Getting Caught: Wee Dicks Playing In Construction Sites

“I’m gonna take a shit down this pipe,” said Tom*.
Cool!” I replied.And so I watched my friend squat over the already fitted mains water pipe for the planned kitchen of the construction site we were trespassing in.
It was going to be a good summer.

Throughout my childhood, Tom would be my on/off friend, the one friend to make my parents sigh when he turned up at the door. ‘That boys a bit of a weirdo.’

Tom seemed to make up facts on the spot. ‘Did you know that dogs see in black and white but dream in colour?’ Or, there was that time where he tried to convince me the gear stick in his mum’s boyfriends new car was a telephone. “Why do the numbers only go to 5?” I asked.”You don’t need the rest when you’re in a car,” he stated.

Tom was also a collector. Cans of Lynx body deodorant were his passion, discontinued fragrances and cans from abroad his Holy Grail.

Skipping forward to our teenage years I remember a girl Laura, a flirty girl who hung about with older boys. She once mentioned in passing that she loves a man who wears Lynx Africa.
Cut to; Tom standing outside Laura’s door. “Hey Laura, check this out,” yells Tom as he begins to douse himself in Lynx Africa, as if he expected her to come stampeding forward uncontrollably like that advertisement that would follow years later.
Anyway, Tom’s collection was undeniably impressive, more so his enthusiasm. Admittedly I did try and mirror his passion by collecting cans of soft drinks and building a wall in my bedroom, a collection I tried to wow people with. But in the end it attracted flies, annoyed my parents and was just a bit shit.

Facebook, YouTube, Xbox Live, free instantly accessible streaming high definition pornography. None of these had been invented yet. To find out what our friends were up to we had to go to their door, or give them a call on a telephone.

“Hello Tom? Yeah, just woke up and I’m ready for another great day. …Bye.”

“Hello William? Yeah, just woke up and I’m ready for… sorry Mrs McQueen, can you put William on, I want to give him an update on my status.”

Films and TV episodes were bought, rented or captured on a VHS tape. Offline 8-bit and later 64-bit games were played rarely with the ability to save your progress. And pornography came in the form of a torn magazine found in the woods. Or you had a friend whose parents had a tape that you would watch when home alone, then rewind the tape to the exact same spot the parents had left it in. Without leaving a trace of evidence that your childhood innocence had just died a little.

I digress. The point was there wasn’t much to do that involved staying at home. So we were always outdoors.

Construction sites. A poor kid’s Disneyland. Where imagination lets loose and flirts with the possibility of maiming yourself on a fun piece of machinery you weren’t trained in how to operate. You risked being mauled by a angry old guard dog or caught, threatened or worse by a shifty guard on night-watch.
“I know who you are. Your dad’s a loony. A loony up in the nuthouse in Togus. He took your ear and he put it to a stove and burnt it off.”

Top 10 things to do in a construction site that would give your mother a heart attack:

  1. Climb the entire building’s scaffold while humming the theme to Spider-Man.
  2. Hit a nail gun cap with a rock until it explodes.
  3. Set fire to a bunch of explosive nail gun caps.
  4. Set a fire.
  5. Smash a window.
  6. Push over a Porta-loo.
  7. Push over a Porta-loo while your friend is inside.
  8. Flood a Porta-loo by jamming a water hose down the rain receptor (most effective if left overnight).
  9. Climb into pipe works already set into the ground.
  10. Jump from a high height onto a pile of fiberglass (leaves you extremely itchy).

We also used to collect Irn Bru bottles left behind by workmen and exchange them for money at the nearest corner shop. This was what first attracted me and Tom to breaking into sites, a good earner at 15p per bottle. Other friends soon joined us on these quests when they saw all the sweets we were racking up.

During one my dimly remembered falling outs with Tom, I started taking our younger buddy Will* on scaffolding adventures. Will had an extremely high pitched voice and a cracker of a mullet, he always reminded me of the Chipmunk Rescue Rangers. His ambition in life was to be either Michael Jackson or a Power Ranger. He liked hanging out with us older boys because it made him feel cool which in turn made us feel cool, when in reality neither of us were.

Not a lot of other kids liked Will because of his peculiar habit of trying to constantly punch boys directly in the balls. It wasn’t so much the punch, but more the way his fist always turned into a curious cupping of your unmentionables.
But hey, I wasn’t talking to my best friend and Will was, like me, a big fan of The Mighty Ducks. So, what was a little cupping between friends?

Ok this is how I got brought home to my parents by the police. The first and only time this ever happened.

