18 May 2013

The stories I could tell....{from 1997}

I'm sure all of us can can recount some interesting stories from our youth. I have a few memories from my last year at Waikato University that flooded back into my mind randomly one night and so you too get the pleasure of reliving them along with me. Lucky you huh!

My very own horror movie
So there was this one time when me and my 2 girl flatmates (there were 2 boys who lived in the flat too but they must have been out) decided to sit down and re-watch Scream one night. Asking for trouble right there for a start.

It was dusk, so we drew the curtains across the ranch slider to get all cosy and settled down for the night.

We'd gotten just a few minutes into the film, not far past the bit where Drew Barrymore answers the phone and the voice says 'Do you like scary movies little girl' and then she gets killed.


The phone rang in the flat, and without pausing the film I picked up the receiver and said distractedly 'hello?'

A voice on the other end of the line uttered the voice 'Do you like scary movies little girl?'. I screamed and dropped the phone and was just about to try and tell the girls what had happened when all of a sudden there was a huge banging on the ranch slider as if someone was trying to burst right in.


Oh my goodness, the adrenalin. The chills. We were totally freaking out!

Turns out one of the girls boyfriends who lived a few houses down the road had heard that we were going to watch Scream and had decided to play a joke on us and had co-ordinated that one of them would make the phone call and the other would wait outside the ranch slider door and as soon as he heard the phone ring he'd then start the banging on the door.

Mean much?! It took us a while to calm down after that!

Hallway rumba
Student flats aren't usually known for their cleanliness. And despite my best efforts to get a cleaning roster going, I'm sure I ended up doing more than my fair share of the toilet and bathroom because I just couldn't bear to live in a complete hovel. We were probably a pretty clean flat compared to some I'd have visited back then. And to be fair, we did pretty well out of making our grocery money stretch further than it should have. I remember many a late-night trip to Pak n Save where we'd stock up on $5 meal deals and make $100 feed 5 of us for a week!

So this one time, I was sitting on the floor in the hallway talking on the phone. It was back in the days when a phone was actually physically connected to the wall and you could only move as far from the wall as the cord would reach. Whilst talking, out of the corner of my I saw something moving along the hallway wall.

Actually more than one something moving, it was a lot of somethings moving in rumba-like fashion steadily along the wall.


Ah yep, a whole lot of maggots, making their merry way through the house. I was so grossed out that we had maggots crawling in the hallway that I promptly called a flat meeting and demanded to know how on earth it could have happened. Turns out someone had left the lid off the outside bin after throwing out some meat, the flies had got in and the maggots had hatched and made themselves at home, all in the space of a few days. Blergh! 

House meets car
One of my flatmates Jackie was very kind at letting others in the flat borrow her car, and she would always park her car in the driveway right in front of the bedroom you can see on the right with the wooden walls.

Bevan, upon borrowing the car one day, instead of putting the car into reverse, put it into gear and drove straight through the wall of another flatmate Rachel's bedroom.


OK so not quite as impressive as this accident below, but you get the drift. 


There was most certainly a hole in the wall that you could see daylight through and poor old Bevan's parents had to cough up to help get the wall fixed and Rachel had to move out of the bedroom for a few weeks till it was livable again.

Calf-poo car
Meanwhile I was just happy to have a car at all having inherited my Nan's old 1974 Toyota Corolla as my first car that year. After 23 years on the road it was still going strong, it did feel weird knowing I was driving a car around older than me! It must have been one of the first automatic cars made in NZ, and it looked just like this one, right down to the beautiful calf-poo colour!


It was very handy for getting me to and from work (at Burger King) and weekend trips to Auckland to see my then boyfriend. I have fond memories of de-icing the car at 5am on a Saturday for the drive up to Auckland and having to go super slow through all the back roads covered in famous Waikato fog until I reached the Bombay Hills. After I bought my first car, this one got handed down to my youngest brother, who from memory rolled into into a ditch somewhere outside of Morrinsville and that was the end of that!

Would you like fries with that?

While I was at uni I spent 2 years living at College Hall before going flatting in my last year, and during my 2nd year I had the awesomely privileged job of taking the rubbish bags that the cleaners emptied on a Wednesday morning, collecting them in a big rickshaw type trolley and carting them around the back of the hostel and emptying them into the commercial skip. It was a pretty unglamorous job, especially when 200 odd-students your age would see you 'taking out their rubbish'. Needless to say though, any shame was worth the fact that it paid my bills and paved the way for 2 trips to Japan during my degree.


So from that,  it was a bit of a step up in the world when I actually scored a job at Burger King in my last year. I used to work the pre-close shift 4.30pm- 12.30am on a Monday night, mostly working on the till and keeping the lobby clean. I only ever stayed to do the full close shift (till 2.30am) a couple of times, but one night after I'd left at 12.30am my work mates were the victims of an armed robbery when 2 guys managed to get access through the back door which had been accidentally left unlocked for a short time while emptying some rubbish.



I will be forever thankful that I didn't go through that experience as the 3 who were on duty were pretty traumatised by the whole thing for a long while after.

Keeping up appearances
The only downside to working that shift at BK on a Monday night was that I would be super tired the next morning. I always had Japanese language class first thing on Tuesday morning, and it was such an interactive class where you were constantly in conversation and being asked questions that I never struggled to stay awake.

Not so my Chinese history class which followed straight after. I'd sit at the back of the tiny lecture (of 20-odd students), put my book down, put my pen in one hand poised on the paper and rest my head down onto my other elbow - something like the shot below. I never made it through more than about 15 minutes before nodding off and dozing for the rest of the hour. Thankfully my lecturer was gracious enough NOT to pull me up on my lack of attention, and how I still managed to get an A+  for that class I'll never know, perhaps I was subconsciously taking it in whilst off in la-la land.



Lightning crashes
I have vivid memories of the music of this day and age, it was the days where any song by the Spice Girls, Ironic by Alanis Morrissette, and the song most played at College Hall (where I lived my first two years) by Live could be heard blaring out at full volume.



Can you remember this song and the era of your life when you remember hearing it? 

To be honest I can't believe this time in my life is nearly 20 years ago, way to make me feel old!

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