Wiffle Lever To Full!

Daleks, Death Stars and Dreamy Sci-Fi Nostalgia…

Extracts from Bob’s 1984 Diary… Volume 209

Friday 27th July 1984

Woke up at 9.00 and got up at 9.30. At 10.15 Doug came down and we went down the BMX track. When we came back it started to rain, so we sheltered in a bus shelter, then came back at 12.30 and had dinner.

After dinner we walked the dogs down Private road and met Arnold the Cow. It started to rain again so we sheltered in a wood, then ran back and played with an Action Force pilot.  

At 5.00 Doug went home and I had tea, and at 5.15 I watched Diffrent Strokes. Then I wrote some Fighting Fantasy till 7.30, when I watched Simon and Simon. Went to bed at 8.30.

Ah, the sheer rebellion of youth! After receiving an out-and-out bollocking the previous day for cycling two miles down the main road to an illicit BMX track, I took on board everything my mother had said, had a good think about what kind of young person I wanted to be… and then WENT THERE AGAIN!!! Booo… hiss… (young Fischer cackles manically and swirls a pantomime cape around his face)

To be fair I think I placated my Mum by telling her that we’d cycled all the way on the pavement, taken extra care when crossing the main road, and under NO circumstances was our new discovery hidden away on British Gas property only accessible by sneaking down someone’s drive and climbing over a rickety old fence covered in warning signs. Oh no. Absolutely not. Not a chance. Nope. Pfffft.

Anyway, the Gods punished us for our transgressions, because it absolutely pissed down all day. The first few drops fell as we left the BMX track, and within seconds a full-scale tropical monsoon was hammering against Yarm’s previously sun-baked pavements. To escape the onslaught, we had to dive into a bus shelter that smelt so strongly of wee that we were soon producing our own tropical monsoons, streaming down our faces from each eye…

So there we sat, T-shirts soaking wet and plastered to our skins, hair hanging limply over our foreheads, in a choking cloud of sulphorous urea so unpleasant that the old lady waiting for the 295 bus to Stockton was wearing a full protective radiation suit and gas mask. Amazingly, the smell seems to have gone completely now, so I can only assume that the quality of beer served in the nearby Crown Hotel has improved immeasurably over the last 25 years.

Incidentally, several years later, that bus shelter played host to one of the funniest incidents I’ve ever seen in my life. February 1991, and myself and a few sixth form friends were joined in the Crown by a younger lad from our school, a cheery lad with a shock of peroxide hair who was chugging back pints of Fosters at an extraordinary rate. As we passed the bus shelter on our way out, his eyes alighted on something glinting in the long grass.

solventabuse

‘Fantastic, an aerosol can!’ he exclaimed. ‘I’ve always fancied taking a hit on one of these…’

He raised it to his mouth, clearly intending to inhale the solvent-based propellent left in the empty tin.

‘Don’t be bloody stupid, you’ll kill yourself…’ we protested.

‘It’s alright, I know what I’m doing…’ he winked, and promptly pressed the button, confidently unleashing a thick spray of luminous red paint that completely coated his face from the top lip upwards. Combined with the peroxide blonde hair, he looked like a mutant six-foot Oompa Loompa. As the rest of us fell about in the bus shelter, he stormed home muttering about ‘breaking into my Dad’s garage to the get the turps out…’

OompaLoompa

Anyway, I think I’ve missed a little section from my 1984 diary on this day, possibly to prevent me getting into even further trouble. On the way back from Kirklevington to my house, in a small section of woodland at the side of an entirely dubious-looking laybay, we found another little home-made BMX track. Looking nervously around to make sure I wasn’t being followed, I went back there today…

I can’t believe that was still there! I think, even at the age of 11, we were aware that these woods were the kind of place mentioned in news reports that contain the line ‘The body was discovered early on Tuesday morning by a man walking his dog…’

It didn’t stop us, though. Unlike the winding, maze-like paths of the ‘big’ BMX track, this one was just a long, straight track cut out of the bracken, and dotted with ramps, ditches and fallen logs intended to provide an amusing challenge for any grotty 11-year-old hurtling through at full pelt on their souped-up Raleigh Choppers. If I’d ever bothered eating breakfast, my arse would have gone over it at least half a dozen times on this filthy, rainswept afternoon.

actionforce
We decided to take out our frustrations with the weather by constructing and then terminating WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE an ‘Action Force SAS Pilot’. This was, basically, a rather blank-looking Action Man spin-off who’d been occupied on pointless manoeuvers around my bedroom since being deployed under our Christmas tree 18 months earlier.

‘Let’s see how good at flying he really is…’ cackled Doug, as we tied a Presto carrier bag to his back, and threw him with all of our strength into the trees over the road from my bedroom window. 

The body was discovered early on Tuesday morning by a man walking his dog.

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