I was reminded of an incident this week at the mention of a popular venue in Sunderland where our ‘crowd’ would meet. 1967.
A new-comer was a charming girl with rose-bud lips and flushed cheeks, bouncy nature and a poor serve at tennis; her fiance was a steady-away kind of guy, feet on the ground and all set for a professional career. Caroline and the said fiance had just come through a bad time together as he had recently been operated upon in the ‘boy’s department’. So we were quite comfortable talking in hieroglyphics with embellishments in the form of gestures ‘a la Les Dawson’.
With the recent marriage of ner sister Theresa to a whizz of a science boffin, Caroline was keen to tell me the latest gossip regarding her sister’s chosen method of contraception. This was all new stuff to us.
Balancing precariously on our cocktail stools with all the poise and grace of the gauche 19 year olds we were, Caroline told me how only the previous evening her newly married sister had actually ‘lost’ her cap. A cap. Oh yes; I remembered not to look too naive and waited to get the details of how it was lost.
Now Caroline is in full flow, describing Theresa’s nasty tickling cough and how it developed into a full blown chesty cough so much so that ( now her shoulders hunch up, hands are splayed upwards in a gesture of vomit) during one nasty bout of coughing the cap comes out. Looks like the cap came out of her mouth. So I’m looking surprised because I’m worried about life in the future where something can be fitted ‘down below’ and it can travel up and be ejected through a completely separate orafice. Nightmare.
Caroline now registers what I’ve interpreted by her body language and she ‘goes off on one’. She’s a busty girl with a high pitched voice (shrill); she’s beautifully educated as my Mother would say………by which we mean she can say the F…. word with a posh accent. The pub in its’ totality has turned it’s full attention to the basically hysterical couple of giggling wrecks wobbling on their bar stools and it takes a full fifteen minutes of teetering around the bar, hands covering the mouth, cross legged for fear of leakage, before Caroline can explain the faux pas to the ‘crowd’.
Three years later I met Theresa out walking her todddler; whether he was the result of poor or total lack of contraception I wouldn’t know. He was very articulate and told me that his Daddy worked for Winfwop Labowat”wheeze”. Start of a nasty cough.