The oh f*ck moment - tall tales of yester year

The ‘Oh f*ck’ moment is that moment when you realise that something is about to go hopelessly wrong. Not the split second before an accident, not the moment you realise you are looking at the back of a ‘Mines’ sign (although that is one of mine). An example from my own inglorious past is as follows:

In my last year at school I was standing on the playground with my group of muckers, it was morning break in the days when you got 2 a day but had to stay until about 4pm. Our school had a large playing field and a reasonable sized playground. When it had been pishing down, as it had this day, the whole school (about 400 kids) were packed on the playground like penguins on the last ice flow. The playground sloped away towards one corner, the one where we were standing as it happens, and during the rainy season a very impressive puddle developed. It was about 18 inches at the deep end and about 20 feet square (roughly). It was probably a health hazard but no-one had heard of health and safety then. The water was minging, crisp bags and sweet wrappers floated about giving us our own little regatta, the occasional dead cat turned up. The odd 1st year was thrown in, to spend the rest of the day soaking wet, for the amusement of the prefects. I am sure that many a similar puddle has been seen in many a similar council estate comprehensive.

Some of the 1st years were playing a game of Kingfisher with a tennis ball. Of course when I was a 1st year we used a cricket ball but even then things were tougher in ‘our day’. During the course of their game the ball came rolling over towards the puddle, went in and was bobbing along. The bravest of the little tykes came running after the ball, but in a spirit of compassion befitting someone in his last few weeks of academia I walked over and retrieved the ball for him. I suddenly became aware that being nice to the new kids was considered very un-cool and not for the first, nor sadly the last, time I bowed to peer pressure, smiled evilly at him and hurled the ball as hard and as high as I could across the playground. I should point out now that this tennis ball was one of those green hairy types, the ones that trail about 6 inches of sticky out wool – which was soaking in muddy, stinking water.

Then came the ‘OH F*CK’ moment. As the ball left my hand I saw something white come around the corner onto the playground. It was a lad I shall call Adam to save both our blushes. Adam was a year younger than me but by far the hardest kid at school. And I knew that the ball was going to hit him. He was bigger than my dad, coming in at about 6’ 3” and 15 stone. He had been shaving since he was twelve. He had been suspended for beating another kid half to death that summer. And I knew that the ball was going to hit him. He was tattooed, big proper ones on his neck not those namby pamby Indian ink efforts. He was possibly psychotic. And I knew that the ball was going to hit him. He was wearing the whitest most pristinely ironed shirt in the world, his mum obviously used Daz Ultra. On his arm was a girl called Anna, my year, blonde and so pretty that even now thinking about her makes my stomach go all funny. And I knew that the ball was going to hit him. With spiteful inevitability the ball sailed upwards, reaching it’s zenith before plummeting at ever increasing velocity towards him. The splat as it hit him in the face still haunts me. The slow-motion of the ball rebounding off of his shaven head and hitting Anna on the side of the face stays with me. The way the ball then proceeded to hit him in the chest like a over ripe, rotting lime before going back to Anna’s, even then, ample chest and, in order to maximise the damage, roll slowly down her blouse was the stuff of nightmares. If you have never heard the vacuum caused by 400 kids all breathing in at the same time let me tell you it is impressive. There was the excited undercurrent of those who realise they are actually going to get to see someone die, the sort of thing I imagine was common at public executions. Adam looked straight at me across the now silent playground. Even through the huge crowd he new it was me. Of course my complete lack of colour and the fact that all my ‘friends’ (some of whom I had known all my life) had taken 2 steps away from me (their faces a mixture of shame at abandoning me to my fate and the ‘F*ck all to do with me’ look familiar to all teachers and sergeant majors) was probably a bit of an indicator.

Adam began to walk slowly across the playground. I was in a complete quandary. Running away was the obvious option but he was a year younger than me, fleeing before a younger kid (even one twice my size) would have meant a loss of face unacceptable to a teenage lad. I would have had to join the Foreign Legion and I hate the French. He reached me and loomed over me, the lad could loom fair play to him. The water was trickling down his face, his shirt looked like he had been shot with a watery-brown paint ball from a high powered paint cannon. Being an articulate sort of chap my mind was racing to find something to say, then trying to find words short enough that he would understand. “Wipe it off” he growled. I had intended to say “Yes Adam sure thing Adam” but male pride has the most appalling timing and I managed to croak “P*ss off”. Although it shouldn’t have, the punch came as a complete surprise not only to me but also, more importantly, to my solar plexus. As I forced myself back to my feet and managed to get at least one lung working properly I shouted the immortal words “I’ll see you after school if you want some!” Later, having realised what I had done, and having the best part of 5 hours to think about it - this became my second ‘Oh F*ck’ moment of the day.

Details of what followed, and my newly discovered capacity for taking huge beatings whilst staying conscious will one day appear in a thread called ‘Beatings I have taken and survived’ or ‘Isn’t it surprising how much pain you can take and not pass out?’

But I can still remember vividly the horror when that ball left my hand. Ah the good old days! Any other good ‘Oh F*ck’ moments (try to keep the war stories to a minimum)? :D
I've used Tall Tales in my last 2 subject posts. Must try to be more original :oops:


War Hero
Book Reviewer
F2Y2D - I could feel your pain. Nice story. I think we have all met Adam at some stage in our lives (except the Adams of this world of course).

He actually went on to habe a succesful military career. Stranglely enough.
far2young2die said:
not the moment you realise you are looking at the back of a ‘Mines’ sign (although that is one of mine).

Been there got the crating. Also got an amazing knack at learning to reverse a Landrover down the exact tracks I entered 'field on..

That's not an Oh F*ck moment, that's a 'F*ck Im gonna get crated if I get outta this alive' moment.

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