Friday, 11 April 2014

This sick saddo is beyond a jerk

You're looking at a Daily Mirror article by the great Victor Lewis-Smith, written around the time Chris Morris was upsetting the moral majority with his Brasseye special about the media treatment of paedophilia.

For what it's worth, I've always liked Victor Lewis-Smith, ever since I spotted his book Buygones in my local Hammick's back in the late eighties, laughed at a few of the entries and bought it with my birthday money. His contributions to the BBC's TV Hell themed night and his prank calls album Tested On Humans For Irritancy were great. Inside Victor Lewis Smith was patchy but occasionally brilliant, whilst TV Offal and Ads Infinitum were frequently dazzling. Inside the Magic Rectangle and TV Reviews are two of the funniest books ever written about the medium, and I never tire of dipping into them.

Chris Morris, on the other hand... no, never got the big deal about him. It doesn't help that his biggest fans are a bunch of absolute tossers, of course, but to me, he's a prime example of the comedy of sneering with absolutely no humorous content. I understand that the Day Today and Brasseye were well observed, acerbic, scathing, paid amazing attention to detail and so on, but they never once made me laugh. The less said about Jam (weak material performed very slowly and jazzed up with boring visual effects), My Wrongs and Nathan Barley, the better.

In fact, judging from the aforementioned so-called comedy forum and their childish (to say nothing of potentially slanderous) responses to anyone who disagrees with their hive mentality, Morris's greatest gift to these neck-bearded basement dwellers is that they can now hide behind the paper-thin "but it's ironic!" excuse whenever they feel the urge to call somebody a paedophile.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

I(P)C what you did there...

Time, I think, for one of my occasional flashbacks to when Britain actually had a comics industry and children had a decent choice of affordable titles on which to spend their pocket money, so here are two from the IPC stable, beginning with one of the company's numerous 'minnows', the short-lived Wow!, which ran for just over a year between June 1982 and June 1983.

In all fairness, there was nothing particularly bad about Wow! - but crucially, there was nothing particularly outstanding about it either, which could well be why IPC decided to cut their losses and pack some of the characters off to the pages of Whoopee! after a mere fifty-six issues.

A lot of the characters and stories in Wow! feel like second-stringers, perfectly serviceable but distinctly unimaginative and low concept, as if someone had judged them not sufficiently impressive for inclusion in an old warhorse like Buster or Whizzer and Chips. The lack of inspiration was evident from the inclusion of Adam and his Ants, a zeitgeist-surfing reboot of an old Cor!! strip called Andy and his Ants. Still, as we shall see, there was a moderate amount of fun to be had while it lasted.

Wow! Star Turns was grimly functional - kids sent in jokes and asked for a picture of their favourite celebrity, who would then 'tell' the joke. Still preferable to the 21st century Beano and Dandy's slightly cringe-inducing "Cor! It's Cheryl Cole!" approach, and I do like the quaint caption 'Roger Daltrey of pop group the Who'. 

Trevor Metcalfe, using a warm style reminiscent of Robert Nixon (of whom, more later) contributed the averagely entertaining Bill and Coo, about a lad and his pet pigeon...

Tom Paterson's presence immediately improves any comic, and he was behind Wow!'s obligatory 'football mad lad' strip, Team Mates...

The centre pages were occupied by TV Quiz Kids, a collection of game show spoofs from the pen of the marvellous J.Edward Oliver, who could never resist a groan-worthy pun or some extra-curricular visual or verbal silliness...

Robert Nixon was charged with trying to make a bunch of anthropomorphic trees appealing to children (Knockout had done something broadly similar with the Haunted Wood) in Family Trees, which looked similar to his Fun Fear strip, except, this being Wow! and all, wasn't nearly as good...

Martin Baxendale, son of comics legend Leo and pretty useful artist in his own right, gave us the gag-happy Kid Comic, which is right next to an advert featuring the Weetabix skinheads, which you won't be seeing here because I hated the fuckers at the time and wouldn't wipe my arse on them now...

