The Auntie Doris Years: 1910

crippen My father celebrated his 21st birthday on April 20th 1910. It was also the day that he proposed to my Mother, who was a cleaning lady at the local nonconformist chapel where he was a lay preacher. According to my Mother, who was privy to his innermost thoughts, at least in the early years of their relationship, he first saw her bent over, scrubbing the chapel steps, with a hard handbrush and soapy water. What attracted him was her enormous, round backside. This troubled him greatly, because he knew, deep in his heart, that coveting a woman’s backside was sinful. He was a man who believed that the Lord had very strict rules about how people should conduct themselves. He did not approve of music and dancing, he did not approve of the theatre, or the craze of moving pictures that was taking hold of peoples’ imagination. He even found photography to be sinful, he said it glorified the human form, and made people lose sight of Gods own Glory in their vanity. He would have ruddy hated Facebook. However, he couldn’t get my mother’s generous backside out of his mind. After several nights of fevered bible reading, and a failed attempt to cleanse himself of sinful thoughts by taking a hard brush and soapy water to his private parts, he decided that marriage was the only option. My mother agreed at once, he was quite a catch, with a job with good prospects at the local library, his own suit and the ability to read and write. They were married on July 30th 1910, the day before Crippen was arrested on board the SS Montrose on the St Lawrence River in Canada. He was a filthy so and so that Crippen, murdering his wife, and burying her under the floor in the basement, before running off with his fancy woman. He was the first person to be caught by wireless telegraph, but they hung him with a rope, as the cordless noose had not yet been invented. Some people reckon that Crippen was innocent, but I’m not one of those people. The fact is that some men go doolalley and do despicable things. Like my father after my mother hit him on the head with a King Edward potato. But that’s another story. Doris’s Pop Pick of 1910: “I’m Henry the Eighth I am” by Harry Champion – Later covered by those lovable sixties mop tops Herman’s Hermits. (It was my father’s discovery that my mother was a little partial to songs such as this that prompted the row in which the King Edward was launched)

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