Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Times They Are A-Changin'

While biking along today, reflecting on the lack of girly mags lying on the verge being due to inveterate wankers getting their fix of porn via the Internet, I was overtaken by an eighty-year-old clad in lycra and an Alien-look-alike cycling helmet. Things have certainly changed. The old boy was probably off to share a cup of green tea with the eighty-four-year-old hottie he met at Tai Chi. Back when I had less grey than dirty blond in my hair, most men of that age had popped their cogs and shuffled off to trip the light fantastic. In the unlikely event of any surviving and being able to climb onto their 40’s bone-shakers, they would have been clad in baggy trousers, tweed jacket, cycle clips and a flat cap, and be off for an appointment with a pint of Guiness and a rollie shaped like a trumpet (less tobacco in the butt you throw away).

After the lycra lout had disappeared into the distance and I’d admitted to myself that my chances of catching him were remote, I pondered some other changes. Back in days of yore, in the eighties, when I went through my brief boy racer stage (this stage ended with my Mark 4 Cortina upside down in a ditch – check the picture and note the similarity to the one in the canal at the beginning of The Full Monty), girls were careful reliable drivers. Now it appears that the insurance premiums of these twenty-somethings are going up. These female testosterone addicts are now as adept at fuck-off sign language and shouting “Tosser!” out of the window as any of their opposite sex.

Other changes? Petrol was about the same price as a pint of bitter or a packet of cigarettes and if anyone had heard of global warming they would have thought it a good idea. The Internet as we now know it was undergoing its birth pangs and Bill Gates had said, “640k ought to be enough for anybody.” (Was he talking about bytes or dollars?) The music was excellent, fashion as cyclic as ever, and I was building boat windows. I was also some years away from getting by first ever story published in Back Brain Recluse.

Interesting times. Arriving at my destination, I pulled my jeans out of my socks and rolled a rollie to console myself. It wasn’t trumpet-shaped, but then I use filters. I'm thinking about getting a flat cap.

9 comments:

Kirby Uber said...

i've enjoyed wearing a flat cap for years.
it's very hip, now, you know. 8)

Neal Asher said...

If it's hip now then I won't bother. But authors should wear hats. I've discounted the idea of a Pratchett-like wide-brimmed trilby. Maybe I'll go for something like the one Hannibal Lector tilts jauntily as he sets off at the end of 'Silence of the Lambs' to meet someone for 'lunch'.

Kirby Uber said...

i actually have no idea what's hip. i've aged before my time. *whew* dodged a bullet on that one, but i can say with some confidence i doubt flat caps are hip at this time. based on the empirical evidence of the lack of flat cap seen worn in public.

i do wear a flat cap in winter however. with a nice scarf.

any hat that can be tilted jauntily is worth wearing.

Kirby Uber said...

i actually have no idea what's hip. i've aged before my time. *whew* dodged a bullet on that one, but i can say with some confidence i doubt flat caps are hip at this time. based on the empirical evidence of the lack of flat cap seen worn in public.

i do wear a flat cap in winter however. with a nice scarf.

any hat that can be tilted jauntily is worth wearing.

E.Jim Shannon said...

Ahh the 80's

2 refrences in your post "Boy racer" a great tune by Morrisey and your Cortina, a line The Clash put in the song called Jenny Jones.."He's got a Ford Cortina, it just won't run without fuel," Am I getting old or does music just suck these days?

sigh.

Kirby Uber said...

ah morrissey...

"Louder Than Bombs" was the last cassette i remember purchasing.

Marc Giller said...

I keep holding out hope that white jackets will make a comeback now that the "Miami Vice" movie is out. There may yet be one still lurking in the back of my closet.

Unfortunately, I no longer have the Rick Springfield 'do to go with it...

E.Jim Shannon said...

Kirby,

I think Morrissey (spelled his name wrong) is great. I haven't been keeping up with his stuff recently, which sort of reminds me of a question I had for you Neal..

Do you listen to music when you write? And if so which kind? I hope that's not to personal.

Kirby Uber said...

jim,

actually, the moz's latest, Ringleader of the Tormentors, and the previous, You are the Quarry, were pretty darn good, in my opinion. worth looking into anyway. 8)