Ever since I was old enough to appreciate the art of story telling in a social setting I’ve strived to find “THE STORY TO DINE OUT ON”. A mythical beast that legend has will never tire, date or fail to capture the audience. Over the years I’ve had numerous. But my favourite is one I shall relay to you here.
Now bear in mind that this story is better told rather than read. But the topic requires my favourite story and this is one I have never failed to capture an audience with at a dinner party, social gathering or whatnot. It is a tale of drug abuse, hallucinogens and men with long hair. Most importantly it is a true story. One which when told after a bit of social drug or medicinal alcohol use gains more appeal.
I give you
The Tale of the Russian Invasion
Long ago. Well not aeons ago, more like the early to mid nineties there was a chap. An acquaintance of mine known as Big Ade. Ade was big. Hence the nomenclature. Big in stature he held no fear. Moreover, his hair style was one of complete baldness apart from a tiny “sprig” of beaded hair on the very top of his bald pate. The sort of guy you wouldn’t look at for fear of him turning your head into mince with his hands. In fact, despite his appearance Ade was a really nice guy with whom I’ve shared a few pints with in the past.
Ade had a friend with whom he would partake in the experimentation of mushrooms. Not your supermarket mushroom, but the variety that causes wild trips and euphoric experiences. The mystical mushroom. The magic mushroom. Having located an area close to their base where these mushrooms grew in abundance, Ade, his friend and his 2 companions set about one afternoon to collect a bountiful harvest. Several hours foraging proved fruitful and they returned to the house laden with a crop of magic mushrooms that would cause a mycophile to come out in sweats. Therein they sorted their harvest into two piles, one for immediate use, the other for sorting later.
Now I need to point out that the pile for immediate use was a mere fraction of the pile for sorting later. These guys were hard core users of natures psychedelic pantry and knew their limits. However what they didn’t account for was extraneous factors which may affect their judgement later on. But I digress, Ade and his chums retired from their harvest into the sitting room wherein they were enjoying a rather large joint as a reward for all their hard work. A few hours passed, as did several joints and eventually our heroes turned the conversation to food. Their hunger growing as a side effect of the joints. What to do? Dial a pizza? Too expensive. Kebab? Too far away. Fish and Chips? Too greasy. One of Ade’s friends suggested he cooked a curry for the group and removed himself into the kitchen to perform gastronomic delights while the other dudes chilled out to tunes from Pink Floyd, Gong and other hair proud musicians.
Eventually the curry arrived and they smiled at each other as they noticed familiar looking mushrooms within the sauce and began to tuck in. Several minutes passed before they started to realise that something wasn’t quite right. The clock on the video recorder appeared to be melting, the lamp stand seemed to want to turn into some sort of duck and the goldfish was lip syncing perfectly to some Dead Can Dance tune that was playing. Each of our heroes experienced some sort of very strong hallucination. Stronger than they have had in the past. This weirded them out more. Something wasn’t right, they shouldn’t have gotten as high as they had so soon. Ade investigated and discovered that, possibly in his stoned demeanour, his friend had used the wrong pile of mushrooms! Not the pile for immediate use, but the pile for splitting up and drying out for later use. Oh dear!
As the second hand waltzed across the face of the dining room clock and the house cat had begun to stare at people intently in a knowing and disturbed “I’m going to kill you if you blink” kind of way, our heroes started to feel the full effect of their drug use. Fearing that the walls might actually start turning into man eating cake, Ade suggested that the guys take the short walk from their house to the beach at Formby theorising that the fresh air might actually do them some good and help them come down in a less scary environment. After all it was a beautiful clear early autumn evening, still warm and not too chilly. So this is what they did. They left the house and the talking letterbox and walked to the beach taking with them some joints for later use, some cigarettes. In the dark.
Upon arriving at the beach the tide was in. They each went to chase their own respective pixies and to try and calm down within the sand dunes which line that part of the coast. Ade decided that he would sit at the beach line on the sand and watch the tide coming in while listening to some music on his Walkman.
So it was dark. The middle of the night. Four very big, brave lads stoned out of their heads. Gibbering to themselves on a beach in Formby, in the Northwest of England during a clear early autumn night. Ade is there, enjoying his music looking out to sea and marvelling at the moon low on the horizon, like a bright light in the distance rising out of the water.
But wait. What’s that? Surely the moon doesn’t split into two?
Whatever. It’s beautiful man. Beautiful. 😀
Something is not right.
That’s not right. The moon doesn’t get closer.
And why is the beach vibrating?
What is going on?
Ade turned off his walkman and noticed that the moons which had sub divided once more were emitting a dull throb.
That’s no moon!
What was going on?
As Ade stood up in amazement. Bewildered by the approaching rumbling moons he realised that they were not moons at all. Seconds passed and amazement turned to astonishment as he realised that the approaching rumbling moons were in fact boats. Astonishment turned to horror as the passengers of the boats disembarked, armed to the teeth and dressed in military uniform. Horror turned to fear as Ade watched the soldiers start running up the beach shouting.
Ade span round and started running towards his friends in the dunes
“THE FUCKING RUSSIANS ARE INVADING! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!” he bellowed at the top of his voice as he ran back towards the houses. His friends leapt to their feet and ran too. The Russians! Invading! Oh My GOD! Run for your life!
The four of them ran. Ran as fast as they could. All the way back to the house. Inside they barricaded the door with sofas chairs and what ever they could find. They ran and hid in one of the upstairs rooms. Suddenly soberer they started to discuss what had happened. What it was that they should do. Should they phone the police? Should they call relatives? Surely not, the communications would be down and the police would probably already be aware. Perhaps they could arm themselves with knives and tools. Form some sort of militia or resistance. As long as they could avoid capture it would be fine.
Time passed. Someone suggested they turn the TV on and see what was going on. There was nothing on the TV about any invasion. Perhaps the BBC had already fallen under Communist control. Perhaps people lay dying in the streets. Perhaps. What if? Maybe?!
Eventually it became clear that several hours had passed. Dawn broke and people outside started to go about their daily business and go to work. Surely if the Russians had invaded people wouldn’t go to work. Surely it wasn’t the Russians. Surely it was the drugs. But no. They all saw the army dudes marching up the beach. As the guys came down and sense started to return to their minds. It became clear there hadn’t been an invasion after all. But what had happened?
Later that day Ade found out.
The Territorial Army.
Oh the embarrassment. Let’s never talk of this again………;-)