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Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging, Page 2

Louise Rennison

  wednesday august 26th

  11:00 a.m.

  I have no friends. Not one single friend. No one has rung, no one has come round. Mum and Dad have gone to work, Libby is at playschool. I may as well be dead.

  Perhaps I am dead. I wonder how you would know? If you died in your sleep and woke up dead, who would let you know?

  It could be like in that film where you can see everyone but they can’t see you because you are dead. Oh, I’ve really given myself the creeps now. . . . I’m going to put on a really loud CD and dance about.


  Now I am still freaked out but also tired. If I did die I wonder if anyone would really care. Who would come to my funeral? Mum and Dad, I suppose…they’d have to as it’s mostly their fault that I was depressed enough to commit suicide in the first place.

  Why couldn’t I have a normal family like Julia and Ellen? They’ve got normal brothers and sisters. Their dads have got beards and sheds. My mum won’t let my dad use our shed since he left his fishing maggots in there and it became bluebottle headquarters.

  When the electrician came because the fridge had blown up, he said to Mum, “What madman wired up this fridge? Is there someone you know who really doesn’t like you?” And Dad had done the wiring. Instead of DIY he talks about feelings and stuff. Why can’t he be a real dad? It’s pathetic in a grown man.

  I don’t mean I want to be like an old-fashioned woman—you know, all lacy and the man is all tight- lipped and never says anything even if he has got a brain tumor. I want my boyfriend (provided, God willing, I am not a lesbian) to be emotional . . . but only about me. I want him to be like Darcy in Pride and Prejudice (although, having said that, I’ve seen him in other things like Fever Pitch and he’s not so sexy out of frilly shirts and tights). Anyway, I’ll never have a boyfriend because I am too ugly.

  2:00 p.m.

  Looking through the old family albums. I’m not really surprised I’m ugly. The photos of Dad as a child are terrifying. His nose is huge—it takes up half of his face. In fact, he is literally just a nose with legs and arms attached.

  10:00 p.m.

  Libby has woken up and insists on sleeping in my bed. It’s quite nice, although she does smell a bit on the hamsterish side.


  The tunnel-of-love dream I’ve just had, where this gorgey bloke is carrying me through the warm waters of the Caribbean, turns out to be Libby’s wet pajamas on my legs.

  Change bed. Libby not a bit bothered and in fact slaps my hand and calls me “Bad boy” when I change her pajamas.

  thursday august 27th

  11:00 a.m.

  I’ve started worrying about what to wear for first day back at school. It’s only eleven days away now. I wonder how much “natural” makeup I can get away with? Concealer is OK—I wonder about mascara? Maybe I should just dye my eyelashes? I hate my eyebrows. I say eyebrows but in fact it’s just the one eyebrow right along my forehead. I may have to do some radical plucking if I can find Mum’s tweezers. She hides things from me now because she says that I never replace anything. I’ll have to rummage around in her bedroom.

  1:00 p.m.

  Prepared a light lunch of sandwich spread and milky coffee. There’s never anything to eat in this house. No wonder my elbows stick out so much.

  2:00 p.m.

  Found the tweezers eventually. Why Mum would think I wouldn’t find them in Dad’s tie drawer I really don’t know. I did find something very strange in the tie drawer as well as the tweezers. It was a sort of apron thing in a special box. I hope against hope that my dad is not a transvestite. It would be more than flesh and blood could stand if I had to “understand” his feminine side. And me and Mum and Libby have to watch while he clatters around in one of Mum’s nighties and fluffy mules . . . . We’ll probably have to start calling him Daphne.

  God, it’s painful plucking. I’ll have to have a little lie-down. The pain is awful—it’s made my eyes water like mad.

  2:30 p.m.

  I can’t bear this. I’ve only taken about five hairs out and my eyes are swollen to twice their normal size.

  4:00 p.m.

  Cracked it. I’ll use Dad’s razor.

  4:05 p.m.