IPC's obsession with class warfare continued with Reg Parlett's the Upper Crust and the Lazy Loafers, and Whizzer and Chips was still going strong in '83, rubbing the upstart Wow!'s nose in the dirt with an advert featuring a cheeky reminder that not only could they bag a secret message pad, but also two terrific booklets. See? That's how it should be done.

Finally, the underrated Ed McHenry raided his joke books to give us Here Is the News...

So, that's Wow! issue 36 done and dusted, let's take a gander at Whoopee! - sorry, Whoopee! and Cheeky, issue dated 21st February 1981. Whoopee! ran for a whopping eleven years, launching in March 1974, before finally shutting up shop - having absorbed Shiver and Shake, Cheeky and Wow! - on March 30th 1985, my eleventh birthday. In 1981, though, everything in the garden was rosy, and the 'great news for all readers - inside!' wasn't the expected softener for an inevitable merger or closure, just IPC's way of bigging up a giveaway in the next issue.

I've no idea who drew Paddywack, but I always liked his style. A lot of eyeball kicks and secondary jokes, both verbal and visual. Paddywack looks like he just stepped out of a Spike Milligan sketch, which is obviously brilliant.

Right from the title frame, you know Sweeny Toddler is going to be brilliant. Am I right?

Frank McDiarmid's dentally challenged smart-arse gets the middle four pages to himself. Drawn in a brisk and lively style by Frank McDiarmid, who works in a nice reference to John Cleese's Sony adverts here.

Robert Nixon made Ken Reid's Frankie Stein less grotesque and more of a cuddly, bumbling idiot, but I've no problem with that - Nixon's stuff was always a treat to look at, and the stories were always fun. For one of the Whoopee! annuals, the usually reliable John Geering ghosted Frankie, and sadly it just wasn't the same thing at all.

Smiler (such a slender premise for a strip - a lad who smiled all the time!) presented his 'Smile-in', which netted a few lucky readers cash prizes and t-shirts...

...and IPC were in a generous mood, promising free packs of chewing gum to readers of Whoopee!, Buster, Jackpot and Tammy the following week. Elsewhere in the comic, a seriously impressive line-up included Terry Bave's Toy Boy and Calculator Kid, Robert Nixon's Stage School, Sid Burgon's Lolly Pop, Book Worm and Mustapha Million, Ian Knox's Six Million Dollar Gran, Mike Lacey's Bumpkin Billionaires and Dicky Howett's Supermum. All for twelve pence!

Thanks to Arfon Jones for supplying the source material.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Zit - the Video (1993)

Remember the Viz knock-off Zit which was around in the nineties? Two Headed Thingies certainly does. Read that article, because I can't be fucked to go into detail about it. Instead, I'll be going into detail about Zit - the Video!

Yes indeedy. Noticing the success Viz had with their Fat Slags / Roger Mellie / Sid the Sexist / Billy the Fish videos, Zit's 'people' decided a spin-off video was in order. (They also did an audio tape, An Earful of Zit.) Remember, this was the early nineties, and comedy was the new rock 'n' roll, or so the cultural commentators kept telling us. Roy Chubby Brown's live videos were topping the sales charts. Everyone wanted a piece of the action. Polygram even signed up a load of seventies 'blue' comedians to record their nightclub acts for a new, lagered-up audience. (The fact that they saw fit to advertise a load of them at the start of their release of Derek and Clive Get the Horn underlines how little they knew about the different styles of comedy, lumping 'everyfin wiv swearin' in it' together under one lazy banner.)

So, without further ado, here's the lowdown on Zit - the Video.

Well, this is a promising start... the intro, cheap-looking even by 1993 standards, consisting of little but primitive computer-generated graphics and captions with ropey synthesizer music, goes on for some forty fucking seconds. It looks like a student television station.

