If you love a band so much, why WOULDN'T you turn up a week early to see them?
Get your children pets, they say. It will teach them about empathy and death, they say.
So here I am walking across Brighton with the MOTHER of all hangovers, carrying a guinea pig with a gammy eye, chatting to the inside of a plastic IKEA box cooing ‘its going to be OK, you’re going to be OK,’ on the way to the vets. Unaware that to the untrained eye, I actually look like a mental who’s wearing last nights clothes, doing the walk of shame and chatting away to a plastic box.
BUT LET'S BACK UP A MOMENT…
24 hours previously…
I’m off out with my sister. We’re not just any old off out. Were going to see Take That. We’ve seen them last year at O2. It was fun. We had shit seats where you couldn’t even see the screens, let a lot the three remaining artistes, and we’re not sure if they are down to just two this year, but FUCK IT we’re out.
And as long as Gary’s still there, who my sis has fancied since way back, when he wasn’t cool and looked more like Pat Sharp, then we're laughing.
So we rock up to the O2. All full of gin in a tins, and decide to go for dinner first.
Pizza Express and Prosecco obvs. Cos we’re posh.
And then cocktails- naturally. Cos we’re proper posh.
When we’re sure that All Saints or whoever have definitely finished their ‘come back tour cos we’re skint’ warm up act, we head to the arena.
Have our tickets scanned by security.
And scanned again.
A big red ‘these guys are scammers or pose a threat’ light flashes ominously over our heads.
‘Where did you get the tickets?’ the security guard asks me.
‘They’re legit,’ I reply, two bottles of prosecco in, sounding like a middle class Delboy.
She tries again, and again the crimmy red light flashes.
Her boss comes over and looks at the ticket, and says, ‘you know these are for next Thursday not today?’ And walks off shaking his head at us like we’re proper dickheads.
You have to be fucking joking.
I booked these months ago, wrote Thursday down in my diary but, as it transpired, the WRONG FUCKING THURSDAY.
What were we meant to do?
What would you do?
Well we obviously got absolutely slaughtered on the roof bar at the O2 with the plan, the absolute plan, to leave before the Take That fans who’ve got the right day fliter out.
As me and my sis are discussing the possibility of buying a barn to convert that we’re almost definitely never going to do in France, we look down to see a swarm of ants which are the TT fans heading for the tube that we’ll never make.
So. I stay in London after a brief but unhappy text exchange with my husband, as now I’ve missed the last train home due to the FUCKING TAKE THAT FANS.
I wake up the next morning at my sister's, remembering that the guinea pig has a gammy eye.
It’s not just gammy it looks fucking dreadful when I left her in the evening.
I quickly borrow some of my sister's make up, it's like polishing a turd but I can't look any worse that I already do.
OR CAN I?
The powder isn't powder, it's bronzer. I only notice how tanned I am as I stop at the garage on route for an emergency can of Coke and see my reflection. I look like Richard Madeley. Jesus Fucking Christ.
So I attempt to wipe the worst of it off on my sleeve as I google guinea pig poorly eye on my phone, and am met with a barrage of grim pictures which all scream ‘take them to the vets immediately.’
I ring the nearest vets to me as I slope off to get on the train that stops at ever station on the way back to Brighton, naturally.
A quick teeth brush and I realise I have ten minutes to hot foot it across town for the appointment. No time for me to change, and no way of transporting a guinea pig other than emptying a box of Lego and carrying her in that as my husband has the car.
And off I go. Hangover rattling around in my brain and a freaked out guinea pig with a suspected eye ulcer trying desperately to climb out of a shallow box.
‘Calm down,’ I say.
‘It’s going to be OK,’ I say.
As I pass all the dog walkers and old people out for a potter who think I'm chatting to myself, I wonder, ‘Shit me. Can today get any worse?’
YES IT ACTUALLY CAN.
So I turn up at the vets and sit in the waiting room.
I’m 100% regretting not bringing a bottle of water and the only thing remotely drinkable in the room is a dog drinking bowl. It looks overwhelmingly enticing.
Then someone shouts, ‘Snuffles. Snuffles.’
What kind of a fucking name is that? I think.
On third shout I realise that’s the name of my guinea pig, and l shuffle into the surgery room.
I place her on the table and am asked a series of questions I can’t answer.
How old is she?
Is she eating well?
I don’t know either. We have five guinea pigs. I don’t know who eats what.
OK, return to the waiting room.
'With Snuffles?' I ask.
'Shall I take her with me?' I ask again.
I don’t know how these things work. They’ve already said it will cost 46 quid to see her. Surely that involves more than just mumbling at me for that price.
I go to leave her on the table.
‘TAKE SNUFFLES WITH YOU,’ the Vet shouts after me.
Yep. Heard that, thanks.
So I wait in the waiting room and then am finally called to the reception desk.
‘She’s adorable,’ the receptionist sighs, ‘I just love guinea pigs. We’d pay anything to look after our dear pets,’ she smiles, as she passes me the bill.
Eighty six fucking quid.
‘How much?!’ I exclaim.
‘Well, we’d pay anything to look after our animals, wouldn't we?' she repeats.
‘But that is four times the price I paid for the actual guinea pig!’ I scoff in total horror.
The receptionist looks at me pityingly and shakes her head in dismay at the woman next to me with the dog wearing a lampshade.
So, the moral of this story is a) check the dates before you head off to a concert cos no-one give you a prize for turning up a week early
b) there is no such thing as a cheap pet. Before you know it, your relatively simple life has been resorted to squirting drops in a tiny guinea pig's eye six times a day, because
c) your kids only like their pets when their mates come around. For the other 97% of the time, it’s you looking after these creatures, hangover or not.
HAPPY UPDATE PART 1
Steve from Lowestoft bought the Take Tat tickets from me off Gumtree and his wife is OVER THE MOON
HAPPY UPDATE PART 2
Snuffle's eye is nearly better. I never have to squirt what looks like PVA glue in her eye again. Ever.
PS.. If you like my blog, please do have a look at my novel of the same name. It's currently out as an e-book on Amazon and is getting some fabbo reviews... https://www.amazon.co.uk/You-Can-Take-Her-Home/dp/1409185982And if you like it- please review it! xx