Monday, 3 December 2007

1976

Apart from the party half-grapefruit bristling with cocktail sticks stuck with pieces of cheddar (mousetrap) and pineapple chunks (tinned) there was...

oh, and the pearly cocktail onions and cocktail sausages and waxy maraschino cherries if you were really sophisticated...

and the green maraschino cherries if you were really --- sophisticated...

There was Buck the Schmuck (hello, Buck), first student in Cambridge to own a digital watch, a bezeled brick-sized thing which he'd poke around with a while before announcing, "the time is precisely..." as if anybody gave a shit. He is probably now a Captain of Industry. I still have to try hard, to manage my time to the nearest month.

The universal belief that if you tasted the wine, and didn't send it back for being 'corked', you had to drink all of it however poisonous, and could never get your money back or another bottle in its place. That is why all English restaurants sold only Bull's Blood or Blue Nun (re-labelled) at 1000% markups, to claw back the cash from...

Buck the Schmuck (indeed), who insisted that a glass of wine with the teensiest speck of cork in it was 'corked'...

(a passing flip of the paw to the Polish girl in a tacky Mehican restaurant in Preston Street, Brighton, who poured me a huge slug of wine from m'bottle, looked at it in horror, and rushed away to throw it down the sink, because it had the teensiest speck of cork in it. Thanks for a nearly sober evening, devushka)...

There was London under leaden autumn skies, all the buildings still black with ancient soot, the rigid pink napery and weighty cutlery on the table in an Italian restaurant in Soho, a postprandial whore at Frith or Greek Street or at Shepherds Market, a brandy or two in a smelly pub and the last train home at 10:35...

And the innumerate Buck the Schmuck (again), first 'pocket' calculator in &c, a million times slower than my then intensely fast mental arithmetic, but people were beginning to believe only in machines.

And Buck the Schmuck (si monumentum requiris) whose wallet had a concertina of plastic containing about 1,000 of the new 'credit card' things - he would order his lady (foxy - 1970s!) a drink (rum'n'black - 1970s!) and accidentally let it dangle to the floor as he moved to pay. Which got him no more sex than my fumblings for the last of my change in my Oxfam zoot suit, viz zero.

I used then to have a body like Michelangelo's "David" and an impenetrable innocence. Now I'm more a sack of spuds powered by the two-stroke motor of lust. Neither works.

7 comments:

Mad Dog said...

Oh dear, I'm coming over all nostalgic, like, for scampi and chips in a basket, avocado coloured bathroom suites, Sinclair calculators, Pong, Mike Oldfield, Morecambe & Wise and Noel Edmonds (just joking about the last one). Is Buck on Friends Reunited, BTW?

Funnily enough I just found one of my long lost teenage cohort on FR who was actually called "Buck".

Mad Dog said...

And while we're at it, Ford Granadas and THIS:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqr4COXKO90&feature=related

(the last line uttered is in fact very timely)

Wickedred said...

I heart this post. I do however defend the maraschino cherry. good for many, but not all occasions.

"London under leaden autumn skies"...beautiful turn of phrase.

I have nothing else to offer today. The gremlins have taken my soul.

Although - I think there's a place in my neighborhood where one can buy a two-stroke lust motor. Just sayin'

x said...

I dont remember any of those things. I'm glad I'm not an OLD bastard like you. You should be put down in my view.

Mad Dog said...

X: You appear to be a cocky YOUNG bastard. Just remember what they say about age and treachery...

CresceNet said...

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Chertiozhnik said...

Ladies, ladies.

When Crescenet says, "basta se cadastrar no CresceNet e quando for dormir conectar por discada, é possível pagar" and nobody can be bothered to work out quite what that means, we have reached a limit of sorts.

I love you all. Group hug.

Except Sr. Bustamento and his xhaxhaxhaxha, fancy talking a language which is not entirely incomprehensible to those who last studied Latin thirty-five years ago. A pish and a pshaw.

WickedRed, may you be free of Gremlins and never be short of a Merlin 12 cylinder, 60° "V", 27 litre, liquid cooled piston engine.

Mr X, may Pikey Scum be struck with blindness, madness and testicular cancer. And his lawyers and loved ones.

MadDog, may your leave your enemies choking in your dust while they're struggling to get the route map out of the glove compartment.

As for Merlins, "Miss Shilling's orifice" (invented in March 1941 by an engineer at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough, named Beatrice Shilling), a holed diaphragm fitted across the float chambers, went some way towards curing the fuel starvation in a dive.

I really need one of those for Christmas.