“You just can’t get rid of porn” A shameless B3ta Question of the Week re-post.
There are some unshakable truths in the world which just cannot be changed. You can’t vote, because the Government will get in. Policeman are younger than they used to be. And you just can’t get rid of pornography.
Disposal of porn is like trying to get rid of chemical weapons or nuclear waste. No matter what you do with it, you’re running the risk of discovery, humiliation, and worse still, contamination of an innocent population.
“Ah-ha! Mr Scary”, you are saying already. “You’re going to tell us about the time you had a shedload of pornography that you couldn’t get rid of, in the pithy yet humorous style we have become accustomed to.”
Damn right I am. And there’s a moral too. Flashback...
It was early 1981. Thatcher had been in power for two years, unemployment was rampant, and Britain was rocking to the sound of Joe Dolce’s “Shaddap You Face”. In short, society was already doomed. Not that this bunch of fifteen-year-old schoolkids cared while we were kicking a soccer ball round Stanlake Meadows that evening. It was when a misdirected punt ended up in the bushes that our lives would change forever. Well, for a month, tops.
Rob had waded past the knee-length grass and into the bushes. There were shouts of excitement that had us all running and crowding round. There was Rob. There was the ball. And there was an old sports bag stuffed to the gills with pornographic magazines. Paydirt.
The football game was long forgotten as the filth was passed round for “sampling”. It wasn’t particularly strong stuff by today’s depraved standards, but for a bunch of pimply fifteen year olds from a village west of London, even page three of The Sun was seen as the acme of jazz scud. With time getting on, the decision had to be made. What to do with it? Disposal, at this stage, was not an option. Someone had to look after it. Step forward Metal.
Metal was a bit special. We was rich for starters, and he got time off school because he was an actor. He was often booked to do commercials (who can forget the tour de force that was his Corn Flakes ad?), and once had a small speaking part in a BBC costume drama. Because of this, he was a little bohemian in his tastes, and claimed to have once “seen a lady naked”. He already had a burgeoning collection of smut hidden in his bedroom, and despite being a bit of a ponce, that was enough for us. Metal had experience where it mattered most, and he promised on his dog’s life to bring the spoils to school the next day.
So, come the morning, there was Metal at the school gates. The sports bag was now a sleek attache case, but he dialled the combination (696969, the perve) and we all crowded round like that scene from Pulp Fiction. The goods were there, glowing slightly, and one or two hands made a grab for the top copies. The lid snapped shut amid cries of pain.
“There’ll be no touching until break time,” explained Metal. “As you can see, I’ve taken the liberty of cataloguing the mags, and I’ve added one or two from my own collection”. He produced a small school exercise book, where each mag had been meticulously catalogued with name, date and contents. There was also a column marked “Who”.
“Who?” we asked.
“That’s for who it’s loaned to. Nobody’s going to take stuff from MY jazz library without my knowing it”.
And thus was born the Metal Porn Library. The bastard had stolen our stash, and would only let the rest of us take them home one at a time on a system of tickets and record-keeping that would have brought a tear to the eye of our school librarian. It was when he started charging kids outside our gang to see our filth that we decided enough was enough. There could only be one punishment. The Tree.
It’s simple. Lure the victim onto the school field. Overpower him and get him on his back. Some kids support his body and arms, and two other groups take his right and left legs. Then you run at the tree. One leg to the left, the other to the right. End of punishment. Yet Metal still persisted in his role of School Porn Baron, only now on a rather more democratic basis. It’s amazing what crushing your nads against a tree will do to your attitude.
The collection was mind-boggling in its variety, but most highly prized was a recent edition of Fiesta magazine, the Rolls-Royce of British top shelf smut. There, across the centre pages was a shapely young lady called “Julia”. You could see her flanges and everything. Except we all knew Julia as “Miss Shagwell” (name changed to protect the innocent, but believe me, I didn’t have to change it much), our biology teacher. She had taught us all about human reproduction, while sitting on the corner of her desk wearing a very tight, white dress that finished just above the knee. We hung on to every last word.
Getting hold of the Shagwell Edition was a nightmare. There was a waiting list as long as your arm to get hold of it, and a black market in crude photocopies which just weren’t the same as the ral thing. If you were lucky, you might get a glimpse in the playground for half a second, but that was all. There were major arguments, and bribery to get up the waiting list was not out of the question. When Julian finally got his turn he kept it at home for a week, only bringing it back after repeated use of The Tree.
Alas, the arguments over possession of the Shagwell Edition would not go away, and would often spill over from the playground to the classroom, and obviously this was to be Metal’s downfall. Metal had kept possession of it for rather longer than was absolutely healthy and Ernie really, really wanted his go on her. A whispered conversation in maths got louder and louder until it developed into a vicious tug-o-war over the attache case.
