Saturday, 5 April 2014

Euphamism begins at home!

I come from what you might call a "trappist" background.
Long Dog Tenaments, even though they backed onto the railway
and faced the 133 bus route to the Elephant & Castle,
were a haven of peace in a noisy world.

Looks quite different when the sun's out.
A place who's silence was never to be violated, even in
times of crisis, by bodily noises be they of the loud, galeforce
 variety or the gentle, zephyr-like waft of an angel passing by.
Trappists we were and that's what we did - trap it!
They were a silent order and so were we!
Farting was simply not to be tolerated within those hallowed walls.

Must be Monday again.
One bright summer's morning back in the day when the world was young,
my father and I found ourselves momentarily alone in the
east wing which ran behind the Anderson shelter and the coal shed.
The Crimplene Queen (mother) was otherwise engaged with some
welders who were on an emergency call out to rivet her
corsets back into shape after they had sprung a leak the previous
evening during a particularly animated game of charades.

Looks better when she puts her frock on.
Her "Wuthering Heights" proved to be a step too far and a
sight to behold both at one and the same time.
I only wish the camcorder had been invented then so
that I could share the whole sordid incident with you.
My father was sat quietly reading his copy of the Daily Telegraph
when he beckoned me over and pointed to the article he had
been thoughtfully studying, encouraging me to read it over his shoulder.
I thought at first that I was mistaken and scanned the page again -
Surrey all out for 67 runs, rail fares set to rise again this
summer, Queen Mother's horse does win double at Ascot -
nothing there he might mean.

Poised and ready for action.
Surely he didn't want me to read the piece entitled
"Foul Blows the Wind From France"
- the elephant on the page so to speak -
It was all about Le Petomane which was the stage name of the French
flatulist and Moulin Rouge entertainer Joseph Pujol.
He was famous for his remarkable control of his abdominal muscles
which enabled him to seemingly fart at will.
His rendition of the cannonade from the Battle of Austerlitz
was legendary.
But he did!  And then his shoulders began to rise and fall in silent,
controlled mirth, then he giggled, then we both guffawed.
We were laughing fit to fart at an article about the forbidden.
It was such a precious moment that we shared that day but then
he became serious again.  "Don't tell your mother pet" he said.
"She doesn't approve of that sort of behaviour." 
And didn't we both know it.

Hey, hey, we're the monkees ....
The queue for fresh air was always long on a Friday after compline.
We could hear that the corset welders were starting to pack up
downstairs now that their blow lamps had cooled down and
with a knowing wink Dad took himself off into the garden
"to get a breath of fresh air."
And we all knew what that meant.
Don't you just love a good euphorism?

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