A memory. A flashback. Quite literally.
For many, many years I have been repressed both sexually and socially. As a person I wouldn't say boo to a goose except when I was angry or afraid, or both, and then I could be very close to violence. I remember in my last job a couple of individuals who thought they could take the piss or attempt to intimidate me backing off in fear when they'd wound me up to such a pitch that I'd gone green and had ripped my clothes to shreds. Afterwards they had been extra nice to me and I had been nice back but all the time smiling wryly inwardly. Perhaps, I sometimes wonder, I had played a mental game with them to see how far they would go and then derive an intense gratification when I had finally turned the tables; Pleasure is the discharge of tension, Freud had deduced and revenge at times for me as a youngster was the ultimate discharge of tension. Maybe.
On the other hand it could have been quite simply that I was a nasty little individual at times. It's all subjective. Relative.
That said, I was also quite repressed sexually and shy. I craved a female, a highly attractive female and wanted to do dirty and kinky things to her but at the same time was embarrassed by my body and felt and feared that my cock was small, that I would be laughed and jeered at by not just her but her friends too.
So I drank a lot at weekends and went to night clubs or discotheques as they were more popularly known then and the alcohol gave me the courage to approach women and sometimes get lucky; though normally with a slag or a slut who underneath I despised. Actually, I despised them openly. And having said that I was always quite coy about allowing them to see too much of my body. I guess I even worried about the derision of a slag. Sad. Pathetic.
Of course I didn't want to be that way. I sought to be attractive and brazen and confident and successful with a big cock. And I also had exhibitionist tendencies though fortunately I was good at controlling them until one cold Saturday night or rather Sunday morning when I was walking back home totally drunk when the urge had come from nowhere to strip completely naked. The urge had made me achingly hard and despite a token resistance from the sensible part of my character I had surrendered to it. At the end of a fairly quiet and residential road I had stood there under the harsh purple-blue fluorescent light of the street lamp and had stripped off completely naked. I can tell you now it was a potent cocktail of arousal, liberation and fear. I'd felt totally alive and free. My cock was as hard as it ever could be. I had briefly looked around at the handful of houses and I had wondered what would have happened if one of the residents had cared to pull back the curtains and look out; they didn't as far as I know. I had then, with my clothes under my arms run down the road with my erection pointing the way. I ran for about a quarter of a mile (it was a long road) and had then stopped gasping for breath. Coming to my senses a little I had then dressed as quickly as I could hoping that no one had seen me and had then walked home.
Afterwards I had often reflected on what I had done with mixed feelings remembering the incredible intoxication of arousal and liberation but tempered with the fact that I could have been prosecuted; and worse be known as some sort of pervert. It would also have embarrassed my family too.
Still, I got away with it at the time...
Just Another Slut on a Saturday Night
"If you promise to stay the night, Matt, then I'll let you sleep with me."
"Yeah, okay then," I respond flatly. I'm not that fussed either way. But since I'm here, well...
Her little plain face lights up, like a punter pulling three cherries on a fruit machine, and she says, all excitedly, "I'll go and set up the camp bed then."
"Why do you need to do that?"
"There's only one bedroom and one double bed here which I share with my sister. She won't want to come home and find you in bed with me," she replies, and then giggles in a silly and irritating way as though she was eight rather than eighteen.
"You sleep with your sister?"
"We can only just afford the rent on a one bedroom flat. My dad threw us out."
She disappears into the bedroom leaving me alone in the 'lounge' to look around. The place is certainly a shithole: musty and peeling wallpaper, threadbare carpet with single naked light bulb suspended by a twisted flex. I won't be staying here any longer than needs be.
I'm quite drunk having sunk pint after pint of lager and lime, first in Yelf's Tubs then down at the Prince Consort Discotheque with my mate, Jeremy. I wouldn't be here if I wasn't so pissed.
I suddenly chuckle, recalling having given Jeremy strict instructions at the beginning of the evening for him to drag me away from Janine if it looked like I was in danger of getting off with her. Unsurprisingly, as no other females were interested, I had grabbed her for a smooch when the DJ had concluded the evening by playing Sealed with a Kiss by Brian Hyland and then proceeded to snog her with the final bars of the track fading out just prior to the main lights flicking on to signal 'kicking out' time.
