It might surprise my new readers and followers to discover that I was not the most popular child in the playground.
I know, it’s quite staggering really. I wish they could see me now! An international jet-setting, eco-warrior, Citizen Journalist, blogospheric sensation.
I remember the day Steve joined our school. His family had moved up from London and his dad was a policeman. To say that he was not instantly popular with the other kids would be an understatement. He was bullied readers, bullied remorselessly. Steve Pigson the Cockney Copper Cock they called him.
For a while, much to my eternal shame, I relished the fact that the spotlight of juvenile torment had swivelled away from yours truly. However, even at that early age, I was a boy of compassion and high moral standing. I knew that I could not leave Steve to the face the taunts and tribulations alone. I stepped in and offered the hand of friendship, eventually.
For a time we were close. We even formed a special Crime Investigation Club. We had a Code of Practice, secret handshakes and special rules that we did not tell non-members. No one else wanted to join, in fact if the truth be told, the bullies used to take the piss out of our club. But it didn’t matter to us. We had each other and we had the club. We stuck together through thick and thin that term. It didn’t really stop the bullying. In fact I think if anything it might well have helped redouble the efforts of our tormentors.
Still, we made it to the summer holidays and hung out every day until Steve and his family came went to Ibiza to visit Steve’s dad’s sister and her Balearic husband. It was a long fortnight. When it was over, Steve came around to see me and he had the stupidest look on his face. He was practically bursting with excitement it seems. I thought that maybe he'd managed to get lucky with a girl or something.
Steve waited until Mum had left the house to go to her book club and then he went rummaging in his bag and pulled out a video tape. Steve had stolen the tape from his uncle’s den. He didn't say what it was, he just drew the curtains and popped it in the player. A grainy image appeared and so Steve twiddled with the tracking. Then in full focus was a large backside moving jerkily back and forth. The sound was low, but it sounded like someone was in trouble. Lots of shouting and grunting. Then I realised what it was!
It was hardcore German porn readers! I had never seen anything quite like it. Massive they were. Really, really massive cocks. I'd never seen a circumsized penis. I didn't think they were real! Sure, like any young boy I had seen a few interesting magazines in my time, but nothing like this. This was high grade filth. The kind of high grade smut that people would pay good money to see. And when I say ‘people’ what I really mean is ‘school boys’.
The Crime Investigation Club quickly morphed into The Jazz Film Club. A plan was hatched. We knew that Jeremy Clarke’s mum and dad had two video recorders because he’d recently tried to hawk pirated copies of Porkies from the Patel’s corner shop video hire. We knew this because he’d been under the close surveillance of the Crime Investigation Club! We knew this because we’d tried to buy a copy and he said that we “weren’t the right type of clientele”. Clarke was using his pirated Porkies to win friends and influence people, just not us... We decided to use the porn video to befriend Clarke, with the aim of using his copying facilities, meanwhile Steve and I would market and sell the German porn at a premium rate.
The plan ran surprisingly smoothly at first. Both Steve and I had wracked up a significant number of prospects in the new business pipeline and we soon become quite amazingly popular. All of a sudden the taunts had turned to jovial banter – our playground streetcred had gone through the roof. As each day passed by our stock rose.
Clarke’s recording services, however, were proving a sticking point. He insisted that he needed to borrow the movie and could only record the film over night while his parents were asleep. Steve and I might well have been stupid, but we weren’t idiots! We insisted that we needed to be present for all the recordings in case Clarke decided to cut us out of the loop and make his own sub-master tape. We hit an impasse. A seemingly impassable impasse, or so it seemed, until I came up with the brainwave of jumping on a bus to Nottingham to pick up some copying cables and blank cassettes. I would travel down at the weekend. Mum was due to be away visiting friends at the weekend, so Steve would sneak his parents’ video recorder around to my house and we’d stay up all night making copies of the porn.
Early on Saturday morning I jumped on the bus to Nottingham. In those days a trip to Nottingham from Lincoln was a major bloody deal for me. I’d been there before to see Notts Forest of course, but that was on specially organised coach trips. This time I was travelling solo to the big city. I’ll cut to the chase. After a day of hunting around the Broadmarsh and Victoria Centres, I finally found a specialist video outlet hidden away in the Lace Market that had the cables I needed.
I finally made it back home for early evening and called Steve. Steve didn’t answer the phone. I gave it a while, then called again. Again no answer. I sat in the front room surrounded by empty video cassettes and cables. I’d even got in a bottle of cider from a shop in Nottingham where they didn’t need ID. I called Steve again, although now it was getting late. There was no answer. By now, I’d had ¾ of a bottle of Olde English and I was feeling a little bit miffed, our plans were looking shaky. I got on my bike and I went around to Steve’s place to see where he was and what was happening.
The curtains were drawn as I approached, but I could see the flickering light from the television set. I knock on the door, I knocked again. I knock a third time with all my might and eventually a flustered Jeremy Clarke came to the door. I barged past him and into Steve’s front room, and there he was surrounded by video tapes with a guilty look on his face.
Unbeknownst to me Steve had done a deal with Jeremy. Jeremy had the video recording facilities, but more than that, thanks to his trade in Porkies videos, he could offer Steve new business channels into the local Scouts and the school just up the road. And with it, not just financial wealth but also the adulation that Steve craved so much. I had been cut out of the loop by greed.
And that readers, is pretty much how I felt when Nick Clegg sided with David fucking Cameron.
It was almost as sickening as watching Blackpool beat Notts Forest at the City Ground.
Still, Steve and Jeremy’s video empire came crashing down almost as soon as it started. Somehow Steve’s father found out about the taping business. Someone told him. I have no idea who it was. ;-)
Steve’s fair-weather fanclub slipped away faster than it had grown since Steve had taken some payments in advance for the video in order to buy the blank cassettes and the bullies wanted their money back plus interest!
Eventually, I offered the hand of friendship back to Steve. Even though he had the cheek to call me a snitch! I suspect Nick Clegg’s wounded liberals might one day forgive him. But not before the whole sorry mess comes crashing down.
Yours in politics
Yours in politics