  Sharper than I thought. It’s taken off a lot of hair just on one stroke. I’ll have to even up the other one.

  4:16 p.m.

  Bugger it. It looks all right, I think, but I look very surprised in one eye. I’ll have to even up the other one now.

  6:00 p.m.

  Mum nearly dropped Libby when she saw me. Her exact words were “What in the name of God have you done to yourself, you stupid girl?”

  God I hate parents! Me stupid?? They’re so stupid. She wishes I was still Libby’s age so she could dress me in ridiculous hats with earflaps and ducks on. God, God, God!!!

  7:00 p.m.

  When Dad came in I could hear them talking about me.

  “Mumble mumble . . . she looks like . . . mumble mumble,” from Mum, then I heard Dad, “She WHAT??? Well . . . mumble . . . mumble . . . grumble . . .” Stamp, stamp, bang, bang on the door.

  “Georgia, what have you done now?”

  I shouted from under the blankets—he couldn’t get in because I had put a chest of drawers in front of the door—”At least I’m a real woman!!!”

  He said through the door, “What in the name of arse is that supposed to mean?”

  Honestly, he can be so crude.

  10:00 p.m.

  Maybe they’ll grow back overnight. How long does it take for eyebrows to grow?

  friday august 28th

  11:00 a.m.

  Eyebrows haven’t grown back.

  11:15 a.m.

  Jas phoned and wanted to go shopping—there’s some new makeup that looks so natural you can’t tell you have got any on.

  I said, “Do they have eyebrows?”

  She said, “Why? What do you mean? Do you mean false eyelashes?”

  I said, “No, I mean eyebrows. You know, the hairy bits above your eyes.’ Honestly, friends can be thick.

  “Of course they don’t have eyebrows. Everyone’s got eyebrows. Why would you need a spare pair?”

  I said, “I haven’t got any anymore. I shaved them off by mistake.”

  She said, “I’m coming round now; don’t do anything until I get there.”


  When I open the door Jas just looks at me like I’m an alien. “You look like an alien,” she says. She really is a dim friend. It’s more like having a dog than a friend, actually.

  6:00 p.m.

  Jas has gone. Her idea of help was to draw some eyebrows on with eyeliner pencil.

  Obviously I have to stay in now forever.

  7:00 p.m.

  Dad is annoying me so much. He just comes to the door, looks in and laughs, and then he goes away.., for a bit. He brought Uncle Eddie upstairs for a look. What am I? A daughter or a fairground attraction? Uncle Eddie said, “Never mind, if they don’t grow back, you and I can go into showbiz. We can do a double act doing impressions of billiard balls.” Oh, how I laughed. Not.

  8:00 p.m.

  The only nice person is Libby. She was stroking where my eyebrows used to be and then she went off and brought me a lump of cheese. Great. I have become ratwoman.

  I wonder who our form teacher will be?

  Pray God it’s not Hawkeye Heaton. I don’t want her to be constantly reminded of the unfortunate locust incident. Who would have thought a few locusts could eat so much in so little time? When I let them out into the biology lab for a bit of a fly round, I wouldn’t have expected them to eat the curtains.

  Strikes me that Hawkeye has very little sense of humor. She is also about a hundred and a Miss—which speaks volumes in my book. Mind you, as ratwoman I’ll probably end up as a teacher of biology in some poxy girls’ school. Like her. Having cats and warm milk. Wearing huge knickers. Listening to the radio. Being interested in things.

  I may as well kill myself. I would if I
could be bothered but I’m too depressed.

  saturday august 29th

  10:00 a.m.

  M and D went out to town to buy stuff. Mum said did I want her to buy some school shoes for me? I glanced meaningfully at her shoes. It’s sad that someone of her mature years tries to keep up with us young ones. You’d think she’d be ashamed to be mutton dressed as Iamb, but no. I could see her knickers when she sat down the other day (and I wasn’t the only one).

  11:00 a.m.

