Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal SnoggingLouise Rennison
Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging:
Confessions of Georgia Nicolson
Copyright© 1999 by Louise Rennison
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. Printed in the United States of America. For information address HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers, 1350 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Angus, thongs and full-frontal snogging: confessions of Georgia Nicolson / Louise Rennison.
Summary: Presents the humorous journal of a year in the life of a fourteen-year-old British girl who tries to reduce the size other nose, stop her mad cat from terrorizing the neighborhood animals, and win the love of handsome hunk Robbie.
ISBN-13: 978-0-0602-8814-3. — ISBN-10: 0060288140
[1. Diaries—Fiction. 2. England—Fiction. 3. Humorous stories.] I. Title.
PZ7.R29114An 2000 99-40591
Typography by Alison Donalty
First American edition, 2000
Originally published by Piccadilly Press Ltd.,
5 Castle Road, London NWI 8PR
To Mutti and Vati and my little sister, also to Angus.
His huge furry outside may have gone to cat heaven,
but the scar on my ankle lingers on.
Also to Brenda and Jude and the fab gang at Piccadilly.
And thanks to John Nicolson.
A Note from Georgia
Hello, American-type chums! (Perhaps you say “Howdy” in America—I don’t know—but then I’m not really sure where Tibet is either, or my lipstick.)
I’m writing this special message to you from my bedroom in England. Here is my nub and thrust—apparently American people are not English. This means you might not always understand what I am going on about in this book. Well, join the club, I say. How do you think I feel? I am me and I don’t know what I’m going on about half the time. However, for your benefit I’ve put a glossary at the back of the book that will explain(ish) things. Things like “nuddypants” and “tosser.”
I hope you like my diary and don’t hold it against me that my great-great-great-grandparents colonized you. (Not just the two of them, obviously...)
Ia marche avec mystery
sunday august 23rd
Dad had Uncle Eddie round, so naturally they had to come and see what I was up to. If Uncle Eddie (who is bald as a coot) says to me one more time, “Should bald heads be buttered?” I may kill myself. He doesn’t seem to realize that I no longer wear romper suits. I feel like yelling at him, “I am fourteen years old, Uncle Eddie! I am bursting with womanhood, I wear a bra! OK, it’s a bit on the loose side and does ride up round my neck if I run for the bus . . . but the womanly potential is there, you bald coot!”
Talking of breasts, I’m worried that I may end up like the rest of the women in my family, with just the one bust, like a sort of shelf affair. Mum can balance things on hers when her hands are full—at parties, and so on, she can have a sandwich and drink and save a snack for later by putting it on her shelf. It’s very unattractive. I would like a proper amount of breastiness but not go too far with it, like Melanie Andrews, for instance. I got the most awful shock in the showers after hockey last term. Her bra looks like two shopping bags. I suspect she is a bit unbalanced hormonally. She certainly is when she tries to run for the ball. I thought she’d run right through the fence with the momentum of her “bosoomers,” as Jas so amusingly calls them.
still in my room
I don’t see why I can’t have a lock on my bedroom door. Every time I suggest anything around this place, people start shaking their heads and tutting. It’s like living in a house full of chickens dressed in frocks and trousers. Or a house full of those nodding dogs, or a house full of. . . anyway. . .I can’t have a lock on my door is the short and short of it.
“Why not?” I asked Mum reasonably (catching her in one of the rare minutes when she’s not at Italian evening class or at another party).
“Because you might have an accident and we couldn’t get in,” she said.
“An accident like what?” I persisted.
“Well . . . you might faint,” she said.
Then Dad joined in. “You might set fire to your bed and be overcome with fumes.”
What is the matter with people? I know why they don’t want me to have a lock on my door. It’s because it would be a first sign of my path to adulthood and they can’t bear the idea of that because it would mean they might have to get on with their own lives and leave me alone.
There are six things very wrong with my life:
(1) I have one of those under-the-skin spots that will never come to a head but lurk in a red way for the next two years.
(2) It is on my nose.
(3) I have a three-year-old sister who may have peed somewhere in my room.
(4) In fourteen days the summer hols will be over and then it will be back to Stalag 14 and Oberfuhrer Frau Simpson and her bunch of sadistic “teachers.”
(5) I am very ugly and need to go into an ugly home.
(6) I went to a party dressed as a stuffed olive.
OK, that’s it. I’m turning over a new leaf. I found an article in Mum’s Cosmo about how to be happy if you are very unhappy (which I am). The article is called “Emotional Confidence.” What you have to do is Recall . . . Experience . . . and HEAL. So you think of a painful incident and you remember all the ghastly details of it . . . this is the Recall bit. Then you Experience the emotions and acknowledge them and then you JUST LET IT GO.
