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This is a question Intense Friendships

The other night a friend confessed to a really intense friendship when he was young. Nothing sexual or anything, but it did extend to always going to the toilet together. As he put it, "we shared our poos."

Think back to the innocence of blood brothers and being friends forever and tell us the stories of loyalty, commitment and how it all went horribly wrong. You've seen Heavenly Creatures...

(, Fri 28 Jul 2006, 10:21)
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There But For The Grace Of God

Or how me and my best mate could have ended up in prison for life.

Looking back on my childhood it amazes me that I lived through it. The things we used to do were so incredibly, mind-numbingly dangerous that it's a miracle any of us survived. But we did. All of my gang made it through our childhood, past our teens and beyond - but how is a bloody mystery.

When I was kid in the 60's and 70's we used to spend most of our waking life outdoors. We’d play in the street, on derelict buildings, on building sites, out in the countryside, in farms, in quarries and even in the sewers (I'll explain about that later if I don't ramble too much). We were only indoors for school and to sleep. And some of the stuff we used to get up to was just incredible looking back on it now. For example we used to build dens in the fields. These weren't just a few bits of wood leaning against a tree, these were full-scale underground labyrinth that could take us an entire summer to excavate - they were bloody huge. And not only build them, we'd have to fight to keep them from rival gangs.

I remember one monster we dug. About 6 feet straight down then a maze of tunnels leading to a huge underground chamber. It was a feat of engineering braced and shored up with what was probably a small forest of branches and old timber. You could fit 25 kids in the main chamber easily. After we'd built it, it was taken from us by a bunch of older kids. They had girls and everything. Mightily pissed off that it was stolen, me and a mate decided to take it back - or destroy it. If we couldn't have it then nobody could.

So one fine summer day we went to take back our dugout.

Main problem we had was that there were two of us and around ten of them. They were also a few years older than us and considerably bigger. In a straight fight we'd have our heads kicked in. So a direct assault was out so that left a commando raid. My mate had managed to pinch a gallon of petrol in a can and I'd rounded up a load of bottles and some toilet paper. Only thing to do with these were petrol bombs. (It was the late-sixties. Paris riots and a all that so we knew how to make petrol bombs. Not that we had anything to do with the Paris Riots I hasten to add - but we'd gotten enough info so we knew how to make petrol bombs.). So we hid in some trees about 20 metres away from the dugout entrance and made about ten petrol bombs. We were using milk-bottles as previous experience had taught us that they were the best bottle for the purpose. Pop (soda) bottles might be bigger, but they were also too tough to break easily so milk bottles were our ordnance of choice.

Armed with our bombs we crept through the grass and assembled our little arsenal next to the main entrance. We knew the big kids were inside - we had seen them enter when we were making our bombs - so we were super-quiet until we had all bombs ready. Then we crept down the passage way (hands and knees - it wasn't very tall - and snuck up to the main chamber. I could see candle light and hear voices so we stopped and I stuffed the toilet-roll fuses into our bombs and brought out a Ronson lighter that I had. I lit the first bottle and lobbed it towards the light.. Ooops!

Armageddon! The petrol bomb smashed just on the entrance to the main chamber and WOOOOSSSSHHH! huge bloody fireball rolling back towards me. This wasn't in the plan. Luckily it stopped short of me but a blast of red-hot air almost knocked me off my feet. We didn't think that they'd go off quite like that. Shitting ourselves about what we'd done we scrambled madly from the entrance and legged it towards the trees.

And then I remembered the lads still below. We hadn't meant to kill them - only scare them We only wanted to get the fuck out of our property and leave us alone - not barbecue the bastards! Panic started to set in. We were in big trouble this time! And then I suddenly heard yells and screams and crying. Looking back onto the filed where the dugout was I saw the earth tremble and heave and then disgorge these smoking kids. They were crawling from the ground coughing and crying, snot running down there faces and clouds of black smoke were billowing out of new holes in the ground. Somehow these kids had managed to rip down some of the supports and the whole main chamber had collapsed and they'd struggled out of the burning dugout and into fresh air.

And do you know what? Not a single kid was injured. Nobody burned, nobody trapped under the collapsed dugout, nothing. Not a fucking scratch. Yes they were shocked and scared but that was it. A genuine miracle.

Can you imagine what would have happened if things had gone just a tiny bit differently? Seven or eight kids burned to death or crushed? They would have locked us up forever and thrown away the key. We would have been branded monsters. God looks after fools.....

Still scared about what could have happened, me and mate made a pact never to talk about it ever again. Until now.....

Kids today have it too easy. We had to make our own entertainment in those days.....

(, Fri 28 Jul 2006, 17:01, Reply)

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