I took part in a Tudor-themed orgy and now it comes up when you Google me. Is that fair?

Max Dickins
News

I’m trapped in an inescapable hell

In many ways I’ve changed a lot as a person in the past 4 years, after all, most people do. The new friends I make know me on these new terms, they’ve never met the old me. I start as an entity for them from the moment they meet me; my film starts that second. They will only get the backstory I choose to feed them. I am an omniscient director, an editor of omnipotence. So, I hate when existing friends tell old stories about me to other people, because that story cannot be unremembered by the person who hears it. That story is now the foundation on which they will build their house of perceptions about me, and yet that story is often no longer reflective of who I am.

We are often trapped in our past. I heard a story about a 13 year-old boy at Marlborough College, a boarding school in Wiltshire, who, on his first night in his new room, had turned in for the night and was quietly reading a book in bed. Another boy burst in the room, saw him buried in the novel, and immediately ran out again, proclaiming to the entire house of 200 boys that “Freddy’s fingering his bum!”

This boy was known as “Friggy Freddy” for the rest of his school days, and will be known as Friggy Freddy forever amongst the alumni of Marlborough College. At reunions this will rear its ugly head “Hello Friggy! What have you been up to? Law? Do they let you finger your arse in court?” But, on the whole(no pun intended), Freddy will think he has escaped, until one day, at a drunken works-do, he’ll bump into an old school colleague who’ll say in front of Freddy’s new friends, “FRIGGY! How the devil are you?! I haven’t seen you for yonks! I would shake your hand but I don’t know where it’s been!”

Marlborough college

Marlborough college, where Friggy Freddy’s fate was sealed

I feel for Freddy, entombed in a story from so long ago, because I’ve experienced something similar. Although the story that has condemned me is actually true, and has been documented online. Which is even worse: at least Freddy’s story is not searchable on the internet. I am 26 years old now. I used to be in the Medieval Battle Re-enactment Society at Leeds University. And we were a mad bunch!

We would go out on to the Boddington playing fields on a Wednesday afternoon, re-enact an absolute humdinger (e.g. The Battle of Ludford Bridge), and then go down the Original Oak in Headingley and drink two, three, sometimes even four pints. If we weren’t jousting on the battle field, we were jousting girls down at Gatecrasher. The ladies from the Cheese Tasting Society were always up for a giggle, although they did stink.

One night in my final year, all the lads were at Gatecrasher in the VIP area, drinking out of goblets and eating massive chicken legs which we’d smuggled in. It was my birthday so everyone was dressed as Henry VIII. It’s lucky “banter-o-meters” don’t exist, because if they did, we would have broken one that night! It was off the scale! Anyway, there was a girl from the Debating Squad on our table who had taken a bit of a shine to us in our Tudor garb.

She whispers in my ear, asking if the boys and I fancied a War of the Roses themed gang-bang this evening? The only stipulation she made was that we would have to scream “off with her head” repeatedly throughout. I wasn’t sure about the whole thing, I had planned to go home that evening and put in an all-nighter playing Rollercoaster Tycoon, and this had really thrown a spanner into the works. But one thing led to another and the roast went ahead.

[tabpuff pound_puff=”0″ select_type=”tag” select_value=”puff” ]

Unfortunately, one of the lads took a video of it on his mobile phone, and the footage somehow went viral. This was back in the year 2010, camera phones were pretty basic, and so the footage was black and white, and somewhat grainy. When challenged whether it was me in the video I would claim that it was actually genuine historical footage of Henry VIII’s court in 1541. No one believed me.

The reason I drag myself over hot coals in retelling this story from my distant past, is that the European courts are trying to enshrine a “right to be forgotten” into law, essentially saying that old stories that are no longer “relevant” to a person should not appear in online search results. This was after a Spanish man challenged Google for listing a newspaper story about unpaid debts which he had settled a decade previously. His argument was essentially, “is it fair that my life now is still being impacted by what I have done ten years ago?”

dickinstudor2

You may be wondering what happened to me. We were suspended from university for bringing it into disrepute, and ostracised from the medieval battle community. I’ve not jousted since. Every job interview I’ve been to subsequently, the subject has come up. Several prospective employers have actually forced me to watch it. One mistake, my life ruined. And yet I sit here typing this now and I know I am not the sort of man who spit-roasts women anymore. In many ways I never was. And yet, according to the internet, that is all I am.

You may not have had an orgie whilst wearing nothing but a ruff, but perhaps you have an old Bebo account lurking in the murky online depths, with a bio proclaiming your hobbies as “lash, gash and cash”?. Or perhaps there’s a Vine video of you refusing to board a Ryan Air flight, blacked-up, dressed as Mr T, bellowing “I ain’t getting in no plane!”

Or maybe you started a Facebook group in 2006 proclaiming your maths teacher “King of the Paedos”. Or perhaps none of the above, maybe your digital footprint is cleaner than Freddy’s bottom. But even so, do you think it’s fair that Google is complicit in indexing an encyclopaedia of the misdemeanours of someone who, apart from his name, no longer exists?

Get more from Max on his YouTube channel.

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The Tab forget me freddy friggy Google Leeds name orgy right to forget tudor