It’s Sunday on a sunny summer afternoon. Birds singing, tramps smiling and me and Will playing Power Rangers on the sixth floor of a soon to be block of flats. Everybody seems to be winning on this dynamite Sunday afternoon. Apart from the couple who called the Fuzz.

Because we were so high up in the building, we saw a police car pull into our street headed towards our Alpha base.

(By the way, Zordon and Alpha 5. Think they had anything going on? Little office romance on the go?)

We scrambled down the half-made staircase and out the concrete opening which would later be a back door entrance. Once we were in the courtyard, we realised we were cornered. No way out. Dead end.

“Hide,” I flapped.

But where? Looking around there were only walls, the entrance back into the building with bare rooms, and a locked Porta-cabin.

Will noticed a small gap between the Porta-cabin and the ground walls and he effortlessly disappeared between them, and with the sound of the police car now pulling to a stop outside the site, I rushed to follow him. I held my breath and scraped between the walls to meet Will.

Footsteps. A woman’s voice, “I saw them run downstairs.” …Bitch.

The steps got closer and closer, I felt like my heartbeat was going to give away our location. But no, it would be Will’s crying. “Weeeeeeee,” a weak, defeated primal whine of an animal that knows it’s about to be snared.
I put my finger to my lips and signalled Will to shut the buck up but just then a policeman curiously poked his head behind the Porta-cabin, looked, then disappeared again.
Did we just get away without being caught? I wondered.

“Hey,” delayed the policeman as he double-takes. His head poked back in, this time looking directly at us.
“Get out here, ya wee bastards!”
Will goes into full banshee. The jig is up. I come out first to see a policewoman and the couple who grassed us in, all standing by the police car. Will comes out wailing, the policeman smiles. “Ahh,” he looks to me, “you were kissing yer bird.”

They think Will is my girlfriend. The policewoman takes Will away to calm him/her down because he/she is apparently a delicate little flower who got caught up in a bad boy’s world.

And me? I get Robocop. And not even the nicer, watered down and reprogrammed not to kill Robocop from the TV series, ‘Robocop: The TV Series.’

“What’s your name, wee man?”
“What’s your address?”
“You realise you were trespassing on private property and that you’re in BIG trouble?”

Actually, that doesn’t sound as scary as I remember it being. It must have been because I never got caught again. Not “never did it or anything remotely similar again” Just never got caught again.

We’re in the back of the police wagon and Will cries all the way to his house. We arrive and Will is taken to his mum and I’m sitting alone in the dark.
The crying begins. I know I’ve been snared and moments from now my mum or dad is going to open the door to me and a police officer. I’m so going to be grounded, for like, a year.

Epilogue

A few years later. Me, Tom and Andy* were ‘playing’ in another construction site (this time old enough to know better). We were going from room to room of a half-built block of flats, when standing in the doorway was this massive, big, black, old, angry looking dog.
We all scramble for the open window to freedom, instinct kicks in and I leap out the window with lemur-like reflexes I never knew I had. Fight or flight? Flight!
Like a scene from The Three Stooges, Tom and Andy get stuck at the window trying to wrestle each other out of the way so they could escape first. With the dog fast approaching, Tom gives up the window in search of another escape leaving the window to Andy, who I’m sure was feeling pretty good about himself until the sharp unmistakeable sensation of canine teeth puncturing the flesh of his behind, locking on and pulling him back from the window.
Andy, in no position to argue, backs away from the window and reverses his bottom in whichever direction the dog chooses.

Cut to; Tom catching up with me as we stop at a suitably safe distance from the site.
I ask “Where’s Andy?”
“He got out the window,” replies Tom.
“I didn’t see him come out.”

The half-hearted sun begins to disappear behind Glasgow’s horizon, but still Tom and I remain behind a bush for cover, like two meerkats waiting to see if our brother had met his ill-gotten fate at the hands of a predator. We wait and we wait.

Then, in the distance, a burly security guard appears from the site’s entrance. He has his angry black dog on a leash. He looks directly at us, we remain still and wide-eyed. The burly guard looks back inside the building, motioning for someone to come forward.

It’s Andy! He comes hobbling outside, making sure to side-step away from the dog, one hand wiping tears from his face and the other holding onto his left ass cheek.
The burly guard points at us as if to say, “Is that your mates?”
Andy nods as if to say “Yes, but not for long.”
Then the burly guard points at Andy, we can’t hear what’s being said, but the various violent gestures seem to translate as, “Don’t even think about coming back, I don’t get paid enough to be chasing after you wee dicks. If I catch you in here again this dog will take your face off. Now f**k off.”

And we did.

*-None of these names are real.

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