Whilst she was picking up her coat from the cloakroom Jeremy had approached me and said, "You're going to regret this in the morning, Matt. Remember what you told me: 'Don't let me get off with Janine under any circumstances.' "
"I know what I am doing. I'll be okay," I had slurred. I had then discretely flashed him the crumpled carton of Durex I had been keeping stashed in my back pocket.
"Don't say I didn't warn you," he had reminded me, whilst briefly raising his eyebrows, before turning and heading for the exit...
The door from the bedroom opens and Janine drags out the camp bed along with a duvet and a couple of pillows. I watch her unfold the bed and place the bedclothes on the top. I can't be bothered to help.
"I'm just going to the loo. I won't be long," I inform her. Nothing more uncomfortable than shagging with a full bladder.
I push open the door to the toilet. It's in as a crappier condition as the rest of the flat: curled up lino, mouldy walls, rusty pipes and lime-scale crusted to the bowl like barnacles to the bottom of a ship's hull. Nice.
I unzip my fly and release a powerful jet of piss before noticing a small pool of yellow urine growing to the side of the pan on the lino - whoops. I adjust my aim, finish urinating then flush the cistern.
I re-enter the lounge to find her already under the covers.
"You haven't wasted any time then?" I say to her.
"Take your clothes off and then snuggle in, Matt. It's cold tonight."
I take all my clothes off, discarding them in a heap on the dirty floor, whilst she watches me and as she does, I become, despite the quantity of alcohol in my system, quite erect.
"What are you doing now?" she asks me with a hint of impatience.
"Putting a condom on," I reply matter-of-factly whilst I rummage through my trouser pockets.
"You don't need one of them-"
"I think I do," I interrupt.
I finally find it; tear open the packet then roll it over my stiffy. I'm ready now.
"Switch the lights off will you, Matt. I'm a bit bashful."
And only about two pints less from being pretty repulsive too, I want to add but don't.
I stride to the light switch and take a last look at her with only her dark curly haired head sticking out of the covers. I wonder for a second what I am doing here. Really doing here. She's possesses lovely olive brown eyes, her father is Italian, but facially she just reminds me of Woody Allen and that is just not an attractive look. Her figure, I remember from shagging her before, isn't bad. Her nipples are quite dark which I like. But she's also pretty thick and intelligence, in a female, is a turn-on for me.
I flick the switch walk over and then clamber under the covers with her.
I put my arms round her, put my mouth to hers, stick my tongue in and grab her tight whilst pressing my hard little prick next to the bare flesh of her torso.
"I knew you'd come back with me," she exclaims me with an air of triumph.
I say nothing, instead I bite one of her nipples with force enough to make her gasp. I then reach down with my right hand to her groin gripping her hairy crutch. She's damp. I push open her legs and mount her whilst guiding my cock into her cunt. It won't take long. Thankfully.
I know that she would like to get pregnant by me so that I'll have to marry her. But that will never be. I am just using her till I get someone decent.
I begin to thrust hard and start to fantasise about being slippered naked by Miss Shipley, the youngish, blonde and rather strict French Teacher we had at High School...
I climax but not strongly. The alcohol and condom combining to take the edge off the sensation.
"That was good, Matt," Janine coos.
She's trying to make me feel better about myself because underneath it wasn't that satisfying for her. I don't really care though.
I slide my rapidly contracting penis out of her vagina and roll off her before dragging myself out of bed.
"What are you doing now?"
I pull the rubber easily off my cock, placing it on the floor.
"I'm off home now, Janine."
"Why?" she asks with hurt in her tone.
"I sleep better at home, that's why. Besides my mother and grandmother will worry about me if I'm not back in the morning."
"Got to go home to your... mummy then?" she mocks.
"You want to grow up," she adds.
"You promised me you would stay the night." The injured tone returns.
"I changed my mind."
She suddenly turns in the bed with her back to me.
I turn the light on and begin to dress. The flat seems even more of a tip than before. It depresses me. I also, from the sniffing emanating from her, suspect she is crying.
I finish dressing.
"I'll be off then," I say.
"Just go. User."
"I've left the used Durex by the bed. You probably don't want to leave it there where your sister can see it."
She doesn't answer so I walk out of the flat, closing the door quietly behind me. It is about three in the morning. I then descend the internal staircase before exiting out onto The Strand.
