Friday, July 01, 2005

Turn Up or Tune In.

It was the Live Aid afternoon of July 1985 and I was applying quick drying cement between the patio cracks while wearing micro-length shorts, broken, flip-flops and a malignant mole, when Malcolm yelled from our Georgian window that Howard Jones was on the telly.

That's not entirely true. I didn't have a patio. I knew no-one called Malcolm. And I didn't have skin cancer. But I did waste most of the day gardening during Live Aid and its often been a regret of mine; though I did at least have the TV on and the windows open. This has never really provided a very good 'where were you when' answer to dazzle dinner party guests with whilst providing illuminating insights as to what an interesting person I am and what an enviable life I have. I never seem to have been doing anything and I mean anything when these epoch moments occur. Which is a post that will have to wait for another day.

The opening sentence, for those still reading this, is a cheap imitation of some of the more memorable first sentences I can recall, and I've always fancied trying one out. Pack in a load of details before hitting the first stop. They're always too long for the grammarians, fastidious school masters, the strictures of most software grammar checkers, and for those who haven't progressed beyond 'O' level English, but I think they can have a certain elegance. Such as Ryu Murakami's description of an unusual method of checking for signs of infant life from 'Coin Locker Babies:' "The woman pushed on the baby's stomach and sucked its penis into her mouth; it was thinner than the American menthols she smoked and a bit slimy, like raw fish." Or Anthony Burgess' Earthly Powers: "It was the afternoon of my eighty first birthday and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali announced that the Archbishop had come to see me."

It also gave suggested what I should write about tomorrow. Or after tomorrow. Or sometime next week. I wont be doing any gardening during Live 8. I wont be there, but I will be watching.

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