Auntie Doris’s All Things Must Pass #9: When Dinosaurs Roamed the Earth


What is it about little lads and dinosaurs? They love them don’t they? I remember getting my nephew Michael a book with dinosaurs in it and it wasn’t long before he had memorised all the names of them, how big they were, what they ate, every ruddy thing. There was no point in playing him at Dinosaur Top Trumps, because he would win every time. Even if you had the Tyrannosaurus Rex card, he would just ask you how long its front legs or arms were or something, and you would end up having hand it over. He was ruddy unbeatable.
It was impressive that. Mainly because it has something to do with science. Although I don’t suppose it ever does any little lads any good once they grow up, unless they get a job in a museum or something. Or writing books for little lads. Or designing top Trumps cards.
Besides, as they grow up, most little lads forget about dinosaurs and replace the knowledge with useless information about football or pop music. You couldn’t even get a job in a ruddy museum with knowledge about rubbish like that. But then again, there are that many blokes interested in that sort of thing, that there are probably loads of opportunities for jobs; talking about it, writing about it, taking photographs of it or something of the sort. My nephew Michael has tried it. He once had a part-time job writing about football in the local paper, but he never made a living out of that. Then he formed his ruddy silly pop groups, and he has never made a living out of any of them either. Maybe he should have stuck with the dinosaurs. He could be in a nice warm museum now, identifying bones and showing little lads around the place.
They had a good innings them dinosaurs. They were the main species on Earth for over 100 million years. We’ve only managed to last about 200, 000 years, and it doesn’t look like we will be carrying on much longer if we carry on the way we are going, what with atom bombs, and global warming and reality television. If we don’t blow ourselves to smithereens or roast to death, we will become too stupid to survive in a ruddy power cut. One way or another, the human race is doomed. In this corner of the multiverse any road.
Apparently the dinosaurs all died out when a great big asteroid smashed into the Earth and made it dark for weeks on end, and probably freezing cold too. The poor old dinosaurs couldn’t hack it, so they died out sharpish, leaving smaller more resilient creatures like mice, and monkeys to take over. And the mice and monkeys gradually evolved into us.
I’ve never met any dinosaurs here on the other side, but I’m sure that their thoughts and experiences are preserved in The Meld. The thing was that although most dinosaurs were bigger than a really big double decker bus, their brains were actually smaller than a very little walnut. So there wouldn’t be that many thoughts and experiences to survive, even though they were the top dogs for all them millions of years.
It seems a shame they had to go though. All they did was bellow and snort. Plenty of them were actually vegetarians. They didn’t have rubbish television or horrible loud pop music or guns and bombs or anything like that. They just got on with having a natural life. Without human beings mucking the place up, it must have been like paradise. But there you go. It might take five minutes or 100 million years, but in the end… All things must pass.

The Auntie Doris Years: 1966

Ask anybody from my neck of the woods about 1966, and the first thing that they will think about is football. Me, I can take it or leave it really, but it’s not hard to see why that year captured everyone’s imagination. Two blokes who formed a bond on the field that resulted in goals that thrilled everyone who saw them, and goals that earned their team the ultimate achievement. Hull City were champions of the English Third Division!
Ken Wagstaffe and Chris Chilton weighed in with 52 goals between them, and Ken Houghton got another 20. When they finally clinched the champions spot with a 1-0 victory over Southend United, grown men were reduced to tears, the pubs ran out of beer, and they had to print twice as many green sports mails to meet the demand. If you didn’t go to the match in them days, you had to read about it in the paper, there was no sky television or anything like it, and local radio didn’t come to East Yorkshire for another five years.
I never went to any of the games. But my Raymond used to go with little Cyril now and again. Cyril had two kiddies now. My nephew Michael, and my niece Pam, I used to go around and help April May keep an eye on them whilst the men were out.
Cyril actually used to take a rattle an’all. A big wooden thing that twirled around and made a noise. Raymond wouldn’t be doing with anything like that, but he had a scarf and a rosette with the black and orange colours on them. “It’s not black and ruddy orange Doris” Raymond used to say “it’s black and AMBER!” I just used to smile at him and carry on saying black and orange, just to see him take the bait. They used to call them the tigers, but you look up “tiger” in any dictionary you like and show me one that says that they are black and amber. Orange, browny yellow, reddish brown, whatever. Amber is the colour of traffic lights and pittle in my book, but there you go. There’s no telling blokes when it comes to their teams.
‘Course, these days Hull City are in the top league and the FA Cup final, and the bloke who owns them wants to change their name to the ruddy Hull Tigers. That sounds alright for a basketball or ice hockey team, but not for an English football team. Even I can see that. Still. I wouldn’t like to see my local side go completely out of fashion and fail to keep up with modern trends. So when Liverpool become the Liverpool Redsox, I might entertain the idea.
Speaking about football, that summer, England won the World Cup. It was almost as exciting as Hull City winning division three, but not quite. I did write a piece about the England Captain, Bobby Moore, once though. You can find it here…
Auntie Doris’s top pop pick of 1966: “The Elusive Butterfly of Love” by Val Doonican. Our Cyril’s friend Herbert used to catch butterflies, suffocate them in a jam jar, and pin their dried little corpses to sheets of cardboard. He never married.
I don’t know if Val Doonican ever married, but his kids are still making music today. You can find them here…