Record Duggie Chop's into, right this moment:

Record Duggie Chop's into, right at this moment: Muswell Hillbillies - The Kinks (1971)

Duggie Chop recommends:

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

From the bonnet of an Austin Maxi...

[Me and Duggie are still back in 1982...]

“Walking down here in 1982, the thing I notice is how busy the shops are,” says Duggie's mate.

“Yeah,” says Duggie, “and the fact that people actually bought brand-new Morris Itals in '82, thinking they were brand-new cars not just Marinas with replacement headlights.”

[STOP! That's meaningless to anyone who cares not a fig about early 80s cars! (says the Narrator) So ignore that last comment if you couldn't give a toss.]

Duggie's mate says: “It's still the 1970s really, isn't it? I mean, spot the difference!”

“Yeah [again],” says Duggie, “Those shows like 'Life On Mars' and that 1980s one ['Ashes to Ashes'] were too perfect. I mean everyone was in 1973 – all riding flamin' Choppers and the like.”


Duggie continues: “It's like a typical 1930s working class family being depicted living in the height of Art Deco style in some villa, rather than 6 families crammed into a back street two-up-two-down terrace house.”

“Or,” says his mate, “a heritage centre that doesn't smell of cat piss!”

“What are you on about?” says Duggie.

[interjection by a critic of the 1990s Heritage Interpretation movement, the guys can't hear this: What your mate means, Duggie, is that when you visit a heritage centre, one that includes immersive environments, you often have a certain aroma that suggests a particular period.

Now, if you are presented with: a Victorian street-scene, or the service alley behind a Roman palace, or a Viking fishing village or the workshop of an 18th Century shipbuilder, your nostrils will be met by a fragrance that sums up the smell of the period. I can bet you any money you like (within reason, of course) that the smell that you will smell will be cat piss. Pure, unadulterated cat piss. Honest!

It's like the smell of heritage. Cat piss!]

“Watch out!” says Duggie, pushing his mate away from a large black box that's just been flung through the window of a room two floors above.

The box – a 150 watt Marshall Guitar Ampifier – crashes to the ground amidst a shower of glass
(which punctures the radial/cross-ply mixed tyres of several nearby cars, including a beige Austin Maxi).

Duggie and friend land on top of a beige Austin Maxi. The bonnet crumples like paper [Narrator: they used to in those days, something to do with the oil crisis I suppose, don't know why.]

Me and Duggie could hear voices in that room two floors above:
“You bastards! Why d'you leave me?” says a man's voice.
“Hey, hey, Matt, man,” says a woman, “we were just hiding.”
A man agrees with her: “Yeh, yeh, yeh, cool it...”
Sound of heavy breathing, someone trying to calm themselves down.
Whoever is trying to chill peers through the broken window, to get some fresh air.

Duggie looks up: “Look, It's Matt Score, from 'Hair Tom', they must be recording or something in the Torpid One [that's the nickname of the Torpid Emancipator – see earlier posts for information].”

Duggie's mate is watching a slight, middle-aged man walking intently towards them. He's wearing a tan-coloured rain mac, a beige cap and carrying a large golfing umbrella. He looks rather angry.

“Duggie, how would you describe 'the look' of a typical Maxi owner?”

“Dunno,” says Duggie, “I suppose, a tan rain mac, beige cap, some kind of golfing accessory.”

“Like him you mean?” says Duggie's mate.

“Yeah!” says Duggie.

[Narrator: at this point, Duggie stands up. He's a big lad. But the thing is, in 1982, he's still a lad, 14 or 15 years old. But he does look older. Duggie's used to solving man-to-man issues with his physical presence alone. so doesn't feel intimidated by the livid Maxi owner.]

“Yes, mate,” says Duggie, “Can I 'elp you?”

“You layabout,” says the Maxi owner, “you've buggered my bonnet!”

[Narrator: oh dear...]

“Calm down now, Mr.” says Duggie.

“You bloody kids,” says the Maxi owner, “you think the world owes you a liver!”

“A liver! surely you mean...” and that's all Duggie has time to say.

[from the perspective of 'Me': He just laid one on Duggie. He's out cold. Thwump! Nose in shreds of red, like a sliced capsicum. Dunno about the ethical side of punching a kid. But, you know, as a time traveller, his real age is 40-ish.]

All Duggie can think of is Scooby-Doo and the 'you pesky kids' unmasking of the baddie. Then music. He's on stage with Hair Tom. Finally, he's floating in a red sea. Then his nose drifts by on the tide.

[Mr Stickleback says: “Hard Cheese, Duggie. I mean, you are a bit of a bully sometimes – I should know, we've had our run-ins via the hook and line (and I haven't yet become a sinker!). Maybe you getting knocked out by Maxi man is a bit of rough justice. Afterall, you can be a bit of a bully!]

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