'Into Every Life Some Pain Must Fall...' by Danny Bowes

Here's a slightly reworked version of a piece I wrote for a Thunder tourbook a few years ago. Apologies is you've already read it but I couldn't think of anything to write, and it still makes me laugh....

As a small boy, I was curious, boisterous, and always up for anything (easily led) as well as being extremely accident prone. I was always in some sort of trouble or scrape. A few examples follow :-

Three Years Old - The Big Black Car Incident

The big boys wouldn't let me play football with them because they said I was too small. They did however let me retrieve it when the ball went into the road. Eager to please, I ran after said ball with blind enthusiasm, not noticing the oncoming motor vehicle. Sufficed to say I was hit by the car and dragged along for several yards with the front bumper lodged in my lip. Back to West Ham Hospital (where I was born) for stitches in mouth, head and lip. Still have the scars today (oh and no feeling in the left side of my mouth).

Five Years Old - Swimming
The older boy next door decided to introduce me to the wonders of swimming. I was very excited as we changed into our swimming trunks and got into the water. He held me very carefully with my head above the waves, as he waded further and further into the deep water. Having got to what seemed to the very deepest part of the pool, he told me to think like a fish, and promptly let me go! I splashed a lot, panicked more, gurgled even more than that, then sank! The lifeguard who saved me was very professional as she pumped the water from my lungs by the side of the pool. Not having told my mum where I was going, fairly major league punishment ensued when I was brought home.

Six Years Old - The Old "Bike Under The 122" Chestnut

The older boy next door (same boy) came by and decided to remove the brakes on my three wheeler bike with his dad's pliers (What's wrong with that? He said it would make it a drag bike, and he did teach me to swim). I of course agreed. My family lived above a shop in Plumstead High Street, South London, at this time, and the whole area around the High Street is hilly and steep.
We decided the perfect way to test my new mean machine would be for me (not him) to ride from the top of the hill down to the bottom, turning the corner as quickly as possible, then race back home for biscuits and milk. He waited at the bottom and watched me start off. I can still remember that twisted glee in his eyes as he watched me (unable to turn the corner), shoot off the pavement and straight into the High Street traffic, under the 122 (heading for Forest Hill SE23). Luckily for me, the bus was just leaving the bus stop, and the driver managed to brake quickly. My bike was destroyed, and I was bruised and shocked, but that wasn't the end of it. Two public spirited old ladies dragged me out, marched me home, then proceeded to scold my mother for not exercising control over her son. This all resulted in yet another early night and the obligatory clip round the ear. I never played with that boy again. In fact....

Eight Years Old - Pugilism For Beginners

Looking back, I suppose it was inevitable really, he'd done so many things to me, it seems perfectly natural that I would have my first fight with the boy next door. Only now he didn't live next door, and I was much bigger. I hadn't seen him for ages when he made fun of me in front of a crowd of my mates, thinking things would be the same as ever (I would be scared and back down),
but the mouse roared (me being the mouse), I lost my temper (properly I think for the first time) and beat him to a pulp. He ran away, I was victorious, I was popular, his older brother came round, I was beaten up. I learned then that fighting is all a bit futile really. I also learned that it would have been very handy to have had a big brother....

A Compendium Of Pain

Okay, pretty normal so far, my childhood seems much the same as any other small boy, but there's more. As far as accidents and injuries go, let's face it we all have our share, but I think you'll agree that the following list goes a long way towards proving the theory that if pain was a tuck shop cream cake, I would have been the fattest kid in the class.....

Run Over By Cars/Buses:
Run Over By Motorbike:
Broken Arms:
Broken Toes:
Broken Thumbs: 
Broken Shoulder blade:
Cracked Kneecap:
Broken Finger:
Screwdriver Through Face:
9 times (this is absolutely true).
1 time.
1 (fell from coat hook in school locker room)
2 (see motorbike).
2 (one from rugby and one from football).
1 (football).
1 (ran into iron girder).
1 (trapped in train door).
1 (ignored father's warning not to touch, got trapped behind chair).

The Insult to Injury List
As if that lot wasn't enough, I have also:-

Fallen off a two storey roof.
Piloted a supermarket trolley into a canal.
Been thrown head first through a plate glass shop window.

I bet you're wondering whether I was:-

A. Just plain unlucky?
B. Gullible?
C. Simply stupid?
D. Mentally unbalanced?

These are all valid questions, and I suppose the answer is probably ALL OF THE ABOVE.

I can swear categorically that this tale of woe is all true, in actual fact there are many other pain filled events I've omitted, but I'm sure that by now you must be thinking you can have too much of a good thing, and I think I hear a storm coming, I wouldn't want to get electrocuted whilst typing......

Pip Pip

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