The Auntie Doris Years: 1980

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.

Auntie Doris’s They Died Too Young #25 Bruce Lee – Died, July 20th 1973 Aged 32

He was a funny little fellow, Bruce Lee. He was half American and half Chinese, and spent half his childhood in Hong Kong, and moved back there when he became famous.
He became famous for doing films, where he ran around either stripped to the waist or in a yellow track suit, doing Kung Fu on baddies.
Kung Fu was an ancient 1970s method of fighting where you were allowed to kick people in the face and neck, or whack them on the head with nun-chuckers, which were a couple of bits of wood fastened together with a length of chain. I caught my nephew Michael trying to pinch the chain off our toilet once, reckoning he was going to make some nun-chuckers out of it. “You can forget that idea right away young man. Do you think that I want to be standing on the toilet seat to reach the handle to flush it with just so that you can go chucking ruddy nuns about? Well if you do, you’ve got another think coming.” The little so and so had the chain out of the bath instead, and it’s horrible reaching down to pull the plug out when the waters gone cold.
Any road Bruce Lee was really good at Kung Fu. Apparently, he could be standing with a glass of martini in his hand, talking to a woman at a party, and if someone crept up on him, he could reach out with one foot and kick them in the neck so hard that they would fall to the floor moaning and whimpering.
Apart from the leg that he did the kick with, no other part of his body would move. He wouldn’t spill a drop of his drink, and if there was an olive in it, that wouldn’t budge either.
And what’s more, when his foot made contact with the poor bugger’s neck, it would make a sound like someone hitting an unrolled sheet of cooking foil with a wooden spoon. “PISH!” Now that’s what I call fighting!
The problem was, that the powers that be in Hong Kong, the Triads and what nots, were annoyed that he was cheapening the sacred rites of Kung Fu by making his films about it to sell in America. So they decided that he had to die. Obviously they couldn’t just get an assassin to sneak up and stab him in the neck whilst he was talking to a woman and having a glass of martini at a party, so they got their top expert killer to do him in. This killer had been trained as a monk in the shaolin temples, and knew a special secret Kung Fu move. What he did was he just pretended to bump into Bruce as he walked past him in the street, and he touched him in a special secret way, making his bones vibrate. Bruce didn’t notice at first, The expert killer just said “ohh sorry mate” (in Chinese of course) and Bruce just carried on as if nothing had happened. But the vibrations in his bones never stopped, they just gradually got bigger and bigger, and hours, later he got a headache, and then his eyeballs bulged out and his brains burst and he died.
Nobody could prove it was murder, but my Raymond knew, because he read an article about it in the garden shed.