First sketch, 'Sam and Ella', who own a motorway café, and I'm getting my first taste of the animation. By Christ, it's bad. Reasonably faithful to the original printed incarnation, but rendered in such a slow, cumbersome, jerky manner it's like watching someone playing an eighties computer game. The voice acting is amazingly even worse, with both Sam and Ella clearly performed by the same person, who has all the panache and timing of a four year old stumbling through a nativity play. Their sketch - about serving up roadkill and nuclear waste to unsuspecting customers - occupies about three minutes, yet it feels like a lifetime. This is a punishing watch.

The man who collects eyeballs probably would have been funny if a Monty Python-era Terry Gilliam had done it. Here, however... well, let's just say it's executed much less impressively. For some reason, the stock footage of the Second World War that pads out this sequence has been tinted a hideous shade of orange.

The next sketch has Lamb Brusco ("the alcoholic sheep", in case you hadn't already grasped the high concept of this character) trying to commit suicide. It's rare that I see something that reeks on every possible level, but this video is managing to do just that. Even the editing is horrible.

For some unknown reason (possibly to pad this shit out to a reasonable length so they could charge £9.99 for it), every sketch has a long title sequence. Similarly, the Psycho Derek sketch takes an eternity to reach its non-punchline - Derek visits the dentist, and eats the dentist. Christ alive, did anyone sit through this thing and laugh even once?

During the 'Frank the Filthy Flower' sketch, the character's 'open-closed-open-closed' mouth movements don't even attempt to match the soundtrack, and one character hands over a fiver with the word FIVER actually written on it. I don't think professional people made this thing, they just paid a bunch of ten year olds to move bits of cardboard around under the lens of a video camera. Oh, and the ancient 'swearing parrot' trope is revived to zero comic effect.

Around this point, I started losing the will to live, so I jumped forward to the closing credits. Three animators and two background artists are credited, and no fewer than eight writers are credited with the 'storys' (sic). I think it's fair to say that everyone involved needn't have bothered. Here's another review which isn't much more favourable than mine. You can also bathe your eyes in shit courtesy of several screengrabs.

Looking back at Oink!

A fairly positive thing to come out of the punk 'DIY' ethos was the fanzine. People discovered that they could write down any old guff eulogizing their band of choice, get it printed up anywhere photocopiers could be found, and sell it to like-minded people down the pub or across the counter at their local record shop. Very few people, however, took up the challenge and put together a decent-looking publication that could compete with the mainstream music press on its own terms. Not only was that prohibitively expensive, it was also uncool. Sticking it to the man with barely readable, poorly photocopied, badly-designed fanzines was where it was at, dude! This was all very well until the ethos of the messy 'zines began to bleed over into the 'real world' of the legitimate press, most notably into the world of children's comics

The effect Oink! had on the children's comics industry was twofold. Firstly, it meant a more open acceptance that kids find jokes about arses, willies, shit, vomit and piss hilarious. Secondly, it meant a pretty drastic decline in the standard of published artwork. Oink! had some very good work within its pages - Tom Paterson was a contributor, as was J.T.Dogg who drew the beautifully-presented Streethogs - but much of the work in Oink! was scrawly, patchy and downright ugly. Most of the cartoonists responsible for this stuff simply weren't cut out to work in the comics. Their background was in pocket cartoons and illustration - and, in the case of Marc Riley, punk rock. The days of Ron Spencer, Ken Harrison, Dudley D.Watkins, Trevor Metcalfe, Dave Sutherland and virtually any other artist of the 'old school' - i.e. those who wanted to create a comic page that was a work of art in its own right - were suddenly numbered as the contents of Oink! handily lowered the bar for the standards of published comics everywhere.

