Friday, February 16, 2007

The Nose Scar - a Tale of Destiny.

I was four years old, sat cross-legged on the living room floor and staring up at the telly on its reinforced table. This would be towards the stinky fag-end of the Seventies,when tellies were the size of two fridges welded together, encased in solid slabs of wood, and powered by crackling steampunk technology that required regular deliveries of coal, and the occasional insertion of a grimy operative who had to leave knotted ropes behind so he could find his way out of the back again.

Don't know what I was watching, although it was probably some documentary on the miners' strike (I was alone in taking the miners' side in my playground, as the talk in Norbreck Primary was mostly in favour of Thatcher smashing the unions. Gregory* Towers of 2B did once voice some disquiet about potential 'misuse of the police', but was shouted down and had his Tonka toys confiscated). Anyway, whatever was on telly, I wanted more of it, closer to me RIGHT NOW. So I grabbed the power cable (thickly-braided as a ship's cable) that stuck out to one side and heaved...

Hearing an odd noise from the other room, my mum entered the living room to find the television fully ten feet from its previous position and son 1 (me) lying flat on my back in the 'starfish' position, with a sizeable dent in my nose and a faraway look in my eyes.

For that day I had learnt an important lesson: by all means suckle the teat of the Bitch Goddess Television, but be aware that at any moment, she's quite likely to SMASH YOU IN THE FACE.

My dad has a proper broken nose, but he got that from a boxing match with the top school bully, which makes my dad ONE MILLION TIMES COOLER THAN I WILL EVER BE.**






* Or possibly it was his sister Malory.
** He didn't win, the top school bully beat the shit out of him, but never went near him again. Yay my dad.

30 comments:

thegirl said...

And the moral of this story is? Get a smaller telly...

Er, *doing some quick maths* that would make you about 27 years old now, given the strike was between 1984-5, yes? Or maybe you were just prescient when you were four, and knew Thatch would destroy the unions as soon as she came into power in '79.

Whichever, it was a very good story - well worth the wait, thanks. And you made me laugh even though I'm down in the dumps in my sick bed, so cheers for that.

Valerie said...

That's pretty impressive.

At least you didn't wind some bare wire around the end of a pencil, thinking you were 'inventing an electric pencil' (I don't know what I thought that would mean, or what it would do), and then plug the bare wire into the wall socket.

Good thing we're only on 110 here in the U.S.

james henry said...

It was a magic telly that could see seven or eight years into the future, we all had them.

One of my friends once stuck a fork into a socket to see what would happen, and another stuck his hand in an electric mixer to see what would happen (not at the same time).

The results were as one would expect.

nanga parbat said...

Musing on the coincidence that a pair of tweezers has two prongs and that the shaver socket in the bathroom had two holes I did the only logical thing and blew myself 8 feet backwards and blacked our house out for half and hour. Isn't science great!
Word verif: Klapm - a place in sarf London

dinahmow said...

Malory Towers...only someone my age would know.

james henry said...

Well got.

Imo said...

Was the telly OK?

cat said...

Malory Towers - oh, my precious childhood.

I've got a nose scar too - it involved a table, a mean boy, much blood and screaming, 20p from the doctor (such riches) and missing the police dogs at school. I'm still mentally bruised by that - who knows what I could have been if I'd been able to see Alsatians leaping at leather-clad men...

violetforthemoment said...

My nose scar is from scratching chickenpox. I was not as adventurous a child as you all seem to have been. I'm surprised one of those eighties tellies didn't kill you, james. You must have a super-hard nose.

Sal said...

When I was 7, I was bored of the back alley that provided the usual entertainment after school. So my friend and I decided that we would pretend to be snowwomen, as it hadn't snowed for quite some time. Not content with the white outfits, we stripped off and found the huge tub of Sudocreme in the bathroom and covered ourselves from head to toe.
My friends Mum found us standing motionless in her bedroom as snowwomen and scooped us up and put us in the bath. I hit my nose as I was put in the bath, but it was definately worth it.
I also had quite soft skin for days.

Boz said...

