The Auntie Doris Years: 1962


I never was one for going into art galleries much, but if I ever did, I expected them to be full of interesting portraits and landscapes and paintings where you go “ooh, that’s clever!” I never really saw much point in people painting bowls of fruit, fruit is ordinary, you can put a bowl of fruit on the sideboard at home and look at that. Maybe not in the war, not with bananas and oranges anyway. Hitler saw to that with his u boats, but then you wouldn’t have wanted to be looking at pictures of bananas and oranges in the war. That would just be torturing yourself.
Any road, I never did understand all that fuss in 1962 about that Andy Ruddy Warholes copying out loads of pictures of tins of soup. Why would you want to go to an art gallery to look at tins of soup when all you have to do is nip to the local co-op and there’s plenty there, and you can pick up a loaf of bread and some teabags whilst you are at it?
And then, one afternoon while old Warholes is busy in his studio painting his tins of soup, it comes on the radio that Marilyn Monroe had died because she had taken too many tablets. “Ohh aye” he thinks to himself. “I know what! I’ll start painting pictures of her instead of these tins of soup.” He was probably getting bored with the soup thing anyway, but I call it ghoulish! Treating the freshly dead like he treated soup. I wouldn’t have wanted to go around to his house for tea, I can tell you that for nothing.
My friend Violet took too many tablets once. It was her own fault. She used to be absent minded about things. She had that many tablets that she said that if she jumped up and down after she had taken them, you could hear her rattle. The thing is, if she had been able to jump up and down she wouldn’t have been on that many tablets. And I’m sure she didn’t need all of them. I think that half of them hadn’t even been prescribed for her, she had just bought them down the chemist or scrounged them off people she knew, just so that she could boast to people about how many tablets she was on. Any road, she reckons that one evening, she took her tablets and then fell asleep in the chair in the front room, and when she woke up she took them all again before she remembered that she had already taken them. She tried putting her fingers down her throat to see if she could puke them back up, but she said it just hurt her ribs when she started retching, so she thought she had better go to bed and see what happened. She said that she thought that she might not wake up in the morning, but she wasn’t bothered, because she had had a good innings, and she would rather go before she went completely doollalley. She did wake up in the morning though, and she had had a really vivid dream that her head had grown to twice its normal size and there were a couple of gnomes sitting inside it, chopping slices off her brain and making sandwiches with them. I think that she probably had already gone doollalley. Andy Warholes should have drawn a picture of her having that dream instead of messing about with tins of soup and Marilyn Monroe.
Auntie Doris’s top pop hit of 1962: “Hole in the Ground” by Bernard Cribbins. How me and Raymond laughed at that one. ‘Til the tears streamed down our cheeks. He was a card that Bernard Cribbins. Even his ruddy name was funny. Funny ha ha, not funny peculiar like Acker Bilk.

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