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The nature of "my thing"

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Posted 25th February 2013 at 08:01 PM by troggi

This snippet is about what is in my bag, man. Y' know, the cultural fripperies 'n' fineries that made me think I might feel at home at Cult Labs.

Way back in the halcyon days of my childhood, when summers were long and filled with the whirr of grasshoppers singin' in the tall dry grass and winters were bitterly cold and the snow drifted deeply, when I was in the second year of middle school (about year 4 in today's money) I remember an argument between Tubby Taylor and me. I must explain that in the 1960's it was unusual for anyone to be overweight and they would have it pointed out to them at every opportunity, hence Tubby Taylor, I was so thin that I daren't run too quickly for fear of my stick-like legs catching alight BUT I digress. We were arguin' about the title of the film that was on that evening, when you only have three channels on TV there is only going to be one film on on a weekday evening. Now Tubby was one o' my best pals at the time but things got quite heated as he insisted that the film was called "It Came from out of Space" and I KNEW it was called "It Came From Outer Space" and various pals and cronies backed each of us up. The argument spilled over into the classroom and Mrs Harrison, our class teacher AND Head teacher, read us the riot act and told us which was correct. I gloated and Tubby cried, red faced, because he had put so much stock on his version that he believed he HAD to be right.

The film was great, I loved it and knew what sort of movies I would always watch from then on. Oh, I know that it was a steaming pile of doo-dah but it did turn me on to science fiction, fantasy and horror and for that I will always remember it fondly (and a little ashamedly 'cause I'd made the fat kid cry).


Around the time of the miner's strike and the winter of discontent the Friday night horror films were liable to be blacked out because of the power cuts but they were what we, my nerdy (although the term did not exist then, we were just "weird") friends and I had waited for all week. We were all even thinner now 'cause the (OH NO, he's grinding his teeth again) LOVELY MRS THATCHER had decided that we didn't really need to be given a free cup of milk every school day, I was so thin by now that if I wore a blue hat people used to think I was a snooker cue!

None of that mattered on Fridays because it was monster movie night. Almost always a Hammer film, sometimes a classic Universal or RKO chiller, I could not get enough. I even "did a project" on horror films at school, buying my own paper and folder for it. Pocket money went on the old Warren Creepy and Eerie comics and Aurora model kits of the famous Universal monsters with glow in the dark heads and hands!

Now, in my fifties, I still get a thrill from a well crafted horror or sci-fi flick, even a pile of doo-dah does it for me; I still read comics (try the new run of Dial H from DC, it's beyond superlatives); and I still like making models. Ah well, I suppose it keeps me from listening to the toilet brush telling me to strangle cats in the alley!
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