Friday, March 23, 2007


While scraping around for new ideas (they're getting as rare as hen's teeth these days) I was commenting on a post at Billy's where he was discussing auditory hallucination. He asked readers whose voice they would like to accompany an hallucination.

This triggered off an unpleasant memory of mine, which is the *inspiration* for this awful post.

When I was about five years old, I was sat with my parents watching The Val Doonican Show on television.

Velvet Voiced Val was like a cosy security blanket wrapped around my childhood. I'm sure his shows were on television every Saturday night until I was about seven and the reality of how cruel, indifferent and cold this dog eat dog world is finally kicked in.

To anyone under the age of, I dunno, forty, it's difficult to describe the way that Val Doonican strode the earth like a colossus. Well, probably difficult to convince anyone of my age actually. He just played an important part in my life, okay?

Anyway, one night I felt a bit poorly (as five year olds tend to do for around seventy per cent of the time). This, however was ... different.

I had some sort of high fever and was put to bed ONLY ABOUT TEN MINUTES INTO THE VAL DOONICAN SHOW. Clearly, I was at death's door.

It wasn't long before I was hallucinating that Val was singing to me in his rocking chair, with a voice that was far deeper than normal. He sounded more like Paul Robeson. The rocking chair rocked harder and more insistently, and Val glared at me, his eyes ablaze and his voice booming, like a rocking chair-bound lay priest.

Into this melee stepped Pinky And Perky.

The menacing puppet pigs are trauma inducing enough in themselves. My cruel parents had decorated my bedroom with Pinky And Perky wallpaper. This featured a design of one of them playing drums, and one of them playing a stand up bass. Some sort of bebop duo set up.

In my feverish state, Pinky And Perky came out of the wallpaper and started to play the most ungodly rhythmic modern jazz racket

All this lasted about half an hour. An atonal, hundred and fifty decibel cacophony involving pigs and a crooning Irishman.

It was even more frightening than my previous hallucination, in which my parents' insurance man, Mr Baker, was scrambling over the roof of the outhouse that I could see from my bedroom window

There will be more on Val Doonican in the next post. You all deserve to suffer as much as I did.

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I had a Pinky & Perky 45rpm EP, on way-ahead-of-its-time coloured vinyl. One day, I decided to play it at 33rpm instead. It was like discovering Santa Claus didn't exist.

(The same trick holds true if you play the 45 of "The Ying Tong Song" by The Goons at 16rpm.)
Mike - that would've probably been the controversial P & P record which, played backward, reveals the message "Satan eats bacon sandwiches".

Mind you ... blogging, the place where dreams end. Someone will be telling me next that The Chipmunks were actually a couple of session singers whose voices were speeded up, not real chipmunks.
This sounds like a chapter from 'Adrian Mole - the dark side'.
But he only had Noddy and Bigears to contend with.
Kaz - I suppose Noddy and Bigears played a part in my formative years, but I don't remember having dreams or hallucinating about them. I find men with big ears quite attractive though, so ...
You'll be telling us that the Smurffs weren't real little plastic people next! And sinister Father Abraham wasn't really Dave Lee Travis in drag!! And Morrissey wasn't the lead singer!!
The first great love of my life had big ears. And a bit of a lazy eye now I think about it. Love is strange.
Murph - you'll be telling us next that It's A Dog's Life! is a blog that's written by a biped rather than a labrador/collie cross.

Arabella - sounds a bit too much like Tony Blair.
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blimey, that's the first time I've thought of Paddy McGinty's Goat since 1967
i dunno about the irishman, but those pigs are clearly from hell.
puppets are satanic anyway, but pig puppets; that's just too 'golden bough' for me.
Ziggi - glad to be of service! (What do you mean, you hate me?)

First Nations - the disturbing thing about Pinky And Perky was that they sang without opening their mouths. There used to be a group called The Beakles on the show who were birds who sang and looked like The Beatles (well, they all looked like Ringo of course).
A beebop pinky and perky / val doonican mashup sounds splendid to me. Then again I haven't heard it.
Actually thinking about this now, it reminds me out The Intro & The Outro by the Bonzos:

"on bass... Pinky... on drums... Perky and featuring Val Doonican as himself..."
Billy - listening to a loud atonal cacophony wasn't really my sort of thing when I was five years old. Fast forward about ten years and it would've been right up my street. Spot on with the Bonzos' reference. Val said "hullo!" in the song, from what I remember.
I'm not sure what is more scary - the little piggy voices or Val's. I actually got quite worried whilst reading this, thinking about you being sucked into that scene. How scary?

You do get Lucozade when you are ill when you are a kid though. And Heinz tomato soup. Perhaps our parents thought that orange food would help. How come Heinz tomato soup tastes nice for the first three mouthfuls and then burns your throat? Is that just me?

Sorry, I've gone off on one of my mad moments again. Perhaps it was all a hallucination. Perhaps it wasn't soup or Lucozade at all. Perhaps it was alien juice. Orange alien juice.

*Runs off screaming*
Molly - well, I'm glad I got sucked into that. To suffer is to live, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and all the other cliches.

Lucozade though - it's one of the worst things to give to someone who's feeling a bit poorly, isn't it? If you have an upset stomach it just ends up making you more queasy. I always used to want to look through that orange cellophane they used to wrap the bottles in, which made me feel even more sick. Horrible memories. I seemed to spend half of my life being sick between the ages of three and seven - I can even remember throwing up while The Beatles were performing Hey Jude on the telly (...ideal opportunity for anyone who hates The Beatles to make a pertinent comment here).
omigod - Val Doonican ... I remember the rocking chair. We thought we were s-o-o trendy at home when we redecorated the living room (well, my parents did, I was a bit small) and bought a copy of 'his' chair ... it's still there - painted black with a bright blue seat!
Belle - blimey, I didn't realise that Val's rocking chairs were once a must have. His trademark jumpers didn't really end up influencing fashion though, did they?
Well, there was a trend for fancy jumpers - just remember Noel Edmonds on Swap Shop! But somehow I don't think it was started by Val!

I think the rocking chair was what people called 'infra dig' then ... so trendy it wasn't if you see what I mean!
Imagine the horror of Pinky and Perky jamming with Alvin & the Chipmunks. Aaagh! Presumably P&P are no longer politically correct, thus saving future generations from the trauma.
Belle - I'll have to do some research into the trend for fancy patterned jumpers (it's a great expression that - "fancy patterned jumpers"). Noel was probably paying homage to Val, who was a formative influence on him, er, probably.

Llewtrah - sounds like the beginning of happy hardcore. DJ Splipmatt feat. Pinky, Perky And The Chipmunks? I like the idea of P & P upsetting what the Daily Mail would call "the so-called politically correct brigade". Vegans? Pigs who stand on four legs who are opposed to pig puppets that stand on two legs? People who read Animal Farm and took it too literally? Danish farmers?

(I think I might need a sit down and one of my tablets now).
Pinky and Perky are the devil's spawn with weird scary voices.
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