Auntie Doris in the 21st Century #10: The British Way Of Life Is Under Threat!

Back in my day, I used to enjoy my Saturday afternoons. I always used to get the dinner done, eaten, cleared away and all the pots done in time for the wrestling. Saturday afternoons weren’t complete without a good session of grunting and groaning. Them wrestlers were fine specimens of manhood. It gave a woman goose flesh just to look at them. Heroes like Les Kellet, Johnny Two Rivers and Big Daddy, and villains like Giant Haystacks, Mick MacManus and Jackie Pallo. There was that Adrian Street an’all, he was a funny looking bugger, and no mistake.
But it was all good honest fun. Like an old fashioned pantomime. Yes, we used to get excited, and shout at the bad lads, but it was all very reserved and British. How could it not be, with Kent Walton’s calm voice talking us through every clinch, every squeeze, and every forearm smash leading up to two falls or a submission?
But where were the defenders of British tradition when they took it off the telly, and the whole idea of normal wrestling was replaced by some horrible version of wrestling that had been developed in that foreign country, America. A new version of wrestling where everyone has to shout at each other whilst holding microphones, and dress in superhero type costumes, and the audience has to be whipped into a screaming frenzy. There is no room for the likes of Kent Walton now, or ordinary looking blokes, wrestling in their swimming trunks. It’s awful. It’s just not British.
It’s the same with the talent shows. I used to like Hughie Green on “Opportunity Knocks,” and even “New Faces” was alright. They discovered some real quality acts between them, Les Dawson, Lena Zavaroni, Millican and Nesbitt. The list seemed endless. Hughie used to judge people with what he called a “clapometer” ( I think he must have got the idea when he was visiting a gentleman’s clinic) the louder people clapped for an act, the higher their score. These days with that X factor thing, the audience would bust the ruddy clapometer with all their whooping and shrieking and carrying on. And the judges and everyone have to shout at each other with microphones in their hands like American Wrestlers. Whatever it is, it’s not Brittish, but do you hear the extreme right wing rabbiting on about that at their ruddy marches? Not on your Nelly. You don’t hear them complaining about ruddy Burger joints either, or sticking up for Dandelion and Burdock in a world of Coke versus Pepsi.
And after the wrestling came the football results. The English football results started with Division One, and finished with Division Four. None of this sponsored Premiership and Championship stuff, and people only being bothered about a half dozen teams at the top. It was a league! A joint effort. No one team was more important than any other. They all shared the profits out fair and square. Now it’s all names embroidered on the back of their kits, and fancy boots and sponsorship deals. It might as well be the ruddy NFL.
And then there’s that bloke in Hull who is after changing the name of the local football club to the ruddy Hull Tigers. It’s bad enough with all them Premierships and Championships that they have invented so they don’t have to share the money out with the all the other clubs like they did when it was a proper league. A proper League, like the League of Nations, where all members helped each other out. Now it’s all ruddy money nonsense, and if we end up with the Hull Tigers, the next thing we know, we’ll be suffering with the Manchester Marauders and the Newcastle Neutrons and the Chelsea ruddy Pensioners. And then they’d drop the home town and move the whole team somewhere else like they did with the Wimbledons. So the Hull Tigers would end up being just “The Tigers” and moving down south, where the money is. And Hull wouldn’t have a ruddy team in the League, never mind the ruddy Premiership.
Let’s make a stand for British values, Understatement, common sense, common decency, boiled beef and carrots, Quorn Tikka Masala, wrestling in swimming trunks, and not copying the behaviour of Americans, extreme right wingers, or anyone else who gets over excited and kicks up a fuss about hype!

The Auntie Doris Years: 1921

fattyFilms were still silent in those days, and my father still wanted nothing to do with them, but he was pittling into a strong wind. Hollywood was getting so popular, they had already put up those great big letters in the hills that everyone recognises to this day. There were proper stars too. I’ve already mentioned Charlie Chaplin, but there were lots more, Buster Keaton, Rudolph Valentino, Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson, and of course, Fatty Arbuckle.

How many fat film stars are there these days eh? I can’t think of one. Not since Oliver Hardy hung up his bowler hat. That black man who did the Nutty Professor doesn’t count. He was wearing a rubber suit. Perhaps the people of Hollywood have something about fat people. They would rather pay a thin man to pretend to be one, than pay a genuine one the going rate. It all smacks of discrimination to me. Fancy forcing a man into changing his fist name into a mockery of his appearance. That black man who did the Nutty Professor never had to do anything like that. There would have been an outcry, and quite right too. Don’t go thinking that I’m a racialist just because I can’t remember his ruddy name. I can’t remember the name of that white man out of the films who got done for fiddling with himself in the pictures either, it means nothing. Apart from maybe that I never held with either of them and their sodding silly films. And (in case you are wondering) they come out on the other side at the same time as they go on general release in America, and they don’t charge you over the odds for a box of popcorn here either).

Any road, in 1921 Fatty Arbuckle got charged with rape and ruddy murder. They said that he had forced his attentions on this poor lass and somehow burst her insides, laying on top of her with his enormous weight. He got acquitted by a jury. Was the charge a load of codswallop made up by people who were jealous of a fat man who was rich and famous? I don’t know. He said he never did it, and she said he did. His career was ruined, despite the not guilty charge. They haven’t changed their stories here on the other side either. One thing I do know is that it is pretty ruddy hard for a fat fellow to kill someone just by laying on them. Alright, Big Daddy did send Mal “King Kong” Kirk to an early grave by jumping headlong onto his prone body, but that was a ‘Daddy Splash’ a dangerous wrestling move that should have been banned. And besides, Kirk wasn’t very well before entering the ring. If Fatty Arbuckle had done a Daddy Splash on that lass, they should have hung the wicked so and so.

Auntie Doris’s pop pick of 1921: “The Sheik of Araby” by Ray Miller and his Black and White Melody Boys. Nice song, but I wouldn’t want anyone creeping into MY tent at night whilst I was asleep. My flaps are staying shut tight, thank you very much.