Sunday, January 20, 2008

“I can’t fight with hairdressers”

Our bus was locked into this intermittent procession directly to the rear of a large limousine of considerable quality. Its large back window sloped elegantly into a great curve of boot. Through the window we could see that the rear seat of this handsome vehicle was occupied by two young ladies, one being blonde and one brunette. They were both of such distracting elegance that a number of the Chaps (of whom I give you my word vicar I was not one) felt obliged to gather at the front end of the upper deck of the bus, whistling and catcalling to attract the ladies attention.

When this attempt at communication failed to elicit a response, it was decided to that a well-aimed stream of aerated water directed at the car from a fully charged soda-siphon might do better. The application of one siphon to the task led to the involvement of a second, and then a flour bomb (one of a number that appeared to have been brought along just in case a contingency arose calling for their use) was added to the equation. Thus do conflicts escalate.

When the traffic pulled up for its next breather, the right door of the limousine, the boot and rear window of which were by then coated with a thin and sloppy dough, was open precipitately and a certain individual who looked like a much larger, much younger, and more muscular version of Arthur Mullard crossed by Freddie Mills, stormed towards our bus with evidently hostile intent advancing. Ray Gibbons, the Chap who was unlucky enough to be first in the firing line on the back step of the bus, received the impact of this individual’s right fist full on his nose and promptly extended himself in the collected swill beneath the two beer barrels.

I'm always reading in the Guardian how youth crime is nothing new, and that we're all guilty of Moral Panic. How right they are. I'd forgotten that I'd ever used a fire-hose as an anti-personnel weapon.

The Chaps Club of the Royal School of Mines annual Derby Day outing for 1958 takes an eventful turn. Just one of a fine selection of centenary reminiscences by staff and students of Imperial College.

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