“What the hell is going on back there?” thundered Mr Wallace as the fight turned into an out-and-out brawl. Ernie let go, just as Metal gave one final, resounding tug. The case fly from his hands, soaring the classroom in a low arc narrowly missing your narrator, to score a direct hit on Wallace’s desk. Pens, pencils and exercise books were crushed under the assault. The case burst open and slag mags exploded everywhere in a shower of tits, flange, arse and filth. And as if ordained by fate, the Shagwell Edition flopped open at Wallace’s feet, exposing our favourite teacher in all her glory for her colleague to see.
“There had better be a damn good excuse for this” whispered Wallace, looking frighteningly like a volcano about to explode.
“Yes sir,” said Metal in that annoying sing-song voice of this that you knew was going to get him a visit to the Headmaster, “It’s our porn collection.”
So it’s OUR porn collection now, is it? Cheers, mate.
Metal was marched off to see the Head, and Wallace being Wallace had the entire class working through break-times for a week. Except for the girls.
Because of his special status as school TV star, Metal got off lightly. The porn was confiscated, and proving that You Just Can’t Get Rid Of Porn, was fished out of the school bins and sold back to him within two days. However, the Shagwell Edition was missing. And so was Miss Shagwell. The school had known about her “photographic session” and had decided to brazen it out. As it had become common knowledge amongst pupils, she was transferred to another school fifteen miles away, who, I found out later, were very happy to have her.
But that was not the end of it, by any stretch. Metal had decided his library need a headquarters, somewhere he could work under the cover of legitimacy like Capone’s speakeasies in prohibition Chicago. And that headquarters was to be the school darkroom. Ironically, he had hidden the entire stash in the roof space above the staff toilets. By pretending to be an ardent photographer, he could run his little business empire with impunity.
This was all well and good, but it soon got on the nerves of the genuine photographers, myself included, who found the constant comings and goings a bit of a nightmare when you’re trying to get your exposure right. So we swiped the lot and decided that The Porn Had To Go.
And thus, me and Cookie found we weren’t the first, and certainly not the last to discover that You Just Can’t Get Rid of Porn. God, we TRIED. The fear of discovery mortified us. Bins - at home or elsewhere - were out, somebody might find it, and the thought of my mum finding a pile of jazz mags was just too much to bear. We considered dumping it in the hedge where we had first found it, but on our reckoning it had only been there about ten minutes before we discovered it, so that was out of the question too. Burning it, illogical as it sounds, was “a waste of good porn” and would just draw attention and, knowing our luck, the Fire Brigade. So we decided to bury it.
Later that evening, two figures could be seen behind the allotments on the Hurst Road digging a bloody great hole and dropping in a bin-liner full of naked tarts. Within a week, drawn by the sound of Jumanji drums (not to mention a particularly tasty bribe which I never saw a penny of), a group of perverts from the year below us had dug the lot up, and there was a new Porn Baron in town.
And the moral of this tale? Greed is a terrible thing, and You Just Can’t Get Rid of Porn.
Postscript: Being in the school camera club had its advantages. Not just by being in the room next to the school stock cupboard outside of school hours either. One evening, going through the tangled mess that was the negative drawer, we’d found an entire roll of film shot by a sixth former the previous year showing the voluptuous Miss Shagwell in various states of undress. We made a fortune.Even more of this kind of filth over here, or you could do me a favour and buy a copy of the excellent book from which this came.
New Romantic Driving Test WoeA B3TA question of the week: Tell us how you have failed.
My friend Cliff actually wrote off his car and a passing Audi during his driving test, and passed after a successful appeal. Encouraged by this turn of events, I arrived at the test centre expecting an easy ride.
Fat chance. The examiner - a W H Smith - was on his first day back at work after a long lay-off caused by another killer driving test, and was determined to make someone suffer. Me. Faced with a New Romantic in a black, frilly coat and just a smidge of eye make-up, he knew he had a victim.
I thought I did pretty well, then, all things considered. I reversed round a corner, did a hill start and made a three-point turn, all very smoothly indeed. It was coming down Grays Road in Henley on the way back to the Test Centre that things went horribly wrong.
"Bear left after the bus stop", said Smith.
So I did. BUT! My frilly cuffs got caught on the light stalk and things went tits from there.
Big thanks to the half-a-dozen or so in the bus queue for jumping out of the way so quickly, or they would have been jam. Unfortunately, the fence and row of bins weren't quite so lucky, and wood and shit flew all over the street.
I did, then, what any teenage driver might do in the circumstances. I floored it, just as Smith pulled on the hand brake, causing an excellent 180 degree skid in the middle of Henley.
I thought it was excellent. He didn't.
I passed second time. New Rom was so over by then.