  Phone rang. Ellen and Julia and Jas are coming round after they’ve been to town. Apparently Jas has seen someone in a shop who she really likes. I suppose this is what life will be like for me—never having a boyfriend, always just living through others.


  I was glancing through Just 17 and it listed kissing techniques. What I don’t understand is how do you know when to do it, and how do you know which side to go to? You don’t want to be bobbing around like pigeons for hours, but I couldn’t tell much from the photos. I wish I had never read it. It has made me more nervous and confused than I was before. Still, why should I care? I am going to be staying in for the rest of my life. Unless some gorgeous boy loses his way and wanders into my street and then finds his way up the stairs into my bedroom with a blindfold on, I am stuck between these four walls forever.

  12:15 p.m.

  Perhaps as I can’t go out I can use my time wisely. I may tidy my room and put all my dresses in one part of my wardrobe, and so on.

  12:17 p.m.

  I hate housework.

  12:18 p.m.

  If I marry or, as is more likely, become a high-flying executive lesbian, I am never going to do housework. I will have to have an assistant. I have no talent for tidying. Mum thinks that I deliberately ignore the obvious things, but the truth is I can’t tell the difference between tidy and not tidy. When Mum says, “Will you just tidy up the kitchen?” I look around and I think, Well, there’s a few pans on the side, and so on, but I think it looks OK. And then the row begins.

  2:00 p.m.

  Putting the coffee on for the girls. It’s instant but if you mix the coffee with sugar in the cup for ages it goes into a sort of paste, then you add water and it’s like espresso. It makes your arms ache, though.

  7:00 p.m.

  Brilliant afternoon! We tried all different makeups. I’ve been Sellotaping my fringe to make it longer and straighter and to cover up the space where my eyebrows were. Jas said, “It makes you look like you’ve escaped from the funny lads’ home.” Ellen says if I emphasize my mouth and eyes, then attention will be drawn away from my nose. So it’s heavy Iippy for me from now on.

  We were all lolling about on my bed, listening to the Top Forty, and Jas told us about the gorgeous boy in the shop. She knows he is called Tom because someone called him Tom in the shop he works in. Supersleuth! We all pledged that we would wait until I can go out again and then we will go and look at him.

  Talk then turned to kissing. Ellen said, “I went to a Christmas party at my cousin’s last year and this boy from Liverpool was there. I think he was a sailor. Anyway, he was nineteen or something, and he brought some mistletoe over and he kissed me.”

  We were full-on, attentionwise. I said, “What was it like?”

  Ellen said, “A bit on the wet side, like a sort of warm jelly feeling.”

  Jas said, “Did he have his lips closed or open?”

  Ellen thought. “A bit open.”

  I asked, “Did his tongue pop out?”

  Ellen said, “No, just his lips.”

  I wanted to know what she did with her tongue.

  “Well, I just left it where it normally is.”

  I persisted, “What about your teeth?”

  Ellen was a bit exasperated. “Oh, yeah, I took those out.”

  I looked a bit hurt. You know, like, I was only asking. .

  She said, “I can’t really remember. It was a bit tickly and it didn’t last long, but I liked it, I think. He was quite nice, but he had a girlfriend and I suppose he thought I was just a little thirteen-year-old who hadn’t been around much.”

  I said, “He was right.”

  10:00 p.m.

  My sister, Libby, kisses me on the mouth quite a lot, but I don’t think sisters count. Unless I am a lesbian, in which case it’s all good practice probably.

  11:00 p.m.

  Through my curtains I can see a big yellow moon. I’m thinking of all the people in the world who will be looking at that same moon.

  I wonder how many of them haven’t got any eyebrows?

  sunday august 30th

  11:00 a.m.

  Thank God they’re all actually going out. At last. What is all this happy family nonsense? All this we should do things as a family’’?

  As I pointed out to Dad, “We are four people who, through great misfortune, happen to be stuck in the same house. Why make it worse by hanging around in garden centers or going for a walk together?”

