Tag Archives: the hump

Teen spirit . . . (episode 19)

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401B Concrete Shacks
Walthamstow
LONDON E17 4VZ

April 21 1997

What ho! Auntie

Your ring story gave rise to one or two hoots of laughter round here! What did its net worth turn out to be? Have you heard any more from Interpol? Good news regarding your prospective appointment – not to mention promotion – to the House of Lords. I hope you will still be able to wedge your head through the door at Concrete Shacks – as I don’t think my abode will compare well to those occupied by your fellow peers. I believe that one or two weekend stays at Chequers could also be a perk for someone of your station?

I have made some headway towards infiltrating the local British All-White Party. I was told by the Department of Immigration to bone up on national immigration flows – both in and out – of the country and several large packets of information have now slapped upon the mat. I did find these an exceedingly tedious read and think that it would take the average reader up until the year 2000 to become even a semi-expert on the subject! However, I did perk up – by way of leafing through a copy of ‘Social Trends in the UK’ – on another (entirely irrelevant) matter. Apparently a bird called a ‘wood pigeon’ has doubled in numbers during the years 1971-1996. It’s astonishing what can turn up in an otherwise drab-looking government publication. I think I know the type of bird they are referring to auntie; it is that one with a penchant for shitting in the garden bird bath.

Thank you for not referring to my ‘habit’ by the way. As it happens, while I was downing a pint in the Feathered Hen the other day, one of my associates happened to mention that he thought that the practice of glue-sniffing was only really engaged in by very young children . . . I naturally got somewhat of the hump over this because one naturally doesn’t wish to connect one’s activities with those of the play pen but – thinking about it – it was in childhood (and more specifically the garage) that my relationship with Glu-stik began. I think Dad and I were attempting to escape the attentions of Mum, whose booming verbal imprecations reached well beyond the end of our garden. As she was screaming “P – e – t – e ! ! !” out of the back door, Dad and I had our noses stuffed into the tin and were inhaling the ‘spirit’ so-to-speak. My only other escape, at that point, was into the realm of my bedroom headphones, where I could listen to tapes of Sid Vicious venting his rage in tracks such as, ‘Never Mind the Bollocks.’ Nowadays it is Nirvana-penned lyrics such as, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ that remind me of days of yore. But, for the record auntie, that lyric does not actually refer to glue – or gas – it is about a brand of deodorant!

My new lodger is causing a bit of gyp by the way. She has acquired a kitten and, as you know, unlike yourself, I don’t like them. I particularly don’t like litter trays filled to the brim with effluent – especially when they are stationed near the washing machine – or the fact that we all now seem to have fleas hopping around on our ankle socks.

Toodle pip!

Your nephew

Ralph

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