I remember realising my parents were far from perfect and not always in control of things when my mother electrocuted herself by picking up a kettle that had been drenched in water.*

My older sister flicked off the electricity and said to my mother, in her most parental voice, "Silly...".



* To be fair, I think the water was because we were having a family water fight indoors.

Mangonel said...

Yes, but how do you know about Malory Towers?

james henry said...

I worked in a bookshop for five years.

cello said...

Do you think we can trace yourlove-hate relationship with TV back to this moment? And was an ad playing at the moment of impact?

Jen said...

I shouldn't remember Malory Towers. Damn my gran's love of second-hand books. She's aged me considerably before my time.

It was read them, or lie staring at the ceiling until I went to sleep. My gran's house didn't have a computer. Or cable.

I don't understand the concept of homes without computers or Telewest. Experiences I HAVE had, like sleeping at Gran's house have forced me to read Enid Blyton.

*shudder*

steven_p said...

Maybe its down to what you buy!! What do you buy and and are you happy??/ DECIDe with my poll...............
SHOPPERS OF THE WORLD UNITE!!!! LET YOUR OPINIONS KNOWN!!!!
I will not do a direct link out of respect. NICe blog

james henry said...

Cello: probably. Although I don't remember there being an advertising moment taking place, but then I was encouraged not to watch ITV (because it had adverts).

Everyone else: yes!

Aimee said...

I preferred the Twins at St Clares to Malory Towers. Same format, but I think I preferred it as the characters were a bit more scamp-like. They were never downright naughty of course, but they came quite close.
Also I didn't like the main character, Darrell, as a boy across the road's cockney dad was called Darrell, and so Darrell being female just didn't quite ring true with my eight year old self.

I wish I had an interesting scar.
All I have is a highly mysterious blue-black dot about half a centimetre in diameter that my doctor insists is not a mole and can ONLY be either a tattooed ink blot or a mark from being stabbed with a biro really hard.
But its not either of those things, and the odd thing is that I've had it almost forever but wasn't born with it. I have no exciting tales of grapples with biros (or tattoo artists) to match your fight with the TV. My parents vehemently deny attempting to brand me at a young age, but I for one cant see any other explanation.

Lucy said...

All this talk of electric shocks. Just yesterday I was attaching a splitter to my TV aerial and managed to give myself three shocks in under a minute. In the end I decided I should probably take the cable out of the wallsocket before continuing.

Angelina said...

I have a teeny nose scar too - mine was from being smacked in the face with a clipboard.

My mate only meant to pretend to do it but it was bendier than he thought. That old chestnut...

Never been electricuted though, unless you count the highly charged handle of my mum's old car that used to shock me everytime I touched it. It was evil!

cello said...

Is Edgar Wright your long-lost twin brother by the way, James? No nose-scar though.

cello said...

As opposed to your long-lost twin sister, of course, before you comment.

james henry said...

Hmm, he's worryingly a lot younger than me. I'll be sure to ask him, if I ever bump into him though.

Rose said...

James, I believe you are what the kids call hardcore.

My only scar-of-note goes across two fingers where I managed to slice myself instead of onions on my first day as a KP in a pub.

llewtrah said...

I can remember being 4 years old and reading in The Times about Trade Union leader Vic Feather breaking his ankle. Freaked out the teachers when I went to school able to read newspapers and the other kids were on Janet and John. Didn't do the playground politics though. It put me off politics for life, that early experience.

Billy said...

Tellies are well dangerous. Luckily, thanks to remote controls, we rarely have to get up close with them these days.

Helen said...

cello, I am slightly scared now, I have just come on to post exactly the same thing about Edgar Wright...*slowly moves away from the computer*

Orb said...

It's alright, Helen. I came on here today with absolutely no intention of mentioning Edgar Wright, so you and I cancel each other out and the universal balance of freaky coincidentality is restored.

baggiebird said...

I must have led a sheltered life as a child as I have no interesting obtained scars, although I did break my finger whilst at a Karate lesson, does that count?

Helen said...

Hehe, thanks Orb! I scarred my brother once...scratched him on the cheek when I was about 6...I was very proud actually, big achievement for a 6 year old!