  Anyway, ratwoman does not go out. She just hangs around in her bedroom for the next forty years to avoid being laughed at by strangers.

  I will never ever have a boyfriend. It’s not fair, there are some really stupid people and they get boyfriends. Zoe Ball gets really nice boyfriends and she has got sticky-out ears.

  1:00 p.m.

  I still haven’t tackled Dad about his apron.

  1:15 p.m.

  God I’m bored. I can see Mr. and Mrs. Next Door in their greenhouse. What do people do in them? If I end up with someone like Mr. Next Door I will definitely kill myself. He has the largest bottom I have ever seen. It amazes me he can get in the greenhouse. One day his bottom will be so large, he will have to live in the greenhouse and have bits of food passed to him, and so on. Oh quel dommage! Sacré b/eu!! Le gros monsieur dans Ia ma/son de glass!!!

  1:20 p.m.

  I may start a neighborhood newspaper.

  1:22 p.m.

  Oh dear. I have just seen Angus hunkering down in the long grass. He’s stalking their poodle. I’ll have to intervene to avert a massacre. Oh, it’s OK, Mrs. Next Door has thrown a brick at him.

  11:00 p.m.

  What a long, boring day. I hate Sundays; they are deliberately invented by people who have no life and no friends. On the plus side, I’ve got six-o’clock shadow on the eyebrow front.


  operation sausage

  tuesday september 1st

  10:00 a.m.

  Six days to school and counting. I wish my mum could be emancipated, a feminist, a working mother, etc., and manage to do my ironing.

  I thought I’d wear my pencil line skirt the first day back, with hold-up stockings and my ankle boots. I’m still not really resolved in the makeup department because if I do run into Hawkeye she’ll make me take it off if she spots it. Then I’ll get that shiny-red-face look that is so popular with PE teachers. On the other hand, I cannot possibly risk walking to school without makeup on. No matter how much I stick to side streets, sooner or later I will be bound to bump into the lads from Foxwood School. The biggest Worry of all is the bloody beret. I must consult with the gang to see what our plan is.

  5:00 p.m.

  We’re having an emergency Beret and Other Forms of Torture meeting Friday, at my place again. I have got eyebrows now but still look a bit on the startled earwig side.

  7:00 p.m.

  After tea, when Dad was doing the washing up, I said casually, “Why don’t you wear your special apron, Dad?”

  He went ballistic and said I shouldn’t be prying through his drawers. I said, “I think I’ve got a right to know if my dad is a transvestite.”

  Mum laughed, which made him even madder. “You encourage her, Connie. You show no respect, so how can she?”

  Mum said, “Calm down, Bob, of course I respect you, it’s just that it is quite funny to think of you as a transvestite.” Then she started laughing again. Dad went off to the pub, thank goodness.

  Mum said, “It’s his Masonic apron. You know,
that huddly duddly, pulling up one sock, I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine sort of thing.”

  I smiled and nodded, but I haven’t the remotest idea what she is talking about.

  11:30 p.m.

  Why couldn’t I be adopted? I wonder if it’s too late. Am I too old to ring Esther Rantzen’s helpline? I might get Esther. Good grief.

  wednesday september 2nd

  five days to purgatory

  10:00 a.m.

  Oh no, it’s here already. As a special “treat” my cousin James is coming to stay with us overnight.

  I mean, I used to like him and we were quite close as kids and everything, but he’s so goofy now. His voice is all peculiar and he’s got a funny smell. Not hamsterish like Libby but sort of doggy/cheesy. I don’t think all boys smell like that. Perhaps it’s because he’s my cousin.

  2:00 p.m.

  James actually not such bad fun; he seems much younger than me and still wants to do mad dancing to old records like we used to. We worked out some dance routines to old soul records of Mum’s. “Reach Out, I’ll Be There” by the Four Tops was quite dramatic. It was two pointy points, one hand on heart, one hand on head, a shimmy and a full turn around. Sadly there’s not much room in my bedroom and James trod on Angus who, as usual, went berserk.