Uncle Eddie has gone, thank the Lord. He actually asked me if I’d like to ride in the sidecar on his motorbike. Are all adults from Planet Xenon? What should I have said? “Yes, certainly, Uncle Eddie, I would like to go in your prewar sidecar and with a bit of luck all of my friends will see me with some mad, bald bloke and that will be the end of my life. Thank you.”
Jas came round. She said it took her ages to get out of her catsuit after the fancy-dress party. I wasn’t very interested, but I asked her why out of politeness.
She said, “Well, the boy behind the counter in the fancy—dress shop was really good—looking.”
“Well, so I lied about my size—I got a size ten catsuit instead of twelve.”
She showed me the marks around her neck and waist; they were quite deep. I said, “Your head looks a bit swollen up.”
“No, that’s just Sunday.”
I told her about the Cosmo article and so we spent a few hours recalling the fancy-dress party (i.e., the painful incident) and experiencing the emotions in order to heal them.
I blame Jas entirely. It may have been my idea to go as a stuffed olive, but she didn’t stop me like a pal should do. In fact, she encouraged me. We made the stuffed olive costume out of chicken wire and green crêpe paper—that was for the “olive” bit. It had little shoulder straps to keep it up an
d I wore a green T-shirt and green tights underneath. It was the “stuffed” bit that Jas helped with mostly. As I recall, it was she who suggested I use crazy color to dye my hair and head and face and neck red . . . like a sort of pimento. It was, I have to say, quite funny at the time. Well, when we were in my room. The difficulty came when I tried to get out of my room. I had to go down the stairs sideways.
When I did get to the door, I had to go back and change my tights because my cat, Angus, had one of his “Call of the Wild” episodes.
He really is completely bonkers. We got him when we went on holiday to Loch Lomond. On the last day I found him wandering around the garden of the guest house we were staying in. Tarry-a-Wee-While, it was called. That should give you some idea of what the holiday was like.
I should have guessed all was not entirely well in the cat department when I picked him up and he began savaging my cardigan. But he was such a lovely-looking kitten, all tabby and long-haired, with huge yellow eyes. Even as a kitten he looked like a small dog. I begged and pleaded to take him home.
“He’ll die here; he has no mummy or daddy,” I said plaintively.
My dad said, “He’s probably eaten them.” Honestly, he can be callous. I worked on Mum, and in the end I brought him home. The Scottish landlady did say she thought he was probably mixed breed, half domestic tabby and half Scottish wildcat. I remember thinking, Oh, that will be exotic. I didn’t realize that he would grow to the size of a small Labrador, only mad. I used to drag him around on a lead but, as I explained to Mrs. Next Door, he ate it.
Anyway, sometimes he hears the call of the Scottish Highlands. So, as I was passing by as a stuffed olive, he leaped out from his concealed hiding place behind the curtains (or his lair, as I suppose he imagined it in his cat brain) and attacked my tights or “prey.” I couldn’t break his hold by banging his head because he was darting from side to side. In the end I managed to reach the outdoor broom by the door and beat him off with it.
Then I couldn’t get in Dad’s Volvo. Dad said, “Why don’t you take off the olive bit and we’ll stick it in the boot.”
Honestly, what is the point? I said, “Dad, if you think I am sitting next to you in a green T-shirt and tights, you’re mad.”
He got all shirty like parents do as soon as you point out how stupid and useless they are. “Well, you’ll have to walk, then. I’ll drive along really slowly with Jas and you walk alongside.”
I couldn’t believe it. “If I have to walk, why don’t Jas and I both walk there and forget about the car?”
He got that tight-lipped look that dads get when they think they are being reasonable. “Because I want to be sure of where you are going. I don’t want you out wandering the streets at night.”
Unbelievable! I said, “What would I be doing walking the streets at night as a stuffed olive— gate-crashing cocktail parties?”
Jas smirked, but Dad got all outraged parenty. “Don’t you speak to me like that, otherwise you won’t go out at all.”
What is the point?
* * *
When we did eventually get to the party (me walking next to Dad’s Volvo driving at five miles an hour), I had a horrible time. Everyone laughed at first but then more or less ignored me. In a mood of defiant stuffed oliveness I did have a dance by myself, but things kept crashing to the floor around me. The host asked me if I would sit down. I had a go at that but it was useless. In the end I was at the gate for about an hour before Dad arrived, and I did stick the olive bit in the boot. We didn’t speak on the way home.
Jas, on the other hand, had a great time. She said she was surrounded by Tarzans and Robin Hoods and James Bonds. (Boys have very vivid imaginations—not.)
I was feeling a bit moody as we did the “recall” bit. I said bitterly, “Well, I could have been surrounded by boys if I hadn’t been dressed as an olive.”
Jas said, “Georgia, you thought it was funny and I thought it was funny, but you have to remember that boys don’t think girls are for funniness.”
