Knightmare contestants, and other people whose lives peaked in childhood

THEY were the envy of the whole school when they were twelve, but for these people life was all downhill from that point:

The kid who went on Knightmare

Everyone wanted to be a contestant on Knightmare, even if it was basically just blind man’s buff with crap special effects. Sadly, the celebrity status that came with it faded rapidly: at uni the other students thought it was vaguely cool in a retro way, at the office it was met with bafflement, and at an over-thirties speed dating event people laughed out loud before hastily ticking the ‘No’ box.

The kid who was the first to get pubes

All hail the special one who took the first step into the thrilling world of adulthood. An awed hush would descend as they strode through the park, a huddle of pre-pubescent acolytes at their heels. Unfortunately, before long everyone else caught up and never again would a couple of pubic hairs be able to command that level of respect. Attempting to repeat the trick in middle-age by showing off their first grey pubes simply got them a lifetime ban from the gym.

The kid who knew all the words to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme

Nothing was more impressive in 1991 than a kid who knew the lyrics to the whole of the Fresh Prince theme off by heart. Fellow 11-year-old’s would cheer and beg them to do it again, making them feel like a god in the process. They’re still word perfect, but it seems less of an achievement now their contemporaries are doing things like getting PhDs and becoming partners in law firms.

The kid who had a SNES and a Mega Drive

Most children were either team Nintendo or team Sega, but that was because their parents couldn’t afford to buy two consoles, so those lucky or spoilt enough to have both had no shortage of kids pretending to like them. However, their ability to perform a seventeen-hit combo in Street Fighter II didn’t help them get a decent job, and they now live in their parents’ box room, spending their evenings getting slaughtered online by teenagers in South Korea.

The kid who had 100% attendance

Receiving an award for achieving one hundred percent attendance gave some children entirely the wrong message about which behaviours are valued in the real world. This kid has turned into an adult office drone, never to be promoted because all they do is turn up, achieve the bare minimum, bitch about how bored they are, and don’t realise that their colleagues hate them.

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Five-a-side ruined by semi-decent player

A WEEKLY game of five-a-side is always ruined by the one player who seems to know what he is doing.

Colleagues of Stephen Malley, who meet for a kickabout after work on a Thursday, say he is frightening them by managing to keep the ball under control and sometimes scoring goals.

Martin Bishop said: “Stephen is suspiciously good at football. No one should be able to accurately pass to someone ten yards away, let alone with their weaker foot. No one should be able to run for three or even four minutes without needing a rest. It’s not right.

“He isn’t entering into the spirit of things and is bringing down the morale of the team by trying to improve his football skills. What does he want to do, get spotted by a Chelsea scout?

“We’re British. If there’s one thing we can be proud of, it’s being shit at football. We don’t want to see competent players executing beautiful set pieces. We want a quick run around to make us feel less guilty when we drink four pints in the pub afterwards.

“If Messi came down here and made us look like chumps, we’d tell him to piss off. And that’s exactly what we’re going to say to Stephen.”