Jiving K. Boots
Squeaking Boots got soul?
My first venture into clubland has proved a resounding success. The 'Pink Boots' is packed with the rich and famous and after every session we have to hose the club down. Take last night. 'Excuse me while I throw a tray of mussels on the floor,' retched Lady Pukington. It was one of her little jokes whenever she had swilled too much champagne. She usually topped this performance by rolling in the dust underneath the snooker table, and then complained to the head waiter about the smell of shellfish. 'It's disgusting,' she snorted. The rich have no shame as I swiftly discovered. But I enjoyed my role as host. And I earned a reputation for parties that became the talk of London, Paris and Bombay. One night as I escorted Pamela Stephenson, clad only in a lacy suspender belt and stockings, on one arm, and Paula Yates garbed in some species of corset, on the other, I was introduced to the commander in chief of the Falklands task force. 'Charmed I'm sure,' I gushed, prior to unleashing a stream of witticisms that had everyone rolling on the floor with mirth. 'Boots my dear fellow,' gasped the commander wiping away the tears, 'you are priceless.'
A dark cloud has fallen on my beloved club. This evening as I entered the premises in my usual white tuxedo and button hole, and called out my familiar 'View halloo!' there was no response. Normally the crush of patrons toss jewellery in the air and shriek back 'Yoicks, tally-ho!' this time there came a chilling grunt of 'Who's this berk?' I peered into the gloom and instead of the expected gang of fun loving socialites, there was a knot of hunched figures standing menacingly around the fruit machine. 'I say... . ' I stammered. 'Is that old Percy Ledhampton?' One of the figures moved, his shoulders swaying like the Empire State building in a six knot breeze. 'No it bleeding ain't. And who the brass tits are you? '
Last night was perfectly ghastly. As I place raw steak on bruises in unmentionable places let me describe the downfall of my attempt to usurp the real ruler of clubland. And it wasn't Percy Ledhampton and chums. The man who picked me up by the scruff of the neck and hurled me through a plate glass door proved to be Thumper Harris, an unemployed security adviser and company director from The Buildings, Hackney. Thumper was peeved. Apparently I had fallen behind with my contribution to his widows and orphans fund and the fruit machine had not been hired from Harris Amusements (Hackney) Ltd. 'I'll give you View Halloo,' he snarled. 'You don't open clubs on my territory, not without my say-so, geddit? Ron, get me my calculator. I reckon you owe us ten grand, just on the toilet roll concession.' I drew myself up to full height, adjusted my button hole and began, 'Now look here my good man..!' I understand there is a smoke blackened hole where once the Pink Boots stood. But I shall get my revenge.
My old chum 'Red' Herbert, a campaigning folk singer from Hackney came round to see me in my sick bed. 'If you will mix with the criminal elements and bourgeois parasites what do you expect?' he said without sympathy, placing a volume of George Orwell at my pillow together with a bunch of Co-op grapes. 'Now that your days in High Society are over, how about helping REAL people?' He asked me if I'd get a band together to play in an East End street carnival. The idea was to raise funds for the sick and needy and bring a little sunshine into the lives of the deprived. 'You'll be playing in the open air of course, but the great thing is there is no restriction on noise.' Where was the stage situated? 'In a park. You can't miss it.They are right outside the Buildings, a noted local landmark. What do you mean — "Yoicks?" What an offensive expression.'
Today is spent putting together a band such as never been heard in the marble halls of rock. Sparing no expense I hired not just the best players available — but the loudest. There was Jeff 'Animal' Bates on guitar, a 'blood in the ears' man from Akron, Ohio. Bill 'Apocalypse' Nowe on drums, and Gladys Irongirdle, the bass guitarist frequently used by scientists in conducting seismic experiments.
'Right', said Gladys at rehearsals. 'So you want it loud eh? Well you asked for it my old son. Chuck me a bigger amplifier, roadie, and let's get this turkey off the ground.' She donned a crash helmet and thigh boots and began practising bass runs that caused the walls of the rehearsal studio to bulge. 'Call that loud? Huh,' Animal snorted and inserting cotton wool swabs in his ears, began grinding out kerranging chords that seemed to separate the human skeleton from its surrounding flesh and blood. 'Ber-lang!' he went. 'Boooof!' went Gladys. Apocalypse laughed. 'Pshaw, I can play louder than any of you.' And he brought down his 18 stone weight onto the snare drum with a great oaken stick that splintered on impact, producing a rim shot that sounded like Big Bertha being fired at the French in 1918. 'Baroom!' went his drum kit. 'Yes gentlemen,' I screamed, 'I think you've got the hang of it.'
We drove at high speed to the gig in a fleet of articulated vehicles loaded with PA equipment. There was enough to power Ted Nugent, Van Halen and Uriah Heep. Indeed there was enough to communicate with distant planets. It took seven hours to set up the gear on the makeshift stage. 'What in God's name are you doing?' demanded organiser 'Red' Herbert. 'This is a People's Fayre. Just a few coconut shies and a tug of war. We weren't expecting Woodstock.' I pointed out there were no restrictions on noise, and that a neighbouring Tory controlled Borough could easily be discomforted if we adjusted the direction of the speaker banks. 'Oh very well, but for pity sake don't switch on while I'm giving my poetry reading,' Around the park the children and parents drifted in, ready to poke morosely through the inevitable piles of second hand paper backs and old lampshades that passed for stalls and to gather around the 'Tip the plain and rather ill-tempered girl out of the bed' attraction, next to the display of St John Ambulance knot tying.
After an exciting afternoon dodging showers and pushing children off the equipment, we switched on for the evening concert. As the sun set over the East End amidst a forest of high rise flats, I gazed up at the Buildings, right opposite our stage. I raised a pair of binoculars to my eyes and spotted a curtain move. With a slight adjustment I increased the range and focussed on the interior of a room packed with sleeping men and bottles of brown ale. They were the gang who had wrecked my club and turfed me out of the West End.
Problems with the electric power meant our show could not begin until midnight, when most of the audience had drifted away to consume fish and chips and watch pornographic videos. 'It's too late now,' said Herbert, adjusting the toggles of his duffle coat. 'If you play now, be it on your own head. There could be heavy fines for noise pollution.' I grabbed Herbert by his arm. 'See that hideous building over there, dark and brooding and providing shelter for the most despotic power hungry tyrants outside of