Updated: Nov 21, 2020
So, we've all done it, been young and done some really stupid things, you might mature but those immature stories never depart from memory!
Us guys do like to push the boundaries when we are young with a maturity setting that is a little behind the ladies, so it's no surprise that we get ourselves into crazy scenarios.
Before I met Toya it's fair to say I had a few gears to go up myself, somehow I managed to grow up in time to make that work.
Unfortunately that's not completely true, the trend followed me into my relationship and due to her great, UNCONDITIONAL love she still managed to stay attracted to me let alone put up with me.
Here is Round 1 of some of the earlier moments behind the Mckeirnan curtain, they don't do me any justice but we've all got a past we can just laugh at and highlight how far we have actually come.
1) Nightmare Shorthair-
As a teenager at 16, (we all think we are men then) I didn't have a car and so I had to get my mother to drive me to the barbers. Giving her the teenage instruction to stay in the car I proceeded to get my hair cut in a fully packed barbers. Midway through the woman cutting my hair, the door opens abruptly, everyone looks and all I hear is my Mothers broad Scottish voice broadcasting through the place saying
"You've cut his sideburns too short!"
With the barber chair swallowing me whole I look at the woman's face and she responds back
"what you want me to do, cello tape them back on"!
After asking my mother to retreat back to the car, I had to then sit for another 10 minutes with a bundle of eyes on me as she finished cutting my hair.
2) Deaf Lectures-
17 years old, my best friend and I are hanging out with 2 girls. These girls are strangely into aerosol inhalation and use our jumpers to do it, I stop back at my house where my mother finds the aerosol stained jumper. I knew nothing about the hippy crack ways of these girls, so didn't even know that clothes would stain.
She marches me and my friend around to the girls house in anger. Her mother answers the door to my angry mother, however the girl's mother is ..deaf.
We have to stand there for 10 minutes with my mother explaining the dangers of chemical inhalation to a lovely deaf lady that is trying her best to emphasize that she doesn't understand.
Unable to make a breakthrough my mother invites herself in to explain further where we then meet the girl's father, who is.. deaf too.
20 minutes later, my friend and I, along with the daughter of the deaf parents are standing there in disbelief at what is happening....
Needless to say I never saw that girl again..
3) Michelin Man-
At 20 years old, after taking some gym supplements at university with my best friend we became rather addicted to bodybuilding.
The only issue was that the stuff we were taking which was legal at the time- "Nitrix Oxide Explode" (now banned) gave us great strength but also rather magnificent water retention.
Early in those days you didn't have the mass promotion of nutrition that goes with exercise in this present day and so we did not help ourselves by also eating takeaway every day.
Just imagine how we looked, but we were blinded by our strength and progress we were witnessing, and so what do you do when you are proud of the muscles, yep you wear tight clothes to magnify them...
It was only when I travelled from university to my Mothers at the weekend and was greeted by my "even more Scottish" Gran that I realized I wasn't looking like Dwayne Johnson.
She looked at me like the elephant man had just moved in to kiss her.
I sat myself down, my gran in disgust looked at me and said, "Oh son, you've got awfully big!". "Yes Gran" I replied, "I've been working hard in the gym", she finishes me off like Raiden in Mortal Kombat, "I son, but you don't look good"! Mic drop.
My best friend had it worse, he contracted the mumps years before and after the NO Explode season, people kept asking him why he still had the mumps years later.
4) Concussing a Woman-
Were you ever out in a nightclub and saw a girl hyper into her house music? Well I was and this girl wouldn't leave me alone, she had crazy staring eyes and would come up to me and start aggressively doing the mad "house music hands", the only problem is she assumed I would join in when she proceeded to fling herself back expecting me to hold her.
I didn't, mainly because I was petrified by her.
It ended up with her flinging herself back and her head hitting the floor, giving herself concussion and getting wheeled out with a head pack on a stretcher.
Things are looking up, I met Toy at 21 and we moved to London where I started a job in retail management, however like all people kick starting their career in the city, money was tight which led to me cutting my own hair at times.
3) Accidental Buddhist Styling-
22 years old, with mid length hair and starting my 2nd week on the job in Canary Wharf, I gave myself a trim with some clippers the night before an 8am start the next day. While talking to Toya, I forget that I removed the guard and I shaved the top of my head! Realizing what I had done, I froze with the clippers still mowing the lawn and said "oh no, oh no"...
Toya looks at me and I tell her with the clippers still attached to my skull,
"I've balded myself"...
