What you are about to read may possibly scar you for life. There’s a good chance that after viewing this entry you may never sleep well again.
There are no references to blood, viscera, disembowelment or Jamie Oliver. No suggestion as to the existence of monsters, ghosts, ghouls, phantoms, vampires or a new Wayans film and absolutely no mention of psychos, serial killers, stalkers or Katie Price. It contains nothing about diseases, illnesses or gruesome injuries and steers well clear of sharks, crocodiles, piranhas, Roseanne Barr or anything else guaranteed to eat you to death with very little warning.
The only thing you’ll find beyond the little ‘Read more’ button is something you’ll recognise, something almost comfortingly familiar.
In fact, so familiar will you find it, that you’ll probably not realise what I’m getting at until it’s far, far too late and you begin casting around for something suitably rusty and jagged with which to scrape clean your brain.
Proceed. If you dare.
Imagine an average rainy Sunday afternoon from your childhood.
It’s pissing it down outside, you can’t beat your all time high scores on Thundering Turbo or Sky Attack, you’re Technic Lego is missing a vital piece and Sabre Wolf has crashed halfway through loading. Your parents are arguing, your books are boring, your siblings are off doing something gender specific that interests you as much as grey wallpaper and AddictingGames.com is still a good 20 years away.
You are, what is technically known as, Bored. There is literally nothing to do.
In desperation you reach for the remote, click on Teletext and search for anything remotely watchable in the dire, crap filled void that is Sunday afternoon TV.
Countryfile. Nope. Snooker. Uh-uh. Gone with the Wind. Fuck off.
Then you spot it. BBC 2, 5pm, Carry on Camping. SCORE!! You flip the channel, endure the last smoke hazed frame between Higgins and White, and rejoice as the unmistakable Carry On music appears.
Of course, at 9 years old, I was watching Carry On films for the scenes where people got hit in the face with things, fell down holes or had Bernard Bresslaw bumbling his way through the script. Obviously, I knew that most of the time they were being rude, but I didn’t care. I didn’t understand most of the references to Bonking or Nookie anyway, and only realised that a certain scene was being risqué if it was accompanied by a swanny whistle or had Sid James gawking at Barbara Windsor and going "Blimey! Look a that!!".
And, let’s face it, Sid James was never going to win any awards for his looks, Barbara Windsor could have turned off a sexually charged elephant with that high pitched "Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha", and Hattie Jacques….well…she was Hattie Jacques, so I never really cottoned on to the fact that Carry On films were crammed full of thinly veiled innuendo (‘In your endo! Ay? Ay? Nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more!!’) and old guys trying to get off with *shudder* Joan Sims. And that was because, as I said, I was 9 and all the ‘rude’ stuff had different meanings to me.
You could bonk people on the head with a stick;
Nookie was a bear;
Crackers were what you pulled at Christmas or ate with cheese;
and Jim Dale worked with Digby the Biggest Dog in the world.
Oh, and Kenneth Williams was so obviously gay. I was 9 not stupid.
I understood the blatantly rude bits, obviously. I mean, Barbara Windsor energetically losing her bikini top was one of the rudest things I’d ever seen at that time, but mostly I enjoyed the films for the physical comedy. (There really isn’t anything funnier than watching a man get hit in the crotch with something heavy).
Anyway, leap forward 20 years and I’m walking to work. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and the gentle wail of a newly activated car alarm is wafting along on the breeze somewhere off in the distance. As always, during a long walk, my mind wanders through various random subjects until it hits upon one it likes, one that I can ponder as I walk.
A few steps later I’m almost knocked off my feet by a speeding youth, belting away with a newly liberated JVC car stereo. Regaining my balance I express my indignation at said young person with a few choice words, muttered quietly under my breath (hey, I was angry, doesn’t mean I want to be stabbed to death by a hoodie) then glance across the street and catch a glimpse of a dilapidated caravan in a back yard surrounded by a manky washing line filled with the most discoloured clothing I have ever seen. Immediately I am taken back to Carry on Camping. This, my mind decides, is the topic to focus on for today’s walk.
So I walk, and think. Think and walk. I haven’t seen the film for a while so I’m trying to remember certain scenes, snippets of dialogue, who wanted to……
I stop short. I actually stopped mid stride as a horrifying, hideous thought stamped itself irrevocably on my brain and refused to be eradicated.
They were having sex.
The whole, bonking, nookie ‘she’s a little cracker’ shenanigans were all about sex. Sex!
Now, I know that sounds insane as everyone knows Carry On films were about sex, but think about it; they were having sex. Actual proper sex. Sid James and *shudder* Joan Sims were having sex. Try and picture it in your mind. Not the comedic, blanket bouncing, can’t see what’s going on ‘someone’s about to fall out of bed in an amusing way’ kind of sex, but actual proper sex.
When it’s all amusing innuendo and cliche, nudge nudge, wink wink, it’s funny. Even Granma can giggle at lines like "Can you help me with my big end". But when the thought occurs to you that each and every one of them, even Hattie Jacques….Hattie freakin’ Jacques, were having the sex, and the image won’t stop forming in your mind, it’s fucking terrifying!!!
The end of Carry on Camping, with Bernard Bresslaw, and Sid James getting invited into the tents by *shudder* Joan Sims and Dilys Laye, has never been the same since. All I can picture is….is….*phhhrrrrrrlllllwlwlw*.
Sorry, I have to pop off and be sick.