Monday, August 06, 2007

Summer girls will

My favourite episode of Black Books is the one where Bernard gets a summer girlfriend.

As Wikiquote reminds me:

"I've got to get a girlfriend, just for the summer, until this wears off. She'll be a summery girl. She'll have hair. She'll have summery friends who know how to be outside. She'll play tennis and wear dresses and have bare feet, and in the autumn, I'll ditch her, because she's my summer girl!"

I am not that girl. And I never have been. But I've always envied them slightly.

I was lying in bed this morning, grateful for the lack of plumbing work (who wants to put on kneepad trousers and safety boots in this weather?). I had the French windows open and next door have got builders in big time, so I was involuntarily listening to Builders Radio. Builders Radio is usually shit (being either Radio 1 or some MOR FM shite, depending on the age of the builder) but occasionally reveals a gem. This morning it was Boys of Summer, by Don Henley. Some tossers did a truly dreadful dance remix of this a few years ago, but the original is a great song -- if you are fourteen, anyway.

The summeriest girl I ever knew was called (something similar to) Sarah Stuart. We were at primary school together. She was lithe and tanned and her hair was perfect and she could toss it just so while glancing over her shoulder at you. Her lips glistened, she never sweated and everything she wore looked amazing on her.

The last time I saw her was probably the summer of the Boys of Summer. She came into the bread shop where I was working... she was lithe, tanned etc, and I was pasty and frizzy and damp. I hated her, standing there in her little fluorescent mesh playsuit, with half of Clifton Street still rooted to the spot they'd been standing in when she flounced past.

Hi, I said, what are you up to at the moment?

She told me she was working at the Pleasure Beach. That was the place that summer girls worked, that's where you got to hang out with the Boys of Summer. We all wanted a job at the Pleasure Beach. I asked her what she was doing there.

She told me she had a job sitting on a swing in a bikini, over a pool of water. Punters would throw balls at a target, and if they hit it, her swing would give way and she would fall in the water. It was then I learnt that there's a dark side to being a summer girl.

Later that summer, someone told me she got badly injured when she swam into the heating element and burnt her leg. It was then I learnt that there were very real advantages to not being a summer girl.

August's still a struggle though.


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Blogger Beth said...

I was worried that was going to end even more badly!

(I *love* 'Boys Of Summer')

9:53 pm  
Blogger Jo said...

Who knows what happened to the summer girl after that, though?

"I thought I knew what love was, what did I know?". That song surely has to be the best thing that ever came out of the Eagles...

11:47 pm  

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