The Gate Escape

The Gate Escape

First published in Your Say Hampshire Chronicle: Photograph of the Author by

I remember after one particularly difficult after-school training, a friend (let’s call him “Ives”) and I were escaping home across the rugby pitches, as walking through the gate is so uncool. It was fairly covert, as the teachers had already blocked off the other routes, Tom (through INTECH) and Dick (the fence at the bottom of the dip), and this, Harry, was our last option. We were anxious not to spend another lunchtime in the cooler.

But Jerry had found this last tunnel through the fence, and covered it. So, hoping for tea in Switzerland by five, Ives threw his bags over and followed them. I glanced around, in case there was an angry German with a sub-machine gun, which, on reflection, would be a pretty weird thing to have in a school. There wasn’t, so I climbed to the top and jumped.

But, suddenly, I felt the back of my coat snag on the top of the fence and expected the soul tearing sound of…tearing.

However, the material held and I was left dangling, like an enraged puppet, my coat under my chin, showing bare stomach and Mickey mouse pants, swearing and kicking (which only made me slowly revolve) while my friend rolled around laughing beneath me. After loud “encouragement” from me, he tried to help; hugging my legs and trying to lift me off, but all that did was look strange. I certainly didn’t want anyone passing to see me hung up on the fence, with this other guy seeming to be desperately rubbing my legs as I cried quietly. After all, we may be caged, but we still have our dignity.

After a few moments of thought, I simply zipped it down, and fell out of it, landing on my face in a thorny bush, just like Steve McQueen (kind of).

I thought that was a bad enough story, but apparently some Muppet decided to climb a closed, high gate in college one break time after a cigarette, and did the same. Only he caught the bottom of his jeans, and was left dangling upside down, while people took photos on their camera phones for the internet (what a great invention). He was let down 30 minutes later, when someone fetched the janitor and hedge shearers.

My generation will make awful criminals, simply because we’d get caught, stuck in embarrassing positions at the scene.

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