It's quite cold, I didn't bother with a coat, and I can see my breath turn to vapour every time I exhale. Still, it's not that far home, about a fifteen-minute walk.
I cut through Ashley Gardens, past the ornamental fishponds, the stone lions and the memorial plaque to the victims of the HMS George tragedy, and out onto Ryde Esplanade...
I clock him across the smoky and crowded dance floor of the Prince Consort discotheque. He is six foot, a couple of inches taller than me, blond with an athletic build and would be good looking were it not for the permanent sneer twisting his features. He's eighteen. I'm nineteen.
His mates call him Barney and he's a cunt, quite literally, from the wrong side of the tracks across town and he's from a rough family whose reputation he lives off.
He's heading my way because about an hour earlier he had been giving my mate Jeremy a bit of hassle. I had told him to piss off. And he had.
It's been eating him since, he has lost face, I can see that, and now with a few more beers in his belly he has come to even the score.
I watch him get closer. I shut out the thumping beat of the music and the dancers and focus, though pissed, on what I am going to do, have to do.
He's about three feet away and his eyes are angrily staring into mine. It's a mistake as he should be looking at my hands. I smile slightly to deceive him into believing that it is he who is in control and that I am no threat.
I smash my right fist as hard as I can into his face with the intention of pushing his nose into the back of his head and as I do an electric shock of pain shoots up my arm. He reels back in agony bringing his hands up to his face and turns away.
One hard punch and the cunt's had enough. I kind of feel good about that.
"Okay cool it lads, just stay cool everybody," says the DJ who has had a grandstand view. He also kills the music.
The dancers stop dancing and slowly realise that something has happened. Barney is over in the corner and one of his mates has his arm round him. Another one of his pals, quite short and probably underage comes up to me and says menacingly: "If you want trouble mate we'll give you fucking trouble!"
I want to laugh, though it is swiftly dawning on me that I could really be in deep shit, because the line sounds right out of a badly scripted gangster movie. I decide to brazen it out - they don't know me and maybe I really am useful, besides I took their mate out pretty easily and he was supposed to be tough.
"Look Shorty, it was between him and me, but if you want some of the same then feel free to have a go."
He says nothing and sidles off. The problem is my hand is really hurting and I'm wondering if I've broken a finger. I'm fucked if there is to be any more fighting.
I decide to get out but I have to do it coolly, if I show any weakness then I've had it. I nonchalantly push another one of his mates out of the way and make for the back way to the cloakrooms where Jeremy is attempting to chat up the cock-tease of an attendant. I've got to get him out in case they start on him. At the far end of the club by the entrance I just see one of the black suited burly bouncers begin to walk down, presumably called by the DJ.
I'm really shitting it now inside but I if I can keep my composure I stand a good chance of getting away with it.
As I step off the dance floor a big blond fellow with a petite brunette hanging on his arm says to me: "Who the fuck do you think you are?"
I just ignore him and carry on walking. And pray he doesn't come after me. I stroll down the corridor fairly confident that nobody is following me. I see Jeremy leaning on the door frame of the cloakroom and he is trying to impress the flirty peroxide blonde of an attendant. He looks a bit annoyed that I am about to interrupt him but he hasn't got a cat in hells chance of pulling her anyway.
I take him by the arm and out of earshot.
"Jeremy we have to get out of here. And quick. I've just smacked Barney and we could be in big fucking trouble!"
"Uh, right," he says, suddenly realising the seriousness of the situation.
"I want you to act completely normal till we get out of here," I whisper to him. He nods.
We make our way the ten yards or so to the exit. There is only one bouncer there; the other two are probably on the dance floor questioning people. I still can't hear any music. Not good.
As I approach the door I fear that at any moment a member of Barney's little group could just appear. And we still have to get past the doorman.
The bouncer sees us and to my amazement swings open the reinforced glass door. "Early night lads?"
"Well there's not a lot going on and I've got to work tomorrow. Good night!" I respond breezily.
I breathe a sigh of relief as I step out into the late evening air and walk up the stone steps to the pavement, the Prince Consort nightclub being below ground level.
As we reach the top of the steps I turn to Jeremy and say: "I think it will probably be a very good idea if we sprint back to mine and wait for the furore to die down."
We're both pretty quick but we have only gone about seventy yards when I hear a shout in the distance.
"That's him. After them, lads!"