With mid length hair surrounding it like a grass verge, I had accidentally given myself a DIY monk cut, unwilling to take the plunge and shave it all off, I decided to keep the rest of the hair normal length and take Toya's advice to paint my exposed skull with her black mascara, yes true story...
Waking up the next day to the moment you hope it was one big nightmare, I then go to work with a waxed comb over, mascara in the pocket and end up getting my boss to reapply the coloring later on in the day.
Alright so as first impressions go in the job in the city, they could be better.
4) Bloat foot-
Attempting to assemble my first wardrobe at home, the top of the furniture falls and the edge of it lands on my foot, bloating it to twice the size.
I am into my first month of the same job and have just recovered from the monk cut but I had to go to work the next day and couldn't fit my shoe on. Taking the laces off, I forced my foot in and went about the daily commute with a flappy shoe.
Seeing my bosses face I saw that I really did have a mountain to climb to win back any sense of integrity, the only issue was my foot was fully swollen and bulging out of my shoe and I was selling to customers all day asking me what the heck was wrong with my shoe. I'm sure I went down as his best hire.
5) Ross from Friends Moment-
Climbing the ranks in a sales role in Oxford Street where I was commuting from West London, its well into winter at around 1 degrees, I decided to hit a sunbed shop to get some color in the cheeks and look less like a whitewalker.
As someone who wasn't using them before I am not sure how I was thinking I would get it past a bunch of guys in sales who weren't afraid to broadcast an opinion especially at a time when everyone was pretty pasty from the cold weather.
The company had scaled in London HQ and as the sales team all gathered together for the morning meeting, the MD was giving his daily talk only to stop when he saw me. He then said "Andy, why do you look tanned", the whole sales team turned to me and I said
" Yes David, it's surprisingly sunny in Ealing".
6) Scarred for Life-
Toya and myself are in bed, early on a Saturday morning, she answers the phone and it's my mother telling her my sister has gone into labor.
Very deep in sleep Toya forces the phone onto my ear at my Mums request and I am woken to a pumped up mother telling me in a panic, "that's it Andrew, her baby will be here soon", grumbling back trying to actually wake my brain up to a conversation, my Mother then profanely shouts shocking words in broad Glaswegian that would wake anyone out of a coma,
"yes, her waters have broken, your sisters knickers are soaking wet!"
Words no brother should ever hear let alone from his mother.
Alright so escaping the Adams Family, Toya and I then moved to Hong Kong after I got a promotion from my role in London.
7) The Revenant, Or Sort Of-
25 years old, Toya and I in our first week in Hong Kong are really keen on adventure, we hear about all the great hiking trails so something along those lines sounds like a great idea. The only problem is we decide to go for a hike near our neighborhood rather than an actual hiking trail. Behind our home is a mountain so we decided to jump a fence and climb it, it's very steep..
So steep that we have to pull ourselves up and we do so until we are so high that we can see down to our whole neighborhood and everyone looks like ants.
We also can then see a pack of dogs sniffing the entrance that we entered, bad news considering there was cases of rabies in Hong Kong especially in wild dogs.
We literally see these dogs enter and spend 20 minutes hearing them climb the mountain, the next we hear a deep growl and the trees abruptly shaking, the only problem is this mountain is so steep that we can't even climb down it safely..
Multiple dogs can be heard, the trees are rustling closer to us and then we hear an even deeper, louder bark, I had to force Toya to climb a Tree to get her out of danger as I awaited a fight with a wild dog/s.
Unable to put this in writing that can truly capture how serious this was, we were in a real bad situation, the dogs were awaiting and the bigger aggressive one was closing in getting nearer and nearer with the bushes moving all around me.
Leaning on my only training watching Planet Earth, I thought the only thing to do was to make myself big and I then brought out the loudest roar I could manage across the mountain, it was pretty impressive.
The trees went silent and after 10 minutes I brought Toya down from the tree and we cautiously climbed down the mountain.
As we were climbing down we had to keep very low in order to not fall as it was so steep, however this made us quite exposed with our faces close to the ground. Along the way down I saw one of the smaller dogs in the pack run right across me like one of those nasty wild dogs in Avatar, I was ready to go Jake Sully on it.
We reached the bottom and like some film where a protagonist escapes an ordeal we walked past the gate we entered which had a sign saying "DANGER DO NOT ENTER", the whole mountain was a sewage system and the neighborhood was actually built on one of Hong Kong's dumping sites.
We both woke up with harsh rashes all over our body from the poisoning.
