Monday, 12 August 2013

No Way Sis! Or "How Me and My Best Friend Nearly Got Kidnapped."

When Oasis announced a date in The Point back in 1997, me and my friend knew we would have to be there. We were fourteen years old and while my walls were plastered with Liam's ugly mug, my clearly more intelligent friend, had it hard for Noel. Back in those days there were two options for music fans looking for tickets; call the ticketline or queue outside HMV Grafton Street. Now, calling the ticketline sounds like the better option, right? But the problem there is, every gobshite in Ireland thought the same. It was never a safe bet. And we needed those tickets. So, for us, there WAS no other option. We sat down and planned our queueing strategy.

This wasn't any old gig. Oasis had just released "Be Here Now" their fasted selling album to date. Everyone wanted a piece of them. Queueing would have to be an overnight job. And we knew we had to start early, maybe seven or eight o clock in the evening. We were really excited about our expedition. It was going to be fun. In town, late at night, among like minded Britpoppers. Sure we'd all buzz off each other, have a sing-song. Great craic altogether.

Can't decide if it was his hair or his moves that did it for me...
We left my friend's house on the big night. Got the 11A in to Trinity College and practically sprinted up Grafton street. A few metres away we could see a line had already formed; Those at the front, veteran queuers, grinned smugly as we passed them by. They sat on fold out stools and drank steaming, hot tea from thermo-flasks. They had sleeping bags, torches, backpacks stuffed with food, heavy winter jackets and woolly hats. We had a packet of Mikado, an itchy blanket and a drool stained pillow.

We turned right at HMV and followed the line of dedicated fans down the side of the building, looking for the end of the queue. We got to the end of the street and turned right again. The queue continued on. I looked at my friend despairingly. We walked past the crowds of devoted fans until we had to turn right again. I could feel those tickets being snatched from us before we even got a whiff of them. Finally we reached the end. But HMV was miles away. "There's no way we're getting a ticket back here," I remarked to my friend. She nodded in agreement,"we're fucked alright." We plonked down on the ground for a sulk. "Alright Hazel?" A voice I recognised greeted me. I looked up. There in front of me was a lad I knew from the youth club I frequented. I said hello and before you know it he's asking us to come queue with him and his mate just a few feet from the front of HMV. We leapt up off our holes and followed him around, smirking at all the losers we had only just passed. My friend and I couldn't believe our luck, we exchanged stupid grins as we followed the lad.

We ended up right around the corner from the front door of HMV, like RIGHT around the corner. We couldn't believe our luck. The lad had a friend with him and we all sat down and started the chat. It was only then I began to realise that I actually hated this lad. He was a total creep, a bit of a mentalist and had tried it on with me before on a youth club trip. When he moved closer to me I started to panic. My friend was getting on well with his really cute and totally sane friend and completely oblivious to my dilemma. I jumped up from where I was sitting and legged it off on my own, not sure where I was heading but just glad I was getting away from the lad.

Sexy, sexy, Noel Gallagher.
The HMV queue had attracted quite a lot of attention at this stage. There were crowds of people all over Grafton Street. I wandered round the place feeling so sorry for myself. This was supposed to be fun but I was having a shit time. I plonked my arse down on the side of the path and was about to start crying when these two men came over and started talking to me.  They were in their thirties or forties, I reckon. It's a long time ago now so difficult to remember exactly what they looked like.  They asked me what I was up to and I told them about queueing for tickets.  They looked at each and smiled and one of them proceeded to tell me that he worked with Oasis and could sort me out with tickets.  That I needn't bother queueing with all these eejits and sure he might even be able to get me some back stage passes.  I couldn't believe my luck.  Out of the whole mob of people on Grafton Street, they had chosen little old me to bestow these tickets upon. They asked me to join them down in Burger King for a chat and I jumped off the ground, grinning and nodding like a dumb animal.  But wait! I couldn't go without my friend, I told them.  The men glanced at one another with the same look of uncertainty. You've a friend with you, they asked, what age is she, why isn't she with you? I told them she was fourteen the same as me and they seemed to relax.  They told me to go get her and meet them back at the same spot.

I ran off to get my friend, I couldn't believe our luck! Imagine, BACK STAGE PASSES to OASIS! We'd get to meet Liam and Noel and Bonehead and the other guy. When I got back to our spot I found her wearing the face off the cute lad. I pulled her away from him and explained about the men.  (Un)Luckily she was as thick as me and we ran off together to find the men, like two excited little puppies.  I spotted the two men and rushed over, introducing my friend.  They reiterated what they had said about the tickets and asked us to walk to Burger King with them.  We followed them down the road, grinning at each other like two Chesire Cats on Crack.

The Coveted Ticket.
We reached Burger King at the end of Grafton Street and the two men found us a table downstairs.  They bought us some food and we sat there eating in silence.  And this is when things started to turn weird. They were talking to one another, whispering and stuff.  My friend looked less excited than she had before. In fact I noticed that she looked a bit scared. And that made me scared. The men finally stared at us and blurted out what we were beginning to realise. "Eh girls, we were only messing about the tickets." We said nothing. "Yeah," the other guy started, "the whole Oasis thing it was just a story, having a laugh ye know." I looked at my friend,
she was giving me a "let's get the fuck out of here" look. But we didn't want to be rude.  I mean, we didn't want to insult these could-be paedophiles/kidnappers - the Irish in us just wouldn't allow it. So we sat there. And they sat there. They asked us about ourselves. I felt ill. My friend was pinching my leg. Finally my friend spoke,"I'm going to the toilet, I mean, I need to go.. to the toilet." She got up and digged me in the arm. I jumped up and followed her.

Once we were in the jacks we breathed a sigh of relief. We agreed not to go out again until they'd left. We peeked out every few minutes. They stayed for about half an hour. Then they were gone. We snuck out and scanned the restaurant. No sign of them. We went upstairs. We saw the door. We ran. We ran all the way back to the creep and the cutie. We sat down. We stayed there. And we never spoke about it again, did we?

No comments:

Post a Comment