Everyone remembers their first kiss, right?
For Zac Efron, it happened in a tree-house, over a game of Truth or Dare. Zayn Malik had to stand on a brick to deliver his kiss. Taylor Swift was the last of her friends.
My first kiss story involves a widowed second cousin-in-law, twice-removed, who lived in Carmarthenshire with some other cousins, who went by the name of Great Auntie Maud. (Fuck knows why I'm specifying the exact degree of kinship of those involved.) Suffice it to say that Great Auntie Maud was as old as Methuselah, and may have even been a childhood friend of his.
Anyhoo, one day, during one particular visit to our cousins' home, Great Auntie Maud shot up from her armchair as we were leaving, and stood in the doorway, blocking our exit.
"Give Auntie Maud a kiss goodbye", she said, turning to me.
I was thirteen and three-quarters at the time. And although kissing somebody was on my bucket list, Great Auntie Maud looked nothing like a) Andrew Ridgeley from Wham, b) John Taylor, the bass guitarist from Duran Duran, or c) Stephen Jones from Form 3C, who were the usual objects of my kissing fantasies.
"What you waiting for boy?" said Great Auntie Maud, offering me her cheek.
"I'm not a boy Auntie Maud", I said.
"Never mind that!" she said, offended.
"Give Auntie Maud a kiss", said my mother impatiently. "We're gonna be late for cello lessons."
"Okay okay!' I yelled.
It happened in less than an instant. I stretched on to the tips of my toes, angling myself towards Great Auntie Maud's cheek, when she spun towards me, jamming her mouthparts against mine, and launching her tongue into my mouth at a speed that would have amazed even a chameleon. Within seconds, there were rivers of Maud slobber running down the slopes of my soft palate towards my throat, and drool collecting in ducts under my tongue. I could even taste Jacob's cream crackers.
"Maud. That's enough!" said my mother.
But Great Auntie Maud wasn't listening. Her tongue was spinning around inside my mouth cavity like a sock in an out-of-control washing machine. She was gaining in confidence, experimenting with different thrusting techniques. At one point, I felt her quivering along the whole length of her body.
Finally, my mother pulled her away from me.
"Helluva boy", muttered Great Aunt Maud, satisfied.
Later, in the car on the way home, my eleven-year-old brother laughed so hard my mother was forced to tell him a cautionary tale about the perils of excessive elation.
"Your gran laughed non-stop all the way through a Laurel and Hardy film. Burst a brain aneurysm because of it", she said. "Dr Levi was bloody livid."
Meanwhile I used a dried-out packet of Wet Ones to scour the inside of my mouth, leaving streaks of perfumed horribleness.
"It wasn't even THAT funny!" said my mother.
"Was!" said my brother. "She ACTUALLY snogged her!"
"I meant the film", said my mother, irately.
Determined to clean out my esophagus, I shaped the last of the Wet Ones into a compact cylinder, gagging as it hit the back of my tongue.
"I'm gonna be sick!" I shrieked, as we joined the motorway.
"For godsake settle down!" screamed my mother. "She's not right in the head! There's no need to make a bloody song and dance of it!"
On the kissing front, things improved, of course. Soon afterwards, I made it to first base - then second base - with a French horn player from county youth orchestra called Tweetie (Jones). And although he lacked the blistering sex appeal of John Taylor and Stephen Jones, and also reeked of Insignia, on the massively plus side, he was a) not my Great Auntie Maud, b) not my Great Auntie Maud, and c) NOT. MY. GREAT. AUNTIE. MAUD.
"That your first time then?" he asked, smugly, after the event.
"No!" "As. If!" I said.
PS: I'm dedicated this blog to Great Auntie Maud, who is no longer with us, and to everyone I know who's got dementia, including my lovely, funny father, who would never let a crappy hideous illness get in the way of a good story.