Monday, December 05, 2005

Top 3

I’m back in Hometown* for a fleeting visit in order for my doctor to oil the parts of my six million dollar body. When I arrive in back in town, I always play a game called Top 3. It’s a game matched only in its entertainment value by its simplicity. What you do, or rather I do reader, is from the moment you, or I, step off the train, you/I look for familiar faces. And so, you/etc count the first three people you see in your Hometown that you recognise and can put a name to. Or a nickname. Or at least some local gossip. The game ends once you’ve spotted the third person. These encounters have to be random though: family members meeting you at the station do not count, nor does your neighbour washing his car outside his house or the shopkeeper selling you a Boost from that shop you always go to which he has owned for the last 20 years. Now, if you are really anal, you can make a note, be it physical or mental, of these people and see if any patterns develop over the years. You know, like if Spotty Fisher who used to mercilessly whip you with a wet towel in the showers after Rugby is spotted an inordinate number of times hanging around by that roundabout near the station. Erm, not that I do that or anything readers. Make notes I mean. Or hang around roundabouts for that matter.

I used to play Top 10. Very similar game, with a slight tweak I’m sure you can figure out. The thing is though, 10 is too high a number for me to reasonably spot nowadays. Time was when I could step off the train and tick off my first two before I’d even left the platform, but no longer. The familiar faces of Hometown are slowly but surely draining away as the years since I lived here lengthen. Even Burping Ron** seems to be fading from view.

So, I got into my sister’s car having made no early inroads into Top 3. As we drove home I kept an eager eye out for any familiar faces or recent Hometown developments.
“Ah,” I couldn’t help but note as we past our local parade of hoodie patrolled shops, “I see our local video store has changed it’s name from Star Video to Star Movie; no doubt a reflection of the decline of VHS.”

Dear me. I am becoming a boring old man.

*The Bear, if you’re reading, that’s the last time I drive all the way to Craptown just to surprise your ass if you’re going to insist on being so anti-social as to be doing other things and not staying in to answer the door when I come knocking with beer unannounced

** Note to self. Burping Ron is sorely lacking any decent interweb coverage. Put together a Wikipedia entry.


Tammy said...

Wow, I'm first! I am not just a train's travel away from my hometown, but I am certainly willing to give Top 3 a try upon my next visit. However, I may recognize and be able to name the people I see, but I am not willing to speak to them because, well, they are not worthy of conversing with me for the most part. I don't know if you Brits know of a TV show called "Trailer Park Boys"? I don't watch it because I can visit a place similar to what they depict in the show and this place is a trailer park where: my sister lives; my sister used to date and now has a nasty relationship with the man across the street; my nephew lives next to my sister; my sister lives with five cats and 2 dogsin the trailer with her and her daughter. It's frightening!

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Surely you could have driven by the school and picked off an old Don or two, no?

Or perhaps driven out to Midlands to share your beer with Shane?

Shane said...

I apologise for the oaf visiting you the other day. He seems to leave a rather rank whiff wherever he goes. Hope you came round quickly enough.

As for Burping Ron, well, I mean y' wouldn't would y'... christen your child 'Burping Ron'. It's just cruel.*

Sharing your beer with me wouldn't have worked. I was out. Galavanting.

* Makes mental note - 'Find Burping Ron and suggest a name change by deed poll'

AnonymousCoworker said...

I still live near my Hometown, so my version is still Top 10. Typically I dislike all 10.

Curly said...

I'm not sure I really have a hometown - the town where I spent 11 of my 23 years living near is the best thing I suppose.

I can probably hit* 10 on a short drive through the town (about 5 mins), just because it's so small, everyone knows everyone anyway.

*I wouldn't ACTUALLY hit them if I was driving, I'm better than that now.

Chris Cope said...

Thank God hoodies are patrolling the streets -- keeping us all safe from... uh... something, presumably.

I've been to Winchester. Y'all have a constablary that foreign nationals must visit if the idiot at customs stamped said foreign national's passport incorrectly.

Jona said...

Gee, Huw, I could pop into the supermarket and knock off three in the aisles! (In fact it drives me bloody mad!!)

Chris said...

Y'know Huw, the irony is I tried to call your ass last night because I was up in London for wanky teacher's meetings and Mike had gone out (leaving me with only Twatty B for company) But you just gave me a weird ring tone. So I was stuck watching the Liverpool/Chelsea game with Bilesy and trying to make like I knew what I was talking about. Perhaps we have the reverse of that weird psychic connection you and your friend have. It's been a surprisingly long time my friend.

Dancinfairy said...

Oh something to add an extra bit of fun to my trip home at Christmas - the trick will be to try and find three before I get to the pub on Christmas Eve. I will be bumping into loads of people that I recognise and will have exactly the same conversations with them that I had last time I saw them, last Christmas Eve!

Daniel said...

I just can't wait to have all the 'so what have you been up to' conversations in my old pub on Christmas Eve. The odd thing is that most of the people I speak to now I never spoke to at school (I was a bit sad as a child, and couldn't play football which doesn't work near Liverpool).
I'll just smile and wonder why they all still in the same small town doing the same things.
By the way, the first sentence should have a hint of sarcasm about it.