We get to the top of St Thomas's Street and then turn into Spencer Road. We're both badly gasping and as we get to my parent's house I look for my pursuers. But we have left them behind and more importantly they haven't seen where I live.
I open the front door and we let ourselves in. It is quiet; my mother and grandmother have gone to bed.
"That was close Matt, what happened?"
"I punched Barney in the face before he hit me. I never realised he had so many mates and what's really bad is that I may have damaged my hand. It really hurts. I meant to punch him in the nose but I think I missed and hit him on the cheek. I think I'll leave it a while before paying another visit to the Prince Consort."
We suddenly hear a group of noisy lads pass by outside the window and exchange knowing smiles.
"Fancy a cup of tea Jeremy?"
"Yeah, don't mind if I do, Matt."
I fill the kettle and then place it on the ring of the cooker before lighting the gas...
Two Tales of Minor Revenge
I'll be honest I struggled at school even though I passed the 11+ exam. I always performed poorly and in the first two years at Grammar School the best I ever achieved for term work was second from bottom and for exams, twentieth out of twenty-seven. Not exactly outstanding.
In 1970 the school became comprehensive and they stopped reading out the results in assembly - about the only good thing I can say about the comprehensive system. Anyway, the only subjects I found interesting were Chemistry and History though I sometimes used to like composing essays for English Language. The education system seemed to be largely a waste of time for most children and an even bigger waste of money for the taxpayer. I still think it is now.
Because the only subject I was good at was Chemistry I decided that the best career (note how career sounds so much better than job) for me was in the Civil Service as a Scientist. I struggled to get five O'levels after two attempts and then after a bit I managed to land a position as an Assistant Scientific Officer.
For a while I had visions of a slow but steady rise through the ranks. I also used to imagine me coming in to start the day in a smart blue suit greeting the junior staff with a cheery 'morning' before pushing back the frontiers of mankind's knowledge, which would of course lead to Utopia...
The actual position entailed analyzing engine oil samples from helicopters. Basically we determined the amount of wear metal by using an Atomic Absorption Spectrometer. If the wear metals began to rise too fast then it would suggest that vital bearings were about to break up. It gave advance warning of catastrophic engine failure which not only saved pilots' lives it also saved millions of pounds for the taxpayer.
I was quite proud of my job and I thought I was good at it. I was good at it in actual fact because I was conscientious and accurate. But the head of department took me aside one day and informed me that I wasn't going anywhere because I lacked ambition and drive*. I responded that I did everything I was asked to do. He then told me that I didn't show enough interest in the rest of the department. I explained that I was taught to respect boundaries and not to poke my nose in where it wasn't wanted. It was to no avail.
The boss was a highly educated man who only failed to attain his PhD because a fire destroyed his work before he could submit it. Or so he said. He was basically a decent fellow but he didn't suffer fools gladly. He was also a bit of a snob and looked down on the working classes. Naturally he was a socialist and voted Labour.
The upshot of this encounter was that he wanted me to undergo an I.Q. test - the other members of the department had taken it so I couldn't really refuse. I took the accursed test and my I.Q. was measured at 105. It was higher than the man in the street but the lowest in the department. Shades of Grammar School and end of term assemblies.
I felt humiliated and my confidence never recovered. I also failed an exam at college. In truth my career was over before it had even started, but what could I do? I soldiered on and tried to make the best of things. I was not yet twenty, unable to get a girlfriend (well, a decent girlfriend, I could pull sluts) because I was plain, spotty, big nosed and skinny and to boot my professional dreams were shattered. I did think about suicide.
I eventually left the establishment much to my colleagues' relief but not before a few rather satisfying incidents which consoled me a little.
As I explained earlier my job - which a trained monkey could do according to my immediate boss - was to analyse oil samples from helicopter engines to pick up excessive wear and prevent system failure. One type of engine was prone to aviation fuel seeping into the lubrication system. If too much did then an engine fire was a possibility. It was due to a design fault on a seal which was being looked into. In the meantime we were to sniff each oil sample and then determine how much fuel as a percentage was in the system - if it was more than ten percent then the oil system was to be drained and then replenished with new oil. After a while one could guess just by sniffing what the level was. If not we would distil some of the oil and determine it more scientifically.
One day I came into work and the boss was absolutely incandescent. An engine had burst into flames and it was thought the cause was fuel seepage.
