Wiffle Lever To Full!

Daleks, Death Stars and Dreamy Sci-Fi Nostalgia…

Extracts from Bob’s 1984 Diary… Volume 200

Wednesday 18th July 1984

Woke up at 7.50 and got up at 8.00 and at 8.30 I got the bus down to Worsall, then went to school and read. At 10.30 we saw parts 2 and 3 of the Sex Education film and at 12.00 I had dinner. Then I had a goalie competition aganst Timothy Scott, and won.

At 1.00 we came in and started to watch Star Trek II, but you could go out for rounders so I went and we drew. At 3.15 I came home and typed till tea at 5.00. Then I typed again and at 7.00 dad took some penalties at me. Went to bed at 9.00.

Alas, the dreaded day had come… we were destined to complete our primary school Sex Education on this day, with a terrifying double bill of the BBC Schools and Colleges’ ‘How To Make A Baby’ series.
Rumours about the content had been sweeping school ever since we’d watched Part 1 the previous Friday. ‘It’s got naked beach volleyball in it!!!!’ an incredulous Frankie had exclaimed the previous day. ‘It has, my brother Nigel saw the same films two years ago!!!’

‘What, so you can see… everything?’ I asked, shocked to my Start-Rite trainers.

‘Yeah!!!’

‘I’ve seen it all before anyway,’ shrugged a worldly-wise Doug. ‘My Dad had that nuddy calendar in the garage for years…’

nudistbeach

All of this was praying on my mind as I caught the (late) school bus on its journey up to Worsall village, ready to pick up the outlying rural stragglers before doubling back on itself and chugging across the estate to school. The prospect of watching naked people like, actually… doing it… was scary enough in itself, but watching them in the school hall, with all my friends and a couple of my teachers present? It seemed terrifying and sleazy beyond belief. I think I almost expected a police raid to take place halfway through, with a muscle-bound riot squad abseiling down the PE apparatus and demolishing the mahogany TV with their truncheons before clearing the hall with a cloud of CS gas (although, to be fair, Stephen Mason did something similar to the latter during pretty much every morning assembly)   

gas

Amidst this madness, though, there was a still a tiny, rational part of my mind that insisted it HAD to be a primary school urban myth, and that Parts 2 and 3 of the films would CLEARLY just be as boring and technically-minded as the first instalment. Wouldn’t they?

Surely…?

AAAAAAGGGGH!!!! NO!!!!!!!! At approximately 11.15am, 25 years ago today, I sat open-mouthed in the school hall as we did, indeed, watch an archetypal late 1970s family PLAYING NAKED BEACH VOLLEYBALL BEFORE OUR EYES. I was utterly, gut-wrenchingly, heart-poundingly dumbfounded. A mixture of shock and stifled giggles swept around the hall as the programme cut, without warning, to a naked thirty-something man racing across a freezing-looking beach with – seemingly – a large Yorkshire terrier eating a chipolata sausage strapped to the front of his groin.

yorkshire terrier

He leapt into the air (cue more shocked yelps from the audience) and caught, in mid-flight, a brightly-coloured beach ball being thrown to him by his similarly stark naked wife whose own pubic Yorkshire terrier had presumably polished off his sausage just before filming began. They were quickly joined by their equally naked teenage offspring, a beaming boy and girl racing out of the roaring Arctic ocean and chasing the ball around a makeshift net beneath a steel-grey, overcast sky.

frozenbeach

Thirty seconds of this, and my nerves just dissipated amongst the ludicrousness of it all, and I started to giggle. Stifled at first, but then full-blooded, my laughs mixing in with the shocked hilarity of my chuckling contemporaries. I can’t remember anything else about the film at all, other than the fact that the sexual act itself was left until the very final minutes of the last episode, and was given such emotionless, technical coverage that it might as well have come from the 1981 Haynes Triumph Dolomite manual.

haynes

Phwoooar eh, lads? PHWOOOAAARRR!!!

And then it was all over, and I had my summer to look forward to. Although at 1pm, when Mrs Keasey urged us to ‘go back into the hall for another film – SENSIBLY PLEASE – STOP RUNNING, MR SUGDEN’ I did wonder if a terrifying, secret fourth instalment of our Sex Education films was about to be unveiled.

Thankfully, it was just Star Trek II – The Wrath Of Khan, clearly a very different viewing experience to our Sex Education film. After all, one of them shows a horrible, cringeworthy object being inserted into a bodily orifice, and the other… (finish that yourself)

earworm

I lasted about 20 minutes watching Star Trek on the cold, tiled floor of our school hall before the lure of the blinding sunshine streaming in through the windows became too much to resist, and I went outside to join the rounders tournament. On the way out, I distinctly remember seeing Doug lurking in the corridor surrounded by a gaggle of second and third year boys, enthusiastically relaying to them the contents of our three Sex Education films, accompanied by a series of obscene hand gestures that would have given Lionel Blair a pulmonary embolism.  

It probably speaks volumes about me that, even as an 11-year-old, I couldn’t help think of the scene in Return of the Jedi when C-3Po recounts the story of the rebellion against the Empire to a crowd of terrified-looking Ewok children. Doug was even providing the sound effects. 

c3po

Surprisingly though, it was me that was told off as we left the building. As I ran across the little-grass covered bank outside our main classroom window, I tripped over Simon ‘Cabbage Patch Kid’ Thompson, who had – once again – been earwigging outside our Sex Education filmshow. He grabbed my ankle and pulled me to the ground, and we had a little frantic play-fight, with a few lightweight slaps to each others’ midriffs accompanied by gasping, whooping laughter.

‘RIGHT, STOP THAT NOW!!!!’ yelled Mrs Keasey, marching over to seperate us. ‘I expect far better than that from the pair of you…’ She’d clearly mistaken our (snort, snort) ‘horseplay’ for a real, anger-fuelled rumble, and we both adopted the customary ‘scolded child’ stance (look at feet, mumble) while she gave us a mild ticking-off. It’s a fine testament to the strangeness of the human memory that I clearly remember having the Thompson Twins’ recent chart hit ‘Doctor Doctor’ running through my head during all of this…

It’s only now I’ve written this down that I’ve realised I was probably humming the Thompson Twins because I was messing about with Simon Thompson! Ah well… closure at last… 

When I got home at 3.30pm, my Mum was peeling carrots in the kitchen once again. ‘Did you have your last two Sex Education films today?’ she asked, jauntily. 

‘Yes,’ I mumbled, looking at my feet.

‘Well if you need to know anything else, we’ve got you a book. It’s on the coffee table, just help yourself and have a read through whenever you like’.

I’ve still got my Dad’s 1981 Haynes Triumph Dolomite Manual sitting proudly on the spare room shelf.

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4 Comments»

  Fiona Tims wrote @

In an ironic twist-yesterday (as in the 18th) I bought myself a Haynes Manual for my Rav 4!

  Fiona Tims wrote @

Dunno quite why I said that was ironic! I meant to say coincidence d’oh!

  Justin wrote @

Haynes obviously thought to avoid confusion in future they’d actually produce a sex manual

  bobfischer wrote @

Fiona, you ought to be ashamed of yourself. I hope you brought it home in a plain brown wrapper. 😉

Justin – sensational stuff! I honestly didn’t know about that, and will claim as much in any ensuing Haynes vs Fischer plagiarism case.


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