I admit, I bought Oink! myself for most of its run, despite not liking it very much. Why? Well, my previous favourite, the Beano (what else?) had recently introduced Ivy the Terrible (and terrible she certainly was - despite Robert Nixon's customarily lovely artwork, the Beano really didn't need a second naughty girl character, what with the inimitable Minnie the Minx still causing weekly headaches) and made Gnasher a father of all things, introducing his son Gnipper, with the result that nearly every story revolved around Gnasher's Mini-Me with his bloody triangular tooth, and Oink! was at least 'different'. 

Most people I knew at the time bailed out after only the first few issues, largely because some foot-stamping from the moral majority caused the editors to drastically tone the content down and it all got a bit childish for its own good. Plus, there's a definite sense about those later issues that they were written at kids rather than for them. The main men behind Oink! - namely Patrick Gallagher, Tony Husband and Mark Rodgers - took great pride in taking the piss out of the Beano and the Dandy because "they've been running the same strips for years", without ever stopping to consider the reasons why. The Bash Street Kids, Little Plum, Minnie the Minx, Dennis the Menace, Desperate Dan and so on ran and ran because readers liked them. Every strip was likely to be a well-plotted, well-scripted affair with top-quality artwork and enough gentle anarchy (if that's not a contradiction in terms) to tickle the average schoolkid. Whereas Oink! strips were, literally and metaphorically, all over the place. Worse, it was nowhere nearly as funny as the comics it saw fit to mock.

From issue to issue, Oink!'s strips were wildly variable in their content and execution, often taking the form of an illustrated prose poem, or an exercise in surrealism, or a single-frame throwaway gag. Kids respond most strongly to simple stories told well and good, interesting narratives, not a load of pretentious 'experimental' bumph that only makes sense to the people who wrote and drew it. And their claim that they were doing something "new for kids" with Oink! is also scuppered by the fact that the early to mid seventies had seen a rash of childrens' titles that deviated substantially from the norm - Shiver and Shake (a 'horror' comic and a standard 'naughty schoolkids' comic in one, similar to Whizzer and Chips admittedly, but with a nicely macabre streak), Monster Fun (a Ronseal title if ever there was one), Cracker (DC Thomson's tentative first stab at a comic that was slightly barmier than the rest), Sparky (which rebranded following its launch as a youngsters' paper and quickly became one of the most surreal and maniacally funny titles on the shelf, even having the Goodies on the cover at one point), Cheeky Weekly (toothy wisecracker ambles through a week of related hi-jinks with a supporting cast of memorable misfits and a disconcertingly sexy lollipop lady), Krazy (very much a junior Mad magazine, only arguably funnier and without the Americanisms), Plug (Bash Street goon goes solo with a full-colour title full of film and telly parodies), Nutty (Thomson's embrace the wacky theme and give the world Bananaman in the process)...

Sadly all these titles wound up going down the tubes, some faster than others. Blame reader apathy, blame poor sales, blame whatever you like, but the sturdy old warhorses of the trade rumbled on and on, unaffected by the spurious 'revolution'. Even IPC's ultra-traditional Buster managed an impressively long run (1960-2000), picking up the pieces for Oink! after that title was cancelled and continuing to run several of its stronger characters in what purists would claim to be an "emasculated form". Despite trumpeting Oink! as "greatest comic ever made" and "on the whole...a work of genius", TV Cream's website had some salient points to make about the comic...

"Horace 'Ugly Face' Watkins [was a] really badly drawn parody of comic strip later turned into horrendous soap opera apread half the comic with no jokes where it explored the real emotional issues of a boy shunned by society" - I can vouch for this. At one point, when it looked like readers were getting pissed off by the whole thing, the saga turned - apropos of nothing - into 'Rambo Watkins', a half-baked First Blood parody, in the hope of dragging readers back into the proceedings.

"Burp, which stopped making sense after about ten weeks and became unfathomable set of images" - Again, very true.

