Battle stars

June 15, 2017 at 8:46 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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If I seem a tad maudlin, it’s because I’m recording unpleasant vignettes with a view to putting them in their place via EMDR treatment, which starts next week.

The ultimate object of this game is to ‘normalise’ childhood sexual abuse memories. But let’s start with something a little lighter …

I was so taken with Pat Benatar’s Love is a Battlefield that I bought the 12-inch single.

On hearing me play it in the lounge room, dad informed me that:

  1. Love was not a battlefield (indeed, far from it).
  2. The lyrics were therefore stupid.
  3. The song thus had no merit.

I was disappointed at this assessment.

I had enthusiastically embraced his music collection.

From Bach, Oompah and Zorba to Nina Mouskouri, the Red Army Choir and Scottish Pipes, I thought I might have been a colleague. But I was merely an acolyte.

On reflection, dad’s perspective made sense.

When mum’s first husband died, dad rescued her (and her two boys) from a 1960s social and fiscal scrapheap.

She was thus forever in his debt.

He used to boast that, despite their long marriage, they’d never had an argument.

This was also likely true, as Mum never dared to say boo to him.

It took her ten years of faint, nuanced suggestion to replace our frayed carpet.

And almost as long to add a humble Vergola to our crumbling terrace.

Not really battlefield stuff.

In contrast, Mum said she quite liked Love Action by The Human League.

This was handy, as I played it until the groove nearly went through to the other side.

After her death, dad announced that he’d, ‘Loved mum but never been in love with her’.

I excused myself to punch out one of the five slatted window panes which, for almost half a century, had sat high in our toilet wall.

It was difficult to eat after that.



Toe tapper

June 5, 2015 at 9:36 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments
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In my early 20s, I was very partial to a song by C+C Music Factory.

It was called Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now).

And whenever this song played, I usually did both.

This remains the only tune to which I’ve lost a shoe.

It was Friday.

I’d just come from my automotive industry job, so the shoe was a heavy, bulky, steel-capped affair.

At the zenith of one my jubilant high kicks, it flew quite a distance – narrowly missing a barman at Bobby McGee’s.

After apologising, I removed the other shoe so I could dance in socks.

A bouncer quickly advised me this was forbidden on safety grounds (e.g. I could step on broken glass).

After apologising, I asked the disc jockey for some gaffer tape.

Being a casual DJ myself at the time, I was sure he’d have a roll behind his console.

He did, but it wasn’t the hue I’d hoped for.

Instead of the customary black, it was bright orange.

The 12-inch ‘mega-mix’ song was still playing.

I was eager to dance before it ended, so I quickly wound the gaffer tape round both my shoes, binding them firmly to my feet.

While this rendered them safe from further discharge, my girlfriend was unimpressed by the aesthetic.

But, as I’d been so uncool for so long, her concern didn’t dissuade me from my intended task.

I like to think that somewhere in the world there’s a barman, a bouncer and a DJ who remember me fondly each time they hear that song.

Though I concede it’s a

long shot.

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