ask if we needed help, they thought we were in pain, one man offered to call an Ambulance for us, which of course sent us straight back over the edge. That was how it was with us, we laughed our way through our twenties with not a care in the world.
We would get dressed up almost every evening , guzzle a bottle of cheap plonk each, and set off half sozzled to the pub .
Our local was in the town centre, it was the hub for all sub humans in their twenties, we knew most of the regulars, and the bar staff by name, so we had a fabulous social life.
Our Birthdays were always a big event, mostly nights of drunken debauchery in fancy dress costumes, we loved fancy dress so much.
For Els birthday one year, we dressed up as Clowns. We spent weeks making our own costumes, we got old clothes from charity shops, trousers with braces, mens shoes that were too big for us, colourful shirts we sewed patches of bright material all over, and made a massive wig each, using a wooly hat and loads of bunches of brightly coloured wool sewed all over the hat. We had big pockets with all sorts of joke paraphernalia, like a slingshot, a water pistol disguised as a flower, bouncy balls, a few hankies tied together, and shoved up our sleeve ready to impress people with our magic . We went all out.
On the night , all of our friends that we had invited turned up at Els house in their amazing clown outfits, and we all helped each other do our make up....a pure white face with a huge smile and different patterns around our eyes, some of the girls wore a hat with a big flower on it. With a bottle of cheap plonk in one hand and a make up bag in the other, we got ourselves ready for our big night out.
We all had cameras, so many photos were taken of us pulling silly faces and playing jokes on each other, we looked like we all worked for a circus, unrecognisable to people we bumped into in town.
We dived into our local, firing paper from our sling shots and shooting our water pistols and fake flowers, soon the whole pub was joking around and joining the fun, no one recognised us at all!!
Until we got to the bar and ordered our drinks, then it was hi El, hi J, they could not mistake our voices.
We partied hard until the early hours.

With our costumes looking bedraggled and our make up all smudged and running down our sweaty faces, we made our way home ready to flop exhausted into our beds, only to wake up the next morning with a hangover from hell.

Somebody get me a doctor, I need paracetamol, and plenty of them. Oh and while you are in the kitchen please could you fetch me a bucket!!

Sunday was hangover day. Which meant waking up with your head in a bucket, screaming oh my god, I'm blind!
Then hearing a snigger, and "you're not blind, just take your head out of the bucket" the empty bucket thank God. But not always ....ugh.
Then going straight down the pub for hair of the dog.
Whilst draped over the bar with un brushed hair sticking out at all angles, last nights smudged make up all over our face
complaining that we had a massive headache, and " would you all please keep the noise down".
Listening to wise people telling us they have no sympathy, we brought it all on by ourselves, to which we would roll our eyes, call them boring old farts and with a huge grin plastered across our faces and in unison shout, what a great night we had, it was SO worth it...high five...fist bump!

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