"I want to find out who analysed these samples and didn't check for contamination. What are we doing paying good money to these retards who can't even be bothered to do the job properly!" the boss had ranted before storming into his office slamming the door behind him, and probably more concerned about how this would affect his career rather than any safety issues.
I said to the fellow who worked with me analysing oil samples who was even lower than me in the hierarchy: "I don't think we're retards, and I know you are conscientious just like me. Something isn't right here."
A few minutes later the boss emerged and told me: "I want you to dig out every oil sample from this engine, determine how much fuel was in each, and more importantly I need to know who was responsible. I'm considering disciplinary action."
Sure enough I rechecked the samples and discovered who had analysed them - not one had me or my colleague been responsible for. They all had above-levels of fuel in with the last one being well over the safety level. The last one I had real trouble in finding out who had done it because the record card had gone missing, surprise, surprise. I persevered in my search and eventually found it - the last oil sample had been analysed by the boss's blue eyed boy. Result or what!
Because we were a seven-day-a-week facility other staff members of the lab would work weekends analysing samples - 'trained monkeys' on double time and expenses. In the rush to get away for sailing or golf they had failed to perform the job to the standard of the 'retards'. I felt totally vindicated. Of course no disciplinary charges were levelled against the blue eyed boy but for the sake of appearances we were all called in to listen to the boss give us a pep talk on the importance of vigilance. At the end of the talk the boss turned to me and said: "Matt, You look like you have something to say?"
"Yeah, I was just wondering what we are doing paying good money to these retards who can't even do the job properly."
The boss looked daggers at me and then stormed out. I felt like I had just scored the winning goal for England in the World Cup.
Not so long after the boss challenged me to a game of chess - we were going through a phase of playing chess during the dinner hour and had a chess ladder. Despite my low I.Q. I could hold my own and while never top I was never bottom either. The boss possessed a very high I.Q. and obviously felt he could thrash me - the 'retard' remark had rankled with him and it was only fitting that I be put in my place. I agreed to the challenge and looking back it was Mensa versus Denser.
We commenced play and there was no doubt that he was very clever - he set up some very subtle traps for me which it took a lot of concentration to suss out and then avoid. In fact he spent all his time scheming on them whilst I carefully set up my attack. It was a real shock to him when I announced 'check mate'.
"That was a fluke. I'll play you again!"
He played me again and it was exactly the same pattern - I won. This time he was absolutely livid.
"Put your lab coat back on and get back to work - NOW!"
He spent the afternoon in his office sulking. I had now equalled Geoff Hurst.
His weakness of course was that he couldn't see the bigger picture - depth reduces field of view. Is it more desirable to have less resolution and 180 degree vision or to be focused with tunnel vision? I'm putting it simplistically but I think there may be something in it. I have another speculation about this but I will leave that for another day.
Okay, one more World Cup goal...
The fellow who was my immediate boss wasn't that keen on me and he often treated me like shit - dressing me down in front of others when he should have taken me to one side. I really needed to get him back. And I did.
The main laboratory was the largest section of the establishment with the smaller offices radiating from it. There was a lot of equipment humming with cooler fans and ticking over. We would finish work at a quarter to five and just a few minutes before that time I would switch everything off. The boss wouldn't allow it to be turned off too early so as to create the impression with his superiors that we were an establishment always ready for everything. I noticed that as soon as I turned everything off my boss, like Pavlov's Dog, would get into his motorcycle waterproofs, put his helmet on and then shoot off. My boss if the big boss was away would come in late and go home early but the week previous he had been driving out of the yard only to be caught by the big boss - he had been bollocked and everyone knew he had been bollocked too. This one afternoon I waited for the big boss to go and visit some big wig and when he did I clicked off all the instruments - it was twenty past four. My boss fell for it, put on his wet weather gear and left the lab about twenty five minutes before he should have. Once he had gone I switched back on all the instruments. A few minutes later the big boss returned and asked where my boss was.
Dishonesty isn't really a part of me. "I think he's gone home," I said.
He was called into the big boss's office the next day first thing. I didn't laugh. Much.
*A couple of years later I attended a career appraisal. The guy who interviewed me said during it: "It has been suggested that you lack ambition, Mr Triewly." I had replied, "Well a man who is thinking about the next job is a man who isn't concentrating on the job in hand."
He never had an answer to that.
