Pluggin It

Ah shrieked, as something sharp jagged intae ma finger. Ah'd no been peyin heed whaur ah wis going, and ah stumbled right intae some barbed wire, which had been stretched across the field. Nae doubt it had been laid by the farmer tae stop animals getting intae his barley. Ah bet he hudnae counted oan snaring skiving schoolgirls, sneakin through his fields.


Ah looked down at the blood which was pouring deep red from my gowpin haund. It was the same colour as the school jersey, which had been stuffed intae ma backpack that morning – "Burgundy wine," as the teachers ayewis said; but we just thought that was a gey fancy way of saying "maroon".


"Maybe ah should've just went tae the school efter-aw." Ah thought tae mysel as ah sooked the blood aff my finger.


Noo, ah wis never a lover of the school. Ah wis bright enough, mind you, ah just didnae get along very well wae the teachers, or the pupils for that matter. My Granny had ayewis telt me – "Wha's fur ye'll no go by ye." Well, school definitely wisnae fur me, so ah wis determined to let it go by me by pluggin it as often as ah could.


Ah wis fair scunnered when ah woke up that morning to find three giant plukes covering my forehead and chin. As if ah didnae already look bad enough being tall and lanky, with permed hair. Ah'd ayewis had a problem wae acne, and ah'm no just talking a few wee pimples. Mine were all red and pus-filled, like three belisha beacons rising out of my face.


Ah tried my best to cover them with some Pan Stick, but it was nae use. Sarah Harris and Kelly Muir wid have a field-day if they saw me like this. They'd cry me "pizza-face" and "polka-dot heid" whenever ah passed them in the school corridor, and ah didnae fancy hingin aboot tae hear what they'd come up wi next. It wid be much easier if ah just didnae go tae school. At least that wey, ah widnae end up greetin in front ay everyone again.


So that was it, ma mind was made up. Ah decided to get the bus intae Stirlin, and spend the day shoppin instead of goin tae school. Noo, this required military-style preparation first, so's that ah widnae get caught. Ah raided my piggy-bank and counted out £2.50 worth of pocket money that ah'd saved up, so combined wi ma dinner money ah'd hae plenty for ma bus fare and some scran.


Ah hid the money away in my schoolbag, along wi a change of claes, just in case someone spotted my school uniform and grassed me in. If my maw asked what the claes were fur, Ah'd just tell her we had P.E. Ah said cheerio to her, and then hid in the woods around the corner until she'd left for work. Ah couldn't take the chance of waiting at the bus stop, in case she saw me. Ah bet she hud nae idea that ah was so sly and sleekit.


Ah arrived in Stirlin and headed straight for the new Marches shoppin centre, which wis much better than the decrepit auld Thistles Centre. A twelve-year-auld lassie could get lost in there fur oors, and that's how ah planned to spend the day.


Ma first stop was the Virgin Megastore to browse all the new releases. They had loads of good singles on cassette – Catatonia, Puff Daddy, All Saints – but then, ah could ayewis just tape them aff the radio instead. And oneyway, ah had tae save my money tae get back hame again.


Ah swithered where tae go for grub – Maw wid only let us hae a Burger King about once a year, and I still hudnae tried thon KFC yet. But anyone who kens Stirlin, will ken that there really wis only one option, and that was the Pancake Place. My maw wid never have let me hae just pancakes for my dinner, so ah thought ah might as well treat mysel.


The rest of the day ah just wandered roond the shops, surprised that naebody noticed me, or asked why ah wisnae in school. Ah ended up in Topshop, browsin through their sale, disappointed that ah couldnae afford tae buy anything, when I spotted a bargain bin, selling thong underwear for only 50p.


Thongs were all the rage back then, and some aulder lassies ah kent fae school wore them. You could see the elastic sticking out o'er the top of their trackies. These lassies were ayewis popular at school, and ayewis surrounded by huge groups of boys. Ah wondered whither the boys wid like me mair if ah started wearing a thong.


Ah didnae even hesitate, and gladly gave o'er the rest of ma money tae the sales assistant, for two cheap thongs; yin purple and yin blue. Ah wis so chuffed wae masel, ah didnae even care that ah'd spent aw my bus fare, so wid hae tae walk seven miles back hame tae Alloa.


Panic set in once ah reached the main road – there were so many cars driving past. What if somebody recognised me, and went and clyped tae ma maw that ah wisnae in school? Ah kent she'd huv a flakey if she found oot, so ah hud tae get aff this busy road.


So that's how ah ended up in the middle ay a field, wi ma finger sliced open wi barbed wire. The scar is still visible now, almost twenty years later.


As I reached the outskirts of Alloa, ah put my school jersey back on, and blended in again with the rest of the maroon jerseys making their way hame.


Keywords: 
school, teenage years, secret adventure, scotland, Scots, Stirling, shopping