“When you were a little sperm you were the fastest swimmer”, was Mums answer when I would state that I’d never asked to be born. More like pushed if you ask me, but after twenty nine years I find myself reminiscing, musing, even smelling the roses along the way and you know what I find? Life can be such a massive ball of wank, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
It was a bitterly cold winter’s night in Edinburgh when Hazel and Peter Ritchie held their second child almost making up for having a girl first time around some three years earlier. His name would be Andrew and tipping the scales at a whopping 3.65 kg would soon become the fattest thing on dry land.
Resembling a beach-ball due to pass-times of eating and napping led one particular naughty elder sister named Leanne to bounce me down the stairs and open my thumb with Dads razor yet despite these atrocities, more often than not, the Ritchie Hell raiser would in-fact be me.
. . .
Tearing down the track at one hundred miles per hour in a ball of flames performing a dozen somersaults before finally coming to rest in a mass of mangled metal and burnt rubber. It was my favourite toy car, but I had big plans for this blue, Hot Wheels Monster Truck and all I need now is to find my Dads matches and get this show on the road.
Even from a young age we all knew that my last words on Earth would probably be along the lines of “Watch this”, as I hurl myself of a bridge forgetting to secure the bungee cord or putting my head in a crocodiles mouth. The fact I’ve made it this far leads me to believe that, excluding the whole chickenpox for my birthday ordeal, I’m anything but unlucky.
My sisters looking after me for the next few hours and I’m just about to demonstrate, yet again, why you can’t take your eyes of me for a second as I search for a source of fire. Setting up my monster truck in the corridor at the top of the stairs I strike a match, then two and bingo. Eventually we have a flame and I soon realise metal doesn’t burn like I’d hoped.
I now face the biggest question put to mankind since cavemen first discovered fire by rubbing sticks and stone. How do you put it out? Sometimes my brain fails me. I don’t know why this happens, some call it a brain fart others would say stupidity. Whatever the case I can’t for the life of me figure out how to extinguish a match.
I dash into my Parents’ bedroom searching for answers only to find my fingers are burning as I keep a tight grip onto the end of my match.
Dropping it onto the floor at the entrance to their room I make a mad dash for the toilet and return, passing by the water jug and bathroom sink, my hands loaded with toilet paper.
The carpet erupts into a roaring fire as I toss mountains of flammable paper onto it. On opening her door, my sister finds what looks like her kid brother deliberately stacking a massive fire in the middle of the hall and freaks out. I run like fuck, this time returning with a big jug of water.
With the fire out and my car safely stashed back in my room I can only wait and hope Mum doesn’t notice the charred remains of my handy-work, after all, our carpet is black and red. I’m down stairs when she sees the carnage that used to be her carpet. Not knowing people could move that fast I have no time to even try to explain myself as my ass gets beaten by what feels like an angry octopus going loco piñata style . Grounded for a week and unable to sit down, I promise myself one thing. I won’t get caught doing that again.
From eating bars of soap and trying desperately to blame Leanne for the mess in my pants (ok, that was me) to drinking cooking oil, I was quickly becoming something of a nuisance for my dear Mother, but if anything things would only get worse when I started primary school forcing Mum to ask herself – and teachers- the same question everyday “What’s he done now”?
MY FIRST WRITTEN SENTANCES;
I lick my teacher.
I lick my mum.
I lick my bab.
Not content with driving Mum round the bend, I would also find time to drag Dad into the shit. Both worshipping and fearing this God-like figure, I’m told when asked what we’d like to be when were grown up our class had spun the usual standard answers of Policeman, Fireman, Pirate, but not me. No, I proudly stood and declared my intentions to drink and smoke like my Dad. I guess I could say that I’m the only one who really accomplished what they had set out to do from day one, but things are never as they seem and bewildering ‘Andy’ moments would continue to roll on thick and fast.