In our earlier years I had a knack for speaking without processing which put us in some awkward moments. I had been told by a friend that one of our mutual friends used humor because he had a secret fight with obesity throughout his childhood. Not many people had known this, me being one of them and I am sure he didn't want to tell me either.
I had gone to a Church event where there was a large buffet, he came up to me with his usual humorous defense system commenting on my growing hair, saying I needed to be careful I didn't look like Leo in the Revenant. Responding I said
"Hey, and you need to be careful around this buffet with your past, we gotta keep an eye on you so there's enough left for others"
The pause and silence was awkward to say the least and Toya didn't know where to hide ..
So in preparation of having our 1st child I thought it would be good to test my capabilities to be responsible, so I bought 4 terrapins in a Hong Kong market.
All the gear and No idea is the slogan for this episode, no amount of specialized turtle UV lamps, leaves, cleaning, food, exotic tanks can prepare you to be a vet. Within a week, 1 of the 4 terrapins got a respiratory infection and its eyes became swollen, I had to do my own quarantine and keep it in a separate tank.
2 Weeks in and everyone of them looked like the loser in an MMA fight, my experiment had failed and I ended up having to scrape them off to a better life whilst I questioned my ability to actually look after a human baby.
10) Read The Room-
My Wife had joined the church as staff and so we started to make many friends who were members, we also joined many of the classes and workshops.
My Wife was seasoned as she had become a Christian at 17 years old but for me although I believed in God my whole life, I had only started properly reading the bible with intent.
The night before this class I read about Apollos and him being very wise. So as many do, I had this new knowledge ready in my arsenal, running late after work, I arrived at the class and everyone including my wife turned to greet me. The Pastor running the class invited me in and fresh in question pointed to me saying what is your favorite parable in the bible or something along those lines...
Toya, knowing at the time that anything could come out of my mouth watched on in embarrassment as I blurted out like the I love lamp guy in Anchorman,
"I like Apollos , I want the wisdom of Apollos", totally out of context!
Unsurprisingly the room full of people just looked at me in confusion as the Pastor grinned, Toya hides, until I sit down next to her and everyone realizes I am her partner :) For better for worse.
Embarrassingly finishing off this 1st round list of experiences is when we had moved back to the UK from Hong Kong. My Wife was very pregnant with our 2nd child so much so it had pressed on her nerves in her back and she collapsed.
Arriving home to help we called the ambulance.
Now, we moved to London at 21 and didn't need a car , we had then moved to Hong Kong for 5 years where you do not need a car either so when we moved back to the UK I was 29 and hadn't completed my driving test.
My Wife was in a lot of pain, the medics attending had to give Toya Gas and Air to relieve the pain but as he does this he gives me the instructions that they need to put her in the ambulance and that I would need to take my daughter and drive behind them.
I tried subtly to suggest I come into the ambulance with them but for safety they said no.
Again the guy who should have been focusing on my Wife kept pressing until I had to tell him, I didn't have a license, rather than hurrying Toya to hospital, he turned to me and said "you mean, its suspended, your license", I replied "No, its non existent".
Turning to Toya he then turns back to me and says "why" in disbelief that a grown man with a daughter and another on the way didn't drive, this last roughly 15 minutes!
Anyhow, that moment accelerated my efforts to get a license and avoid any situations like that ever again.
I'd then go onto hit a deer and a stag in my first year or driving, you couldn't make it up.
12) Foam Mouth-
Another winter night although youth cant be the excuse here, 31 and heading home late from work I stop by a shop for some chewing gum.
4 coffees that day called for the shop stop before I would step into the house and see Toya, I grabbed the gum and went.
Putting it in my mouth 5 minutes from my home, the taste is just totally wrong unlike any mints I had bought before and my mouth starts to bubble up.
I get rid of it and walk into the house with a screw face, my Wife looks at me and asks what's wrong and I replied "nothing its just the mints I just bought" were nasty.
Later that night Toya found the tube of "mints" and asks me why I bought them, I said "why",
She responded, "they're denture cleaners!"
I can't even recognize the person when I write down those experiences, I like to believe I have come a long way as a person but that doesn't stop the future from keeping a few things up its sleeves.
If everyone had insight into each other's lives and the full journey each person had been through, there would be more laughs, more grace and more connection. We are all on a path of betterment but we are also human, learning from mistakes as we go.
I know there are thousands of you who have stories, I am not alone, write in and let's share them with the world, it certainly could do with more laughter right now!