"Self indulgent articles where readers sent in references to Oink! in local press (normally referring to it as vile downmarket rag) " - there was a lot of this. "Look! We're a vile downmarket rag that just happens to be published by the mighty IPC empire! We may be 'product', we may be sell outs, but we're still pissing off the establishment!" Can you say 'desperation'?

"Went weekly at beginning of 88 but was cut to 24 pages and seemed to go a bit childish, then four months later reinvented as monthly 'magazine' with new logo and 'new' all over cover when it was trying to be Viz and alienated youth audience with far too many cultural references." 

No arguments there. I caught (what would turn out to be) one of the last issues and it was grim.
In short, there were more laughs in Tom Paterson's between-the-frames eyeball kicks (hidden gags) in Whoopee! than there were in anything Uncle Pigg had to offer.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Life changing decision

I turned forty yesterday, so I made the decision to stop this comics nonsense and concentrate on making seashell collages instead, something nice I can sell at craft fairs.

Like fuck!

Special thanks, by the way, to fellow cartoonist Steve Gibson for his lovely greeting...

Monday, 24 March 2014


I wouldn’t like to actually kill someone, but wouldn't it be great if we had access to a switch that, when flicked, could just transport all the mean, cruel, talentless, waster dickheads to some far away island where they could live out their lives without being a bother to the people whose lives they make a misery? Imagine what a hellhole that island would be, though - full of miserable skinny fucks with neck tattoos, scrappy beards and designer haircuts bellowing at each other in fake Jamaican accents and starting fights over sod all.

What annoys me is how so many people have this "I can do what the fuck I like and I don't give a shit if it annoys anyone else" overdeveloped sense of entitlement. Yeah, it's your right to get ugly tattoos simply because everyone else is doing it. It's your right to blare out your brain-shreddingly shitty music at full volume, because YOU LIKE IT, even though your neighbours are eighty years old and can hear every blast beat through the paper thin walls. It's your right to spawn screeching, hot-faced, snotty-nosed, ADHD brats that will never amount to anything and are doomed to end up either dead of a drug overdose or rotting in a taxpayer-funded prison cell from the second they're conceived, because their neanderthal parents don't give a fuck. 

It's your God-given right to say 'fuck' every second word, punch anyone who is less bolshy or more intelligent than you, drive your souped-up shitmobile with its bolted-on spoilers and gaudy stickers around the streets with hardcore drum and bass blaring out loud enough to make your fucking ears bleed, guzzle down energy drinks and act like a swaggering dick-swinging fuck-knuckle every waking moment and lead the kind of miserable, unfulfilling, anger-driven life that would no doubt have eluded you had you bothered to pay fucking attention in school for long enough to realise that there IS an alternative to being one chromosome higher up the evolutionary scale than a fucking troglodyte.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Spitting Back... and archive obscurities

Following on from my Spitting Image tribute, and the thunderously disappointing BBC4 'tribute' Whatever Happened to Spitting Image? last night, it would appear that the 1983 pilot episode, Rubber News, has finally been found - even if they only showed about thirty seconds' worth of it. I foolishly assumed that someone locating a copy of a previously unbroadcast episode of one of the most successful and fondly-remembered comedy shows of all time would have been big news, but no, evidently not. It's probably been handed over to ITV's archive and forgotten about.
A similar thing happened when someone at BBC Scotland unearthed an off-air recording of the wiped Goodies episode 'Come Dancing'. If it hadn't been lovingly remastered by Network for the 2005 DVD release The Goodies - At Last A Second Helping, it would still be gathering dust on an archive shelf today.
Spitting Image fans are still miffed that none of the many 'specials' the series featured at its height - including a truly sublime Christmas special (or 'a non-denominational holiday special' as the show itself was titled) from 1989, an election special, the Sound of Maggie, Down and Out in the White House, the Ronnie and Nancy Show and Bumbledown - feature on any of the DVDs that have been released, and neither the BBC nor Python productions seem to care that they still have alternative edits of the underrated fourth series of Monty Python, or the 1971 Montreux Festival entry which included specially shot linking material (wow!), or the two specials the team made for German television in their vaults, since none of them have made it to DVD. (Actually, a couple of alternative takes from series four sketches turned up in the BBC's piss-poor Best of Monty Python DVD, but no mention was made of this on the packaging, suggesting nobody noticed.)

