You remember having it, don't you: being a child, smooth-faced and whippet-thin, filled with wonder and intrigue and a delight in learning, and having that so fragile and precarious thing: innocence. You could while away hours in leafy gardens trying to catch frogs. You could make up complex back stories and scenarios in your head and play them out with dolls. You held deep inside you the thrilling and constant possibility that – maybe, one day, digging under a shed or looking in an ancient manuscript – you could stumble on an adventure, find real pirates, cavemen or ghosts.
And then you wake up one day and you're 17 and you're hungover and your mouth tastes of kebab meat and arsehole, and where has it gone? Wither did the butterfly of your innocence flutter away to? When did the heavens abandon you and a hell took over instead? When did you become this monster, and why can't you climb back out of the pit it lives in? If you are reading this, your innocence was popped like a balloon at some indistinct time in your near past. It went without you noticing it and now you are here, older and greyer and a shade or two more faded, sitting in front of the same machine you stare into a thousand hours a day and reading about it on VICE dot com.
Here, related, is the exact and precise moment a 13-year-old boy's innocence was razed to the ground and left there as dirt:
In case you are wondering what is happening here, I can say with confidence that it is "the best thing to ever occur in the world, ever". The story, though: 13-year-old Robbie Chappell found a message-in-a-bottle on Hayling Island beach in Hampshire. He went home to smash it, excited it might be ancient evidence of pirates and swashbuckling adventures, and instead:
And I am serious – we need a couple of line breaks in here to truly process how momentus this is:
It turned out to be a note written by coked-up sesh gremlins from the day before.
THE FACT THAT THE KID HAD TO FUCKING RUN HOME WITH THE BOTTLE, EXCITEMENT MOUNTING INCREMENTALLY WITH EVERY FRANTIC STEP, BEFORE SMASHING IT AND FINDING THAT
Watch the video above to see a classic example of dadding: safely explaining to hold the bottle with one hand and hammer it with another – slowly now son, gently – before brusquely telling him off for holding the note the wrong way around, dad holding the camera in the wrong aspect, dad disappointed the note turned out to be from the day before and written entirely by coke. This is all Very Dad. And that's why you know that it was dad who talked down a 13-year-old boy thrilled to find a message-in-a-bottle, about to dash the thing open on the stony shore, and went, "No, well hold on, Robbie: littering. So what we're going to do is finish walking the dog, and then we can break it at home, safely, on camera, with a hammer."
Do you know the pain of patience when you are a 13-year-old boy? Life is trying to push every atom out of you with the energy of a thousand rubber balls tilted down a hill. You are a human pinball who thinks he literally invented masturbation. You cannot sleep with the excitement of turning into a man. You want everything the second it happens, before it happens. You want everything five seconds before it can happen. Having to wait to smash open a Heineken bottle with a possible pirate note in it is, for a 13-year-old boy, essentially high torture. And then it was a note from the sesh gremlins.
THE FACT THAT BOTH OF THE SESH GREMLINS WERE CALLED 'DAN'
We live in a world where friendships are bonded and built on fragile, tenuous little connections – you work in the same place, you go to the same school, you like the same video game, you read the same books, you're both goths – and I feel like Dan and Dan's friendship started and immediately ignited into flames when one of the Dans went, "Wait, your name's Dan too? I'm Dan!" and then they both high-fived each other and said "Dan!"
And then had at least three grams of cocaine between them and threw a Heineken bottle into the cold grey sea.
THIS QUOTE FROM ROBBIE'S UNDERWHELMED MOTHER, MRS SMITH, 45
"It's got to be the world's worst message in a bottle effort," she told the Daily Mail. Madame: I sincerely disagree.
THE NOTE WAS WRITTEN AT 12.19PM ON A SATURDAY
This note was written at fucking lunchtime on a Saturday, which means that i. did the sesh gremlins get up at 7AM to start doing lines and drinking lagers, and hit the beach around lunchtime to revel in the sticky-white heat of the autumn sun, and decided to throw a Heineken bottle into the sea with their knowledge locked with it? Or ii. more likely, was this sesh so iconic – so massive a sesh – that it began some 16, some 18 hours before, and these men were not only drunk and high but had been up for a good 36 hours at this point, so basically must have thought they were God?
