The Auntie Doris Years: 1980

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It’s never easy to tell the difference between Iran and Iraq. After all it’s only one ruddy letter at the end. But it makes all the difference to them that lives out there. I try to do it by remembering that Iran used to be Persia, where the carpets come fom, and my stair carpet had carpet runners on it, to keep it in place. Runners, run, ran.. Iran! See! Iraq used to be Mesopotamia, I don’t think that they did carpets, or if they did, then they weren’t as famous as Persian ones. A bit like Wilton carpets aren’t as well known as Axminsters. Not that Axminster and Wilton have ever gone to war about it. Mind you, the Midlands and Southern England aren’t quite the same as the Gulf region.
I used to get my carpets from the Majestic Carpet Warehouse, which opened up when the Majestic Cinema closed down after everyone had bought televisions and decided to stay in. That must have had an effect on the Persian economy, and it can’t have helped matters when America started destabilising the region because of the lucrative market in oil or something.
The ruddy next thing you know, the Iranian Embassy in London is the scene of a siege by some rebel group from Allied Carpets demanding that vendors of cut pile carpets in nylon and polyester blends be given equal rights to pure wool loop pile merchants. There were loads of hostages being held at gun point inside the embassy, and all the television crews filming it live from the outside, and nobody knew what to do.
Apart from Margaret ruddy Thatcher. She saw an ideal opportunity to take people’s minds off unemployment reaching two million and prices continuing to rise along with continued industrial unrest, so she sent the SAS in, to set fire to the curtains, shoot people and generally bring the matter to what was regarded as a satisfactory conclusion. That’s what you got if you messed with Thatcher.
It was all live on the television as well. My Raymond was fuming because it interrupted the snooker. I nearly messed myself. I thought that world war three was going to break out then and there. But it didn’t, only the Iran-Iraq war. So the S.A.S. became national heroes. That embassy siege was the last nail in Bruce Lee’s coffin. No one wanted to know about Kung fu any more. It was easier to pretend that you had been trained by the S..A.S. than that you were a master of the Martial Arts.
My Raymond’s brother, John reckoned that he had been in the S.A.S. after the war. It didn’t matter that it hadn’t even been formed until after he had failed in his marriage to that Italian lass and come back to the UK to live in squalor on a diet of strong lager and pornography. Details like that never bothered him at all. All he knew was that the had been in the “sass” and that what his right hand couldn’t do, his left one could.
Auntie Doris’s top pop pick of 1980: “I Could be So Good for You” by Diddy Dennis Waterman: This was the theme tune for “Minder” off the television, which starred Dennis alongside Flash Harry out of St Trinians. They got Dennis to sing the theme tune, which his wife had written, because proper musicians were unavailable due to industrial action.

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