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Peanuts and Bananaman headed for the big screen

I've just had my first glimpse of the new Peanuts feature film (the first since Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown back in the early eighties) and I've got mixed feelings about it.
On the plus side, it's reasonably faithful to the source material. Vince Guaraldi music cues, Bill Melendez's voice as Snoopy, present and correct. On the minus side... hasn't the whole 'mock epic trailer' that pulls the old "Ha ha, it's just a stupid comedy!" pull-back-and-reveal trick been played out by now? Monty Python were doing it back in 1975. Then there's the 3D CGI animation... as if there was anything really wrong with the limited animation (if I'm brutally honest, occasionally amateurish animation) that was the hallmark of the television specials and the earlier films?
Still, we must wait and see. One fart or poop joke, however, and it's dead.

Then there's the small matter of the long-running Nutty (later Dandy) superhero Bananaman coming to the big screen, which may or may not be an elaborate hoax...

Now remind yourself of the old Bananaman BBC series, with the voices of the Goodies.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Pub jam nights and blues rock in general can SUCK IT.

(Adopts pub landlord voice) Gentlemen and LADIES...welcome to the Dog and Cobblers jam night, where a bunch of fat old cunts with Primark jeans, grey ponytails and shiny new guitars bought with their council labourer's wages come every week to bore the fucking arse off everybody with twenty-five minute jam sessions based on Smokestack Lightning or Dust My Broom, and when they're not doing that they'll sit in nasty little self-absorbed and bitter groups over pints of real ale, remembering the countless fucking useless R&B bands they've been in since they were kids (a very long time ago) and arguing the toss over who was better, Mick Taylor or Mick Ronson, and bigging up Jimi Hendrix even though he's been dead nearly forty years...

And first up with his lovely new Gibson SG with surplus strings sticking out of the headstock at angles that'll take your eye out because he saw some sad old hippie fucker do it at Woodstock and a fag stuck at the top of the fretboard, just like Slowhand, it's Dave and he's going to give us HIS take on something Fleetwood Mac did in 1968, how lovely...

Yes, gentlemen and LADIES, this is the night that gives you what you want, three chords, twats who think they're black, reactionary old fucks with more chins than talent, endless fretboard wanking and sad old bastards nodding gently, stroking their beards and going "fine licks, man" and you know bloody well they'll all irritatingly greet each other in the street the next day by playing air guitar at each other and saying "still rocking in the free world?" or something HIGHLY original...and you won't get any actual talent, charisma, sense of show or even a level of intelligence much above that of a mushroom here, just smug self-puffery and a misguided alliegance to a warped sense of 'real music'. See you all next week. I'll supply the beer, you supply the undeserved sense of achievement and seething fucking bitterness.


Standard pub heckle ain't it...whatever kind of music the band on stage happens to be playing, guaranteed some fucking twatknuckle near the back will bellow "Play some BLUES!"

When I first became old enough to start visiting pubs to check out live bands, my home town was knee-deep in shitty blues bands, as if it was still 1965 and the Yardbirds were the hottest band in town. I heard so many piss-poor renditions of decades-old blues numbers I instantly developed a 'fight or flight' reaction to the whole genre. I'm aware that some genuinely great bands that I actively worship got their start playing blues, but there's a reason for that. IT'S EASY. The Beatles started out playing skiffle and early rock and roll for similar reasons. Yet 'the blues' has become a badge of honour for reverse-racist middle-aged or retirement age morons who think they're 'keeping it real'.

