Of course you didn't know me when I was a ragged-arsed kid, but me and my mates, we had some times. Real tough guys. Street wise, we were. The world was our lobster.
Me and Deggy Davis and Titch Hayward, thirteen-year-old tearaways, were a force to be reckoned with in our little Shropshire village.
Do you remember the old church hall just up from Grateley's the Butchers? Where they used to hold dance classes every Wednesday night? Right, well, me and the gang, we had set up some fruitboxes that we could stand on so we could look through the windows and watch the girls dancing. If you saw Once Upon a Time in America, you know what I'm talking about.
My special favourite was Greta Smith: dark hair, flashing dark eyes, sinewy, unattainable. Oh my! They said that her mother was Egyptian, which was exotic enough for my fantasies. I finally went to visit her in Donnington, and was frozen out after only a couple of minutes. What did a diva like her want with a clodhopping village oaf like me? Hey, Noodles, I know what you went through!
I'm still working on a comeback, even though she must be in her seventies by now.
On the other hand, maybe I will just settle for an Ovaltine with a shluck of cognac in it and ponder on the might-have-been which is so much of an old scrote's life, me and Noodles both.