Friday, October 12, 2007

Octaganarian Profanity

A few weeks ago I was working night shoots on a movie that often had me getting home for around dawn. One morning as I was getting out the car, I noticed a milkfloat steadily climbing the hill that is my road. As I somewhat exhaustedly watched the elderly driver - easily in his early eighties I found myself with a sudden burst of nostalgia.

I realised that the milkfloat is rapidly decreasing sight in this day and age... I thought it wonderful that I could still catch one on the streets, and how it remembered them so vividly from my childhood. The driver had probably been doing this for decades, forced into a simple job when he reached the mandatory retirement age. I imagined him regarding his job as a vital service, as an honour and one that he would do until his dying day.

As a car came down the hill towards us he pulled into the space opposite my car, and smiled at me. I was suddenly overcome by that sensation that you sometimes get early in the morning; that you feel a part of a secret subculture that is hidden from the still sleeping world. That you are privy to a time when the city always looks the most beautiful, and at it's most peaceful, and is the quietest you've ever heard it. For a brief moment I was jealous of that old man.

The car ahead pulled into a space and parked up. The elderly milkman glanced my way, raised his eyebrows and revved the electric motor into a high pitched whine.

"Fucking cunt" he said to me angrily, "he could have told me he was fucking parking. Now it's going to take me fucking ages to get this bastard up the hill. What a cunt."

And with that he forced the milkfloat fowards and slowly it crawled up the hill. I blinked, and walked to my house. Just another day in Sheffield.


This story reminds me of a monologue that Rob Newman once delivered on the Mary Whitehouse Experience. I can't remember it verbatim, but to paraphrase it went something like this:
"I was laying in bed with my girlfriend early one Sunday morning, unable to sleep. I was watching the dawn light streaming through the open window, and reflecting on the night before. We had had sex, but I had prematurely ejaculated and I was thinking of ways in which I could aplogise to her.

I wanted to explain that life was stressful, that I had money problems and it was a combination of many elements that had made me come early. It had nothing to do with her, she was beautiful and I loved her. As I considered my language I heard in the distance the sound of the rag and bone's man call.

"Raaag 'n' Booone."

His voice slowly came closer and I began to consider the man, how his call had evolved over many years from; "Does anyone have any rag and bone for me to collect" to his now near gutteral cry.

"Raaaaaaag 'n' boooooone."

As I thought about the slow development of his announcements, and my beautiful girlfriend who lay so blissfully in my arms, I rumicated over the two together. The old mans call and my own problems, his changing dialogue, and my intended apologetic language.

Soon my girlfriend stirred and blinked awake. She slowly took in her surroundings before turning to me and gazing, lovingly, into my eyes. I looked tenderly into hers and summoned my carefully planned words. Outside the window the rag and bone man began his mournful cry once more.

"Raaaaaaaaaaaaag 'n' boooooooooooone."

I stared deep into her eyes, took a deep breath and yelled "soooorry I caaame."

I love that joke.


Been writing a few pieces for Watch With Mothers recently. Have a read if you have time:
Tesco Direct
The Peter Serafinowicz Show
ASDA Adverts
The X Factor


Oh and I've joined Facebook. Everyone was right - it's really good and useful. That annoys me.

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