Timeless Classics presents “Mirror, Mirror”

(First published Feb 2010)

Not suitable for young children, the squeamish or those of a nervous disposition. “Celebrity Big Brother” on at the time was the prompt. 

There’s been a lot of talk about ‘Male Banter’ recently.

It’s been the final week of the last ever ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ and as ever I’ve been glued to it. Can’t fathom it really, because normally I have zero interest in the lives of the rich and famous, but it’s just fascinating watching ‘Celebrities’ out of their little comfort zones, being told what to do, being given menial and degrading tasks to do (I pass on the disgusting eating tests: a bridge too far, personally) and sometimes even reaching meltdown on live TV.

 Well, the final few hours of ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ 2010 seems to have been notable (If you believe all the pundits, commentators and hangers-on etc.) for the quality of ‘banter’ between remaining male contestants who outnumbered sole female Stephanie Beecham 4 to 1. They were Vinnie Jones (Ex-footballer/Actor), Alex Reid (Cagefighter/boyfriend to Katie Price/’Jordan’), Dane Bowers (Ex-Boyband member: I forget which) and Jonas Somebody or other (Swedish ‘Euro-Pop’ Recording Artist)

 From where I was sitting, it was decidedly average. Unless I was somehow sitting in a parallel universe and watching a complete simulacrum of the ‘real’ Big Brother … or was it?… but I digress, the point is that I didn’t find the ‘Male Banter’ on offer all that good. Especially when I compare it to banter, jokes and laughs I   have enjoyed, courtesy of some of the lads who drifted in and out of my life, particularly during the early/mid eighties. As well as My Best Mate Aky, people like Skull Murphy, Stig, Gibbo, the Baron, Andy Kav, Jonah, Mo the Header, Dinks, Glenn, Wayne, Peadar, Arthur, Ken, Rob, Bouncing Bob, Chawkey Neil and Wiz. Compared to some of the comments, insults, antics and tall tales from this little lot over the years, the ‘Big Brother’ quartet would have been found sorely wanting.

 It was while mulling over some of the highlights of these hangover-stained years (eg. “The Great White Chief” stopped by Police on Waterloo Bridge at two in the morning, drunk as a monkey, driving – if you can call it that – without lights, The Baron’s drunken sleepwalking escapades, one of which lead him, semi-naked, out of his flat and all the way down onto the Mile End Road to ‘Get the bus for work’ at eleven o’clock in the evening, A 21st Birthday Party at ‘The Ukranian Club’ in Rochdale, coming home from which we got ‘lost’ less than 200 yards from the house in which My Best Mate Aky had lived in all his life, Chawkey ironing his stomach etc etc) that I was reminded of the tale of Dinks’ anus. I will never forget him telling me this story and the helpless laughter it left me with, and for which I only have to recall the story’s dénouement to have it re-kindled.

 Dinks, despite being from ‘Sheff’ (Sheffield) was a smashing bloke. Bit of a nuisance when he was drunk; but then so are a lot of people. He had a tendency to square up to, or a wish to discuss the finer points of issues with Lads (and sometimes Ladies) of considerably bigger build, and who seemed to have an air of greater ‘combat experience’ behind them. He was never a great-looker, bless him (Use these words to form a sentence of your own: Pot, Black, Call, Kettle)  the last time I saw him, he wore baggy (as in no arse at all) army surplus trousers, a Sex Pistols T-shirt and a denim jacket. His head was shaved, revealing an angry lunar landscape of spots, blackheads and acne scars. His only hair, bleached, sprouted from a point to the front of his crown, and for the most part dangled down over his eyes and face.

 “Did I ever tell y’t’ story of when I saw me oan arsehole?” He asked one day in the pub, apropos of nothing.

“Well, I were on’t’ bus comin’ oam fr-fr- fr-fr- frum college one dinner time…” (he stammered too)

 I was immediately hooked and listened intently.

“Aye, I were on this bus, when I thowat: Y’ knurr, twenteh too yeayurs on th-th-th-th-this planet and I’ve n-n-n-n-n-never seen me oan arsehole.”

Then and there, Dinks resolved to do something about it. He hatched a plan. What sort of bizarre meanderings and tortured thought processes lead a human mind to close focus of such an issue is beyond me. However, unimpeded by such concerns, the intrepid Dinks prepared to alight.

At his stop, he scuttled down the stairs and off the bus. He quickly covered the quarter of a mile or so to his house.

“Twelve-thirty: brilliant, me Mum won’t be ‘oam till at least wun. Should be perfect!” he thought to himself as he glanced at his Tintin watch

He described reaching home, hurridly unlocking the front door, and racing straight up the stairs into the bathroom.

 Once in, he threw off his jacket. The bathroom, though clean and tidy, was small and poky. The only mirror was that on the front of the vanity unit placed high on the wall, adjacent to the sink. Now this was going to be tricky, it would require nerve, balance and more than a little agilty. Not to worry! Our Hero had done his planning and, after feverishly unbuttoning, dropping and stepping out of his pants, naked from the waist down, he began his ascent. Careful!… one foot on the basket that housed spare toilet rolls, old newspapers, and inexplicably, a can of WD 40. Good! … it did’t give. A step up with the other foot onto the window ledge. Easy! The fan light was open causing the net curtain to play in the fluttery wind. This was the big one … Ready? One, two, three … Hup! Other foot into the ‘soap space’ corner of the sink, behind the tap … Will it hold my weight? …. Yyyyeeessss! Done it!

 I recall the expession on his face as he reached this pivotal point in his recounting of the whole tale: a mixture of triumph and relief.

“At last! The Holy Grail!” (His words!) “I could see me oan arsehole!”

He should have taken more notice of the open window, for no sooner had his face of triumph clouded with revulsion at what he beheld in the mirror than the bathroom door (which in his haste he had forgotten to lock) swung open, and his Mum walked in.

“Jeremy!” She screeched “What on EARTH are you doing….?”

 “I’m br-br-br-br-brushin’ me teeth Mum!”

 “…..Well, I just said first thing that came into me ‘ead”

© Andy Daly  2010

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One thought on “Timeless Classics presents “Mirror, Mirror”

  1. Pingback: Look on the bight side, it’s Norman Whiteside « Sitting comfortably?

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