Thursday, December 08, 2005



My childhood was not a happy time. World War One was a constant buzz in the background and I remember my father's melancholy refrain, "This war: it'll make me a fortune." He was right. My father sold working-class scum to the British and German armies at 3d a man. By the end of June 1916 he was a millionaire. My mother, an alcoholic hussey of the highest order, slept with each and every member of Asquith's cabinet and humped Lloyd George right through the war until his resignation in 1922.

The anxiety of my early years soon fell away as I was packed off to boarding school where I was roundly abused by many senior boys, a few house masters and the headmaster (he didn't get that title for nothing). I was not a good student and could often be found out of bounds stealing milk bottles, scrumping apples and carrying out vicious assaults upon the elderly and infirm often resulting in their deaths or incapacitation. Blue Remembered Hills.

World War Two broke out and I knew my duty. I packed my kitbag, kissed mama goodbye and headed straight for Ireland where I caught a boat to America and well out of harm's way. Ah, America. What a place! The view as we came into New York was quite a thing. Liberty herself standing like a beacon for the world's needy and helpless... or so I'm told, I was up to my waist in some little paddy tart at the time. It's a shame I missed it.

Next time: Death in the air!!!

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