Day 76: Who remembers Crazy Frog? Wikipedia certainly does – Crazy Frog, originally known as The Annoying Thing, is a Swedish CGI-animated character and musician created in 2003 by actor and playwright Erik Wernquist. Marketed by the ringtone provider Jamba!
Most of us will remember that annoyingly catchy Worldwide chart hit with a remix of “Axel F” (from the soundtrack of Beverly Hills Cop), which reached the number one spot in Turkey, New Zealand, Australia and most of Europe. The year was 2005.
This was the year I reluctantly stayed on at school and started my A-Levels at Sixth Form of a school I’d hated for the previous five years. I’d been keen on going to college and doing a Uniformed Services course as my dream was to become a Policeman. I was good at school academically so my teachers pushed me towards further education (A Levels, Uni and then if I still wanted to be a copper I’d have a good foundation behind me). My parents had little influence on me in that respect. Neither had stuck in at school and left when the opportunity first came up so to see their oldest son doing well at school and being encouraged by teachers to pursue further education – who were they to argue?!
Looking back I wish they’d said more. I was only 16 years old and my careers guidance was delivered by a strict teacher who I had so much respect for and wanted to impress. He was my DT teacher and I was a gifted drawer / designer so he felt I could use that to my advantage. Graphic design didn’t sound as exciting as the police force but I listened to my teacher and hung on to his belief and words in me. I was a quiet, bookish student so maybe he just didn’t see me fighting crime! So, I took his advice and signed up for A-Levels after passing my GCSEs. I did three A-Levels – Graphic Design (surprise surprise), Geography (my favourite subject throughout school) and Business Studies. I chose Business Studies because it sounded like it would be great on a CV. As I got older I realised Business Studies is more common on a CV than flies round shit.
My interest in pursuing the police force evaporated as I settled into life at Sixth Form with the more relaxed environment of a common room and the lack of bullies and dickheads who had dominated my school life throughout the previous 5 years. I was a ‘Sixth Former’ now. Top dogs in the school. It was all about girls, parties, trying to get served in pubs and a bit of studying. Crazy Frog was present throughout the journey too. That little toad was appearing on computer games and clothes now. He was going nowhere!
My interest in studying nosedived once I turned 18, got my first proper ‘girlfriend’ and realised how cool it was to go to pubs and clubs without the anxiety of fake IDs and sneaking past doormen. I scraped through my A-Levels, missed out on my first choice Uni up in Edinburgh and ended up enrolling at Northumbria University (46mins away on the bus) to study Building Surveying. Why? Dunno, but I thought my knack for drawing and designing would come in handy when it came to building and floor plans. Me and my girlfriend soon broke up, I became disillusioned with Uni life (living at home and getting the bus each day sucked – I worked at Tesco on an evening too so no Student Union fun for me either). Again, academically I did ok at Uni but my heart wasn’t in it. I decided to leave after completing my first year. Crazy Frog had an album out now and his merchandise was sought after by kids for Christmas. He had the World at his feet. I just felt lost and a failure.
I needed to get away. I walked into the Army Careers Office in Durham.