The Bad Tempered Balloon Man
In the summer I turned twenty I was on a cycling holiday with a chum called Steve. The plan was that we would catch the train to East Kent, stay at the youth hostel in Doddington on the first night and then cycle back to Portsmouth over a week in stages using youth hostels....
As I'm writing this, I'm recalling long steep hills, drizzle, exhaustion but also beautiful days, the smell of the country, that pungent odour of fresh rain on hot tarmac, the wind in my hair and the sun on my back. Also, chatting to interesting people who we would never see again plus the novelty of waking up in a different location each day.
Anyway, Steve had carefully worked out our route beforehand, using specialist maps, which avoided main roads and skirted around hills. We had booked the youth hostels in advance and also made sure our bikes were sound mechanically. We only took the minimum of clothes and other essentials like tools which were packed tight into waterproof panniers. In addition, we'd made sure we were fit enough for the enterprise by going on long bike rides for a couple of months before. What could go wrong?
Well, the truth of the matter is that nothing really did go wrong apart from a puncture Steve sustained around about Cosham - he merely wheeled his bike back to the ferry instead of riding it.
Was it a coming of age trip with 'boys' facing adversity and character-building encounters to become 'men'? Well, no; I was no longer a virgin as I was in a relationship with Claudia who now lived on the mainland. As for Steve he was a virgin and still about a year from meeting his wife whom he would be totally faithful and loyal to.
Was it a journey of 'self-discovery'? No, we both knew what kind of people we were; though in my case I wasn't quite prepared to reveal the complete extent of my kinks at that point in my life.
So, the trip couldn't be remade as a Mike Leigh play or even turned into a film like Deliverance where a couple of cyclists make a wrong turn and stumble across some nasty country types doing something they shouldn't in the woods...
Na, none of the above. But there is one incident I do remember, and it is kind of funny - now. Okay, I have to be honest, though I'm a fairly pleasant person most of the time I can when tired and frustrated get grumpy and bad tempered and there were times on the trip when I got grumpy and bad tempered and swore a lot and even stamped my little feet. Now, when I did Steve would just stand there patiently and wait for me to calm down before we would carry on. He was a nice fella. Having said that I never stayed bad tempered for long; it was always a sudden squall for me - still is. Anyway, I only 'lost my rag' a few times whilst Steve remained cool. However, there was one occasion when we had taken the wrong turning and gone several miles off our route before discovering we had. Now, on that particular day it was raining quite heavily, was fairly windy and we had both put our waterproofs on. After a couple of miles, I was really wet with sweat so I took them off and carried on in just shorts and a t-shirt; I'd be soaked whatever. Steve had opted for keeping his on. So, we were stopped in this road in the middle of nowhere, rain pelting down, whilst Steve fished in his pannier for the map. Once he'd managed to open it (it was the size of an Ordnance Survey map and as unwieldy) he'd then sworn and said: "Fuck, we've gone about seven miles out of our way. We should have taken that road there. We can get back on route by taking the next left turn, but we've still wasted time and energy cycling a lot of miles we needn't have. What a bloody day to have gone the wrong fucking way."
I could see he was more cross with himself than anything as he prided himself upon meticulous planning. He then proceeded to attempt to fold the map up but as he did the wind kept blowing it out. Of course, the longer he tried the stronger the wind blew and frustrated his attempts even more. Finally driven to a brief bout of temper he just screwed the map up into a ball and stuffed it back into his pannier. For some reason seeing the normally calm Steve getting rather rattled amused me; though I did attempt to supress a grin. We then mounted our bikes and proceeded with our journey but not for long as there was a loud crunching sound as Steve's chain leapt off the cogs and jammed into the sprockets. This was just the last straw for Steve who jumped off his bike and threw it to the ground before giving the prone beast a good kicking. The best of it was that the wind had now blown up his orange waterproofs giving him the appearance of a 'balloon man'. I don't know what the odd passing motorist would have thought having seen him, but I just burst out laughing. Steve realising I was laughing then angrily responded by shouting at me: "You FUCKING fat cunt, in all the times I've stood there whilst you had a tantrum and I never said a thing and the first time I lose my temper and you laugh your fucking head off. You CUNT!"
When he said that I just laughed even more.
It was a classic moment.
After a few minutes he did calm down and we carried on. But only after he'd taken his waterproofs off and sorted his chain out.
Oh, well, happy memories...