Just Call Me Alf

Sometime in 1968 my mum discovered a book of rather ribald cartoons in my bedroom. She went ballistic and made strong allusions to the traditional theory that a smutty mind was the first step on a certain route to becoming a myopic miscreant. The offending material was confiscated, leaving me with a lot of explaining to do to my pal’s dad - the rightful owner of the dodgy mag - a merchant seaman, with fists like sledgehammers and a face that looked as though he’d been chasing parked cars.

Obviously, as far as my mum was concerned, a line had been crossed. She was a product of her time, as all mums are, and rudery of a bluish hue was not acceptable, but there was a great deal of laughter in our house. The kind that’s propagated when two broken families have been welded together for convenience. Humour was our bond. A giggle based glue.

I had plenty more sources of amusement. The TV was running hot with American imports and there was ‘Mad’ magazine, a bundle of which I’d used to camouflage the coarse cartoons. It was an uncertain time for me, a fourteen year old, oscillating between Eric Clapton and Alfred E. Neuman. My conviction that I was having some sort of identity crisis was only strengthened by the physical changes that were happening to me on an almost daily basis!

When the schoolboy in you makes a clumsy attempt to emulate an icon.

While I continued to find rules to break, my voice was doing it all on its own. I was on the brink of new and exciting territory. A world where young stubble beckoned to be tidied up, only to be replaced by a rash of hormone driven zits. Still, what could I expect? A crackle of "crazy" was in the air, as the decade was approaching its end, with no signs of letting up. That time always reminds me of a quote from a long forgotten Saturday morning show, "All for fun - fun for all - it's Zokko!"

Comments

  1. I've never been a teenage boy (to my knowledge) but I have taught many. This is a very apt description!

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    1. That bit of us lads never truly dies. A double-edged sword in a 62 year old.

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  2. And I have been a sister of one (who introduced me to Mad) and the mother of another, so I can agree with Fran.

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    1. I was introduced to Mad by my older step brother. It was my guidebook for much of my early teens.

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  3. Good to see this new entry into the blogosphere!

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    Replies
    1. I'm resolved to keep this one going, Vicki.

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