Only in the ha’penny place…

Only in the ha’penny place…

Never trust girls. Honestly, that’s one of the top tips my older self would give to my younger self and it turns out to be just one of a string of very important lessons I learned during my formative years, but I’ll get back to that one later.

If I were to give young lads of today any advice it would be slightly problematic, as much of the advice I could give is probably quite specific to my personal life circumstances. Nonetheless I will offer it up for what it’s worth and ladies, maybe you can learn from this too.

First up, never tell Martin Creighton to F**k off, when he tries to take away the magnet you brought to school to show your best friend Michael. He is way bigger than you and will knock you on your arse.  Importantly, don’t get straight back up and kick him in the nuts, then run away.  He will hunt you down and you will probably have to get your big brother involved. Trust me it gets messy.

Don’t ever answer the question “you don’t still believe in Santa do you?” with “of course not” if either of your parents asks it. You really need to swing the bejesus out of that one for as long as you possibly can, to get the best value. I’m telling you these may sound like simple things, but buried in here are some serious life lessons if you can read between the lines and translate them to your life.

Contraband of any kind, e.g. stolen cooking chocolate from your mother’s secret stash or sugar on bread, is best eaten in the dark, underneath the stairs or in some such hidey hole. If you get caught and that includes with the wrapper in your hand and chocolate on your face, the only thing to do is …deny, deny, deny.  “Didn’t do it, it wasn’t me, that wrapper was already in here, that’s dirt on my face”… I’m telling you don’t get fooled by the old “If you tell the truth you won’t be in trouble” malarkey…oh no… in the long run deny and take the beating…or do they still do that these days.

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Peeing in the local swimming pool is ok, but make sure you are alone to enjoy the temporary warmth, then get the hell outta Dodge before someone realises it’s you. Oh yes and never ever, swallow swimming pool water because you’re not alone in the warm water thing.

If you are playing in a location you have been strictly been forbidden to play in and you get a fish hook caught in the back of your short trousers, and your mother subsequently gets it stuck in her finger trying to see what’s sticking in your arse and then has to get stitches as a result.. Remember that deny thing I mentioned earlier? Yeah well double that.  You don’t know how the hook could have got there; you were only playing in the front garden.

Make sure to find a food you don’t want to eat even if you do and persuade your mother that you need something different. That way, everyone else gets pork chops but you get your own lamb chop and you feel ‘special’.  It reinforces your position as ‘special’ in the family and gives you a general sense of wellbeing.  Importantly, if you are the youngest in the family, make sure you establish several such ‘special’ requirements before you get usurped by a new baby.   If you don’t, they get all the attention and glory and you have no way of accessing that ‘special’ status,when you need a little boost.

Tantrums don’t work – you get a smacked arse for that one. Eat all your vegetables when you are in your Granny’s, she seriously won’t give you jelly and ice cream if you don’t… seriously she doesn’t bluff.  And while I’m on the subject of Grannies, they have their uses, but they pack a mean back hand or schelp to the arse, so don’t cross the wrong line.

Now to get back to the girl thing I mentioned. They can’t be trusted. Play with the other boys, stick to that and you’ll be alright.  Some girls, sometimes, can be alright to play with.  They can be OK even to play some boy games and a few are good at climbing trees and football, but that’s all very well and good, until something goes wrong.

I guarantee you, no matter how much you think it’s OK, the second a ball goes through a window, or that swirling noise maker on a string takes out a lamp shade, you are a dead man walking. Not only do they never confess, not that you’d blame them on that one – (remember my deny, deny, deny, thing from earlier?) but they’ll hang you quicker than you can catch a breath.


Even if they are caught bang to rights they will simply turn everything on its head by bursting into tears and sobbing that  “H…h…he made me d…d…do it…whaaaa “. You get into double trouble for that one. At least if you break something with another lad, you both shut your mouth, look at the floor, then look up with the saddest eyes possible and both of you hope to get away with the minimum punishment for the crime. But girls! You get hammered for the crime and then your sentence is taken up a notch because the judge is taking the victim’s (your sister for example) impact statement i.e. “He made me do it.” into account.

Take heed; mark my words, listen up and all that malarkey. Girls are trouble boys.  They look good and smell nice and sometimes, they are fun to play with.  But watch your back, when it comes to thinking and conniving, you’re only in the ha’penny place.  You’re standing there with an old colt 45 in your hand thinking you are in control, but they’re packin’ an assault rifle and chances are, their best friend is lying prone on a roof somewhere pointing a sniper rifle at your head.   Play nice boys, buy ’em flowers, say they are pretty, but don’t go into battle with them. Face it – they are the stronger sex.



Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Larry Flynn Bad Blood and Little Big Boy

You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –


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Read free previews here;

Little Big Boy

Darkly Wood

Larry Flynn

Bad Blood



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