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What I Did Last Summer – What I did with my Summer

Ryan Vaughan



When writing this I could not help but think back to the good old days of primary school, when the teacher would ask us all to recount our summer holidays spent catching butterflies, riding bikes way too fast, seeing the latest Disney film and visiting cousin’s farm. It quickly dawned on me that I have become a debaucherous anti-Christ. I am no longer the innocent and care free pre-teenage Ryan. And what do I have to say to this? Meh. The good thing about being bad is that apathy comes standard.
I spent my days working, trying to earn ‘tha bling’ to feed the hungry summer monster. Silly me, I thought I could spend the summer making money instead of spending it. It was the road-trip that really put the strain on my accounts. With two friends I headed up north in search of sun, good times and perhaps the company of a young lass or two. We planned to stay a night in Rotorua, but since we looked like young hoons we were denied entrance to even the roughest looking holiday parks. Discrimination I tell you! We picked ourselves up and pointed the car towards Tauranga. Ah Tauranga, what a city. We stayed at possibly the best holiday park ever, known as Sanctuary Point. Upon arrival we were greeted by some friendly locals, ushered to a large grassy area and told we could set up camp anywhere. To our delight there were already a few dozen younguns like us, having a great time. We knew this because half the grass was covered by an impressive amount of Tui bottles. Even though they were from Auckland we drank, talked and laughed together. We had made some new friends, and spent the four nights before New Years in a drunken haze. But by this time our descent down a very slippery slope had begun.
All this partying was not doing our wallets or bodies any favours, and New Year’s night was somewhat of an anti climax. I passed out around 10.30pm, and luckily was woken half an hour before 2006 by fireworks. My friend Mike wasn’t so lucky however, succumbing to the bottle of schnapps he had hastily consumed earlier and passing out at 9pm, destined not to wake till 9am the next day. Now this is where the ‘drinking is bad’ message comes in: Warning, excessive drinking causes you to make snap, spur of the moment, highly regrettable decisions. Just two nights before, Simon, my other road-trip companion, suggested that we streak New Years night. The alcohol in me forced my mouth to say yes before my brain could pipe up. But come New Years night I had forgotten about this deal with the devil, and when Simon reminded me at midnight I had my reservations. After that I don’t know what happened. I think my exact words were ‘screw it’ and with that I got naked. It was fun, and we freaked out a few people. But those few fleeting moments of fun, no- where near made up for the embarrassment we faced the next morning. As I awoke to the moans of other, more hung over party goers I actually felt pretty OK. No real hangover to speak of, and it was the New Year, I had made it! It was not until I was confronted with pictures and videos (yes, there are videos out there somewhere) of our moonlight romp, that true extent of my New Years night revealed itself. Ah reality, such a cruel and vengeful wench.
Long story short, we headed to Ohope, did some more drinking, ran out of money and came home tanned, tired and broke. Perfect break if you ask me.
Got your own classic summer story? Over the next few weeks Salient will be continuing its summer series, and is keen for your submission. From the mundane to the spectacular – we want to hear it. 600-800 words approximately and emailed to james [at] salient.org.nz. Stink ones won’t get printed. Just ’coz.