She looked annoyingly “wise” and “mature.” What the hell did she know about boys? God, she had an annoying fringe. Shut up, fringey.
I said, “Oh yeah, so that’s what they want, is it? Boys? They want simpering girly-wirlys in cat- suits?”
Through my bedroom window I could see next door’s poodle leaping up and down at our fence, yapping. It would be trying to scare off our cat, Angus . . . fat chance.
Jas was going on and on wisely, “Yes they do, I think they do like girls who are a bit soft and not so, well . . . you know.”
She was zipping up her rucksack. I looked at her. “Not so what?” I asked.
She said, “I have to go. We have an early supper.”
As she left my room I knew I should shut up. But you know when you should shut up because you really should just shut up . . . but you keep on and on anyway? Well, I had that.
“Go on . . . not so what?” I insisted.
She mumbled something as she went down the stairs.
I yelled at her as she went through the door, “Not so like me you mean, don’t you?!!!”
I can already feel myself getting fed up with boys and I haven’t had anything to do with them yet.
Oh God, please, please don’t make me have to be a lesbian like Hairy Kate or Miss Stamp.
What do lesbians do, anyway?
monday august 24th
Absolutely no phone calls from anyone. I may as well be dead. I’m going to have an early night.
Libby came in and squiggled into bed with me, saying, “Hahahahaha!” for so long I had to get up. She’s so nice, although a bit smelly. At least she likes me and doesn’t mind if I have a sense of humor.
Ellen and Julia rang from a phone box. They took turns to speak in French accents. We’re going for a mystery walk tomorrow. Or La Marche avec Mystery.
Have put on a face mask made from egg yolk just in case we see any Ies garçons gorgeous on our walk.
tuesday august 25th
Woke up and thought my face was paralyzed. It was quite scary—my skin was all tight and stiff and I couldn’t open my eyes properly. Then I remembered the egg yolk mask. I must have fallen asleep reading. I don’t think I’ll go to bed early again—it makes my eyes go all puffy. I look like there is a touch of the Asian in my family. Sadly not the case. The nearest we have to any exotic influence is Auntie Kath, who can sing in Chinese, but only after a couple of pints of wine.
Arranged to rendezvous with Ellen and Julia at Whiteleys so we can start our La Marche avec Mystery. We agreed we would dress “sports casual,” so I’m wearing ski trousers, ankle boots and a blacktop with a roll neck, with a PVC jacket. I’m going for the young Brigitte Bardot look which is a shame as a) I am nothing like her and b) I haven’t got blond hair, which is, as we all know, her trademark. I would have blond hair if I was allowed, but it honestly is like playschool at my house. My dad has got the mentality of a Teletubby only not so developed. I said to Mum, “I’m going to dye my hair blond. What product would you recommend?” She pretended not to hear me and went on dressing Libby. But Dad went ballistic.
“You’re fourteen years old. You’ve only had that hair for fourteen years and you want to change it already! How bored are you going to be with it by the time you are thirty? What color will you be up to by then?”
Honestly, he makes little real sense these days. I said to Mum, “Oh, I thought I could hear a voice squeaking and making peculiar noises, but I was mistaken. TTFN.”
As I ran for the door I heard him shouting, “I Suppose you think being sarcastic and applying eyeliner in a straight line will get you some O-levels!!!”
O-levels, I ask you. He’s a living reminder of the Stone Age.
/> La Marche avec Mystery. We walked up and down the High Street, only speaking French. I asked passersby for directions, “Ou est Ia gare, s’il vous plait?” and “Au secours, j’oublie ma tête, aidez-moi, s’il vous plait.”
Then . . . this really dishy bloke came along. Julia and Ellen wouldn’t go up to him, but I did. I don’t know why, but I developed a limp as well as being French. He had really nice eyes . . . he must have been about nineteen. Anyway I hobbled up to him and said, “Excusez-moi. Je suis francaise. Je ne parle pas l’anglais. Parlez-vous français?”
Fortunately he looked puzzled—it was quite dreamy. I pouted my mouth a bit. Cindy Crawford said that if you put your tongue behind your back teeth when you smile, it makes your smile really sexy. Impossible to talk, of course, unless you like sounding like a loony.
Anyway, dreamboat said, “Are you lost? I don’t speak French.”
I looked puzzled (and pouty). “Au secours, monsieur,” I breathed.
He took my arm. “Look, don’t be frightened. Come with me.”
Ellen and Jools looked amazed: He was bloody gorgeous and he was taking me somewhere. I hobbled along attractively by his side. Not for very long, though, just into a French pâtisserie where the lady behind the counter was French.
In bed. The Frenchwoman talked French at me for about forty years. I nodded for as long as humanly possible, then just ran out of the shop and into the street. The gorgeous boy looked surprised that my limp had cured itself so quickly.
I really will have to dye my hair now if I ever want to go shopping in this town again.