At 9pm every Wednesday night in the years 1995-1996, me and Sarah J would crowd onto Graham's bed in the attic of their Wake Road student house where I spent most of my first year in Sheffield. We'd pile in with a couple of bottles of the cheapest red wine we could find, loads of fags and a pizza for, first, ER then Friends. In the days before catch-up TV and cheap video boxsets (this was before even DVDs, man) if you wanted to see something, you either had to watch it then and there or video it. I didn't have a VCR so if I missed it, I wouldn't see it (it was repeated on Friday nights, but I was at Stardust at the Union on Friday nights (equally, not to be missed) so ...). Oh ... the count downs to our Wednesday nights on Graham's bed were electric.
And then: 'What? Oh: no, you just rolled over the juicebox'. 'Thank God!' Perfection.
Lying in bed with Sarah G for hours with disgusting hangovers, choking our way through packets of 10 Silk Cut/ML, eating beans on toast and watching endless episodes of Friends, still really laughing at the jokes, even though, by then, we knew them off by heart.
Sarah's got a real belly laugh and she's not afraid to use it - so I always think of her really laughing when I see bits she particularly liked: The Routine; 'it tastes like feet', 'Pivot!' and Joey being forced to dance by Ross at his failed wedding to Emily.
Being dumped with Friends
One particular loser who I was so much better than but had managed to wheedle his way into my affections for no other reason than he said he wanted to introduce me to his mum, chucked me in our local pub after a week of radio silence. We all know how horrendous radio silence followed by a 'we need to talk' contact followed by a 'it's not you, it's me' on a SUNDAY NIGHT can be. I remember sobbing my way home in the rain along West Norwood High Street. Friends filled the rest of that particular Long Night Of The Dumped and kept my pitiful weeping to a more manageable level of hysteria.
Jetlagged with Friends
When Rob and I came back from our honeymoon in LA, we had to move straight into the spare room as we were having our ensuite put in (I know). The spare bed was old and small, the mattress so sleep-worn it had a divot down the middle in which you had no choice but to both sleep. Jetlag, coupled with the fact we were basically conjoined by sweat in that divot meant we were awake most of the night. At three am, Rob went downstairs, made a plate of Marmite on toast and two steaming mugs of tea and we watched Friends in the dark until we finally fell asleep.
|Barely able to contain myself beside the effortlessly cool Rob|
When I first started working at the Globe, I had no idea I was walking into a den of secret Friends fans. But, as my time there wore on, they slowly, but surely slunk from the woodwork. At first it was just Clare and Rathers who tentatively invited me into their Friends cave, taking care that I was no Friends fool with cryptic tests and obscure asides. Once I'd passed, I cannot tell you how AMAZING it was to have a detailed email analysis of why Emily was such an annoying character. Or highlight a character contradiction - ie: in Season 7 Ross is exposed for not liking ice-cream because it's too cold and it hurts his teeth but au-contraire! he does like the cream of ice in Season 2.
Then, others began to suggest that they, too, were Friends super fans. Oh, really? We suggested a Friends quiz night. The entire Education department signed up. Everyone had to come as a supporting character - there were teams of Richards, Janices, Days of Our Lives doctors and my team - Rathers, Clare and the lovely Georghia who had heard of Friends - went as Three Chicks and A Duck (a hy-larious play on The One With Five Steaks and An Eggplant and ... well, the chick and duck).
We all wrote questions so that it was fair (of course, our masterful quiz-master made sure we didn't get any of our own so there really was no cheating). Naturally, Three Chicks and A Duck won the Geller Cup and, while the bitterness was evident about some of the less sportsmanlly players, it was our gauntlet that was thrown - they were the fools who picked it up.
To this day Three Chicks and A Duck retain the Geller Cup (in a drawer upstairs, away from my husband's desperate-to-chuck-it-out hands).