You could book a classical string quartet to play a pub gig and you'd get some mega-bellied pleb bellowing for fuckin' Spoonful or Crossroads or somesuch bollocks. A good revenge tactic is to go and see said heckler's shitty local blues band and spend the evening bellowing requests for the most 'feelgood' songs you can think of, like 'Shiny Happy People' by REM, 'Walking Down Your Street' by the Bangles or 'Walking On Sunshine' by Katrina and the Waves.

Why is it always referred to as THE blues, anyway? You don't fuckin' say THE pop or THE jazz or THE dinosaur rock...

Another thing that fucks me off to a possibly unhealthy degree - nearly all these shit blues-rock bands have 'jokey' names that would only be funny if you were a fat-arsed fifty-odd-year-old "proud to be ordinary" arsehole who wore his tedious 'normality' like a badge of honour. The same kind of proles who laugh at Jim arse-for-a-face Davidson. So they give their bands stupid names like...

The Adder Few
Packet of Three (Dear Steve Marriott, what WERE you thinking?!)
Barrels Round
The Fat Marrow Blues Band
Under The Influence
Brewer's Droop

For fuck's sake, any giggly references to being drunk should be shit-canned the MOMENT you reach eighteen. Once it's legal to get shit-faced it's no longer a big fucking deal.
I know I sound like the ultimate 'young fogey' here but I've seen so many aspiring talents and genuinely fine bands get royally PISSED ON by these infinitely bitter, three-chords-and-a-bent-note-solo carcinogenic chancers.

Stupid old up-their-own-arses anal cysts can suckle my undulating arsehole.

Friday, 14 March 2014

We've had the eighties nostalgia trip...

...Now it's time for a quick wander down memory lane to the decade in which I was born, the 1970s.
(A version of this list is doing the rounds on Facebook, so I'm not claiming originality here.)