I think we all know the answer is ii., but we need to qualify that somehow, and the two signifiers are:
— At what point does a man anoint himself with the title "sesh gremlin"? It has to be at least a good 16 hours into a sesh. You cannot wake up and, three hours into a sesh, decide you are a gremlin. Gremlinhood has to be achieved by an entire night and half a day of depravity. Gremlinhood is only met once you grow gnarled and bent from seshing. Gremlinhood is not easily bought. Gremlinhood is only for the true fighters, true warriors of the sesh; and
— A sesh does not become a sesh until at least ten hours have passed or someone has noticed it is 5AM, and if neither one of those milestones are achieved then it is NOT a sesh; you are just drunk and thinking about WhatsApping your dealer again.
As per the parameters of the sesh, this was a sesh. This was such a sesh that I think it might go into the top five seshes ever seshed. Shane MacGowan is looking at this sesh and going, "Fucking hell, that's a bit much." Pete Doherty is feeling very sesh-shamed right now. James Brown through years 1970 to his death would be proud of this sesh. This is possibly the all time greatest sesh.
AT WHAT POINT DOES THE HUMAN MIND STOP REALISING THAT A MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE HAS TO BE LAMINATED IF IT IS GOING TO LAST LONGER THAN A DAY IN THE COLD EXPANSE OF THE SEA?
I think if you ask two dudes called "Dan" at a party at like 1AM whether you need to laminate a handwritten note to be thrown into the sea, they would say, in eerie unison, "Yes." I think if you ask them at 2AM they are getting blurrier on the whole thing; 3AM nobody can find them; 4AM and they are too busy talking about how fucking good they are at their jobs, actually, and nobody pays them any dues for it to answer. At 5AM they do not want to laminate the note. At 12.19PM the next day, on a beach in Hampshire, hours-old sweat wicking their T-shirts close to their skin, they do not want to laminate the note. They want to bottle their joy and throw it away to be drunk up by others. They want to bottle their joy and give it to the sea as a gift, to thank it for its bounty.
'MASSIVE LOVE FOR THE SESH' IS THE GREATEST LINE OF POETRY EVER WRITTEN
I am serious about this. I have tested this theory. In terms of linguistic aesthetics, "massive love for the sesh" is as close to perfection as we can get. Pick a love poem. Any love poem. Insert that line into it. It always works. It always works:
O my Luve's like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June:
O my Luve's like the melodie,
That's sweetly play'd in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Massive love for the sesh
Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire!
Massive love for the sesh
My river runs to thee:
Blue sea, wilt welcome me?
My river waits reply.
Oh sea, look graciously!
I 'll fetch thee brooks
From spotted nooks,—
Massive love for the sesh
Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!
It isn't fit for humans now,
There isn't grass to graze a cow.
Massive love for the sesh!
GLORY TO THE SESSION
Do we not, all of us, have massive love for the sesh? Are we all not just one sesh away from nirvana? Dan and Dan know the importance of the sesh, what a vital impact it can have on the human spirit, and now so too does Robbie. These two dons have passed on the lightning-bright torch of the sesh from one generation to another, and they did it via a three for £5 supermarket-sized bottle of Heineken.
Dan and Dan are wise sesh gurus whispering sweet sesh nothings from the ghost of their own sesh. When this bottle washed ashore they were both deep into the natural aftermath of the sesh, that crumpled feeling of dread and misshapen anxiety. They were post-sesh; they were Over The Sesh; the last thing they wanted at that exact time was another sesh. But for a moment they were gods. Live by the sesh, die by the sesh, swim around and move in the sesh. Here's to gakheads, and here's to the sea. Here's to the mother-fucking sesh.
DISCLAIMER: Obviously disregard all this if it turns out to be some stupid viral advert for Heineken, or whatever
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