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By Louis Rive

Everyone had jobs as paperboys. Trekking aimlessly through the Edinburgh winter with Ikea catalogues and double-glazing sales leaflets. They made it a lot easier when the council brought in the big recycling bins. Now we didn’t have to disperse it any longer. All was great in the golden summer of 2003, we did nothing and the wages flowed in. Then some diligent arsehole broke the unspoken union code and delivered a full round. Some old duffer from the nursing home promptly called the paper, inquiring about the last 6 months editions. Investigations were launched and it turned out the problem was endemic nationwide. I took my two weeks paid holiday immediately, knowing full well the Edinburgh Herald and Post were well onto me. I collected the few quid this entitled me to felt like a king. With regal thoughts and a pocket full of change I set out for the corner shop to buy what every fourteen year old boy truly craves. Hardcore pornography.

The shop was familiar to me. It stood as the last turd bastion of sleaze in the face of encroaching gentrification. Soon it would make way for a German cake shop catering to the school run but now it focused on the lucrative task of punting bevy to underagers. It also had a veritable library of lewdness. Reams of blue-starred tits and arse shone down invitingly from the top shelf. Tantalizing every time. In a ruse-de-guerre I bought some stale rolls for mum. But today would be my day. I have to admit I was shitein’ myself. The whole experience took on a blurry, dreamlike quality. I convinced myself it was my rite (it most certainly wasn’t) and I strode to the magazine section. Here is when the dilemma hit. When you are new to the world of wank mags, the initial selection is a touch overwhelming. The internet was still crap so it’s hard to quantify for the younger generation. I suppose the great sordid search engines provide so many alternatives to watch some plastic slapper take it in all holes that it becomes too much and you end up blowing your beans, staring at the homepage, thinking of the school librarian with the massive tits. This panicked indecision was mine at that moment. Not wanting to hang around too much I panicked and grabbed a random volume, a Union Jack emblazoning its’ enveloping cover. Ever the horny patriot I put it on the desk. The soon to be unemployed Mr. Ali looked at me with the weary look of ages before going through the motions of determining my age.

“You 18?” He mumbled in my direction.

As I responded, I was painfully aware of the faltering tone of my voice. I needn’t of worried because he really didn’t give a fuck.

“£3.50” he shrugged the words off his tongue.

This figure would be forever engrained in my mind. I still don’t know what my rent is exactly or how much peak travel costs in London but the damage on a wank mag at Ali & Sons will never leave me. The walk home was an adrenaline soaked nightmare. Mothers, fathers and younger siblings of my close friends seemed to have come out in force to make my voyage as difficult as possible. I bought a paper so at least I could conceal my prize. It was only when I made it home that I had forgotten my fucking house keys. Utter panic. My mum would 100% find out and that was too much to take. Having grown up without a father figure, she herself had provided me with literature detailing the coming of manhood. On a positive note, I can safely say that nothing in my future will ever get more embarrassing than my own mother handing me a book detailing spunking the sheets and other such adolescent charms. She would catch me here with the goods and I couldn’t bear the thought of it. So I broke into my own house. Two big kicks and the door showered splinters and caved in. The combination of fear and the inane desire to “get-a-a-chugging” conspired together into this physical manifestation of utter desperation. In retrospect I guess I could have hidden the mag in the garden, returning at a later juncture to collect it but I knew that would be no use. Mum had STASI-esque powers of interrogation and detection and a midnight trip to the back green would be quickly deciphered. I made the best of the situation and closed the door as best I could. Then I proceeded to my room to slake my lust, withdrawing one of my finest cotton socks in a seamless movement perfected through years of repetition. Heart pounding and cock like a rock from extreme anticipation, I carefully unwrapped the mag from its’ nationalistic packaging. It should have been pure epiphany for such emotional and financial investment. But no. Cocks. In arses, in mouths shedding shards of shining semen over expectant male faces. The magazine was gay. I had failed badly. Ali would be laughing himself to sleep the smug cunt. Then I heard my mum

“What the fuck happened to the door!” She phrased this not as a question but rather as a statement.

The sock flapped down in unison with my now flaccid dong. She would be angry. Very angry, but on the plus side I had, at least, saved her on the washing.

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