1) Overnight electricity power cuts, or the television transmitter conking out in the middle of a really good programme
2) Limp Guy Fawkes dummies in rusty old wheelbarrows, on Bonfire Night
3) White dog shit
4) The Banana Splits
5) Green Shield stamps
6) Telephone box 'pips'
7) Computers the size of refrigerators, only ever seen in science fiction films and the Goodies
8) Lava lamps
9) Garish geometric / floral wallpaper
10) People only wore plimsolls (not trainers) whilst doing PE lessons, or actually participating in a sporting activity
11) Blue Nun
12) BBC Test Card transmissions, with chirpy Muzak, during school holidays
13) Conker fights
14) Cheap, crappy Frisbees, which didn't fly properly
15) Fuzzy Felt
16) Nice old 'gentlemen' in the street who you could talk to, as a child, without undue fear of kidnapping, molestation, Satanic rape or murder (delete where appropriate)
17) Crazy Golf (bonus points if you continued to play Crazy Golf even if it started raining, because you were bloody sure you were going to get your money's worth)
18) Obviously plastic flowers in hotel lobbies
19) Barefoot hippies in the street
20) Bagpuss
21) Carry On films at the cinema instead of on FilmFour in the afternoons
22) Tiddlywinks
23) Having a shitload of proper, affordable comics to choose from at the newsagent's
24) The exciting prospect of personal jetpacks in the near future (last seen during the opening ceremony at the 1984 Olympics)
25) Bruce Lee
26) The sound of the milkman's low engine hum, and the clanking of milk bottles, in the mornings
27) Hi Fi 'systems'
28) Mary, Mungo and Midge
29) Alvin Stardust, with his leather gloved hand
30) Pick up sticks
31) Spare Rib reading, ranting feminists
32) Tomato Sauce - not 'Ketchup'.
33) Fingerbobs
34) Old 1950s brown, heavy furniture, everywhere
35) Your older brothers well-thumbed Mayfair magazine collection
36) Pissy old men playing shove ha'penny, in decrepit, smoky, smelly old pubs, with filthy carpets
37) Salad Cream - not 'mayonnaise'
38) The Willy the Kid Book (not 'annual')
39) The Eurovision Song Contest, when it actually meant something
40) Space Dust
41) Double gatefold record covers
42) Star Trek repeats
43) Black Holes (when they were 'new' and bizarre, not passé)
44) Chip pans
45) Hot beverages
46) Crinkle-cut chips (still around, but most people realised they tasted like shit)
47) The football pools (not the stupid lottery, which you never win)
48) Luncheon Vouchers
49) People wearing hats, not baseball caps or trucker caps
50) Twiglets in bowls at parties
51) Spray-on snow, silly string and paper chain Christmas decorations
52) Mr. Benn
53) Sherbert Dip
54) Candy floss / toffee apples / dodgems / waltzer / ghost train at fairgrounds, and goldfish in plastic bags as prizes
55) Steptoe and Son
56) Worn red leather seats on the top of the Double Decker bus, which you could smell as the sun, through the window, heated them up
57) Ball bearings
58) Your pet tortoise, at the bottom of your garden, with the name 'Fred' painted on his back in large white letters
59) "Breaking the Sound Barrier!"
60) Flash Gordon serials, every morning on TV during the Christmas holiday's
61) The same for Laurel and Hardy...
62) Spar corner shops
63) When the phrase 'Big Brother' wasn't so well known and pertained to a prophetic novel and it's ideas of Fascism, not a wanky fucking gameshow
64) Eggnog
65) Dominoes, played with your mum and dad
66) The constant, terrifying fear of Cold War-induced nuclear armageddon
67) Space Invaders
68) Really simple toys made from brittle, pastel coloured, Bakelite-type plastic
69) Seaside promenade attractions, like the 'Laughing Sailor' dummy
70) The smell of your mothers Babycham/Advocat, brought out as a 'special treat' for Christmas
71) Monty Python when they were seen as 'subversive', before being appropriated by the establishment as a 'national treasure'
72) Old Jack Lemmon / Walter Matthau films on TV
73) Spinning tops
74) Midnight seances
75) The Pink Panther theme tune, on Saturday afternoons (not the brilliant Henry Mancini one, but the start of the TV cartoon)
76) Play For Today
77) When the word 'Troll' meant those strange little plastic dolls, not the irritating fucking online twats with massive chips on their shoulders because they never quite made it as comedy scriptwriters
78) Guru Maharaji (millionaire charlatan though he was)
79) Go-Go dancers
80) Different coloured glitter in thin plastic tubes
81) Chinese takeaways which always fell through the bottom of the paper bag onto the pavement
82) Hi Karate (which never did get you pleasurably attacked by a voluptuous brunette, as promised by the adverts)
83) Tom Baker/Jon Pertwee as Doctor Who
84) Those green plastic soldiers with flimsy parachutes, which you would fire into the air, for them to slowly float down.
85) Pop-up toys (which took anything from two minutes to half an hour to pop up)
86) Herman Hesse / Michael Moorcock paperbacks, all over hippies 'pads'
87) 'Cosmic' Jimi Hendrix posters
88) Urban myths about A Clockwork Orange ("it's banned in every country in the world except France, right, because my mate saw it on a day trip to Calais and he reckons it's the most violent film ever made")
89) Catapults
90) The skeleton sequence of Jason and the Argonauts being the greatest thing you have ever seen
91) 'Walkie Talkies' being the epitome of far-out, magical, almost unbelievable technology
92) Scalexctric
93) The smell of Clarks shoe shops
94) The Avengers TV show
95) Television channel strikes which went on for weeks
96) Etch a Sketch
97) Pick 'n' mix sweets at Boots / Woolworths
98) You could still 'feel' the Second World War
99) The word 'digital' meant nothing to us
100) Creamy mini-bottles of milk, with straws, at school lunch times (and don't mention the revolting woman who snatched them away from us; this is a nostalgia-fest, not a friggin' nightmare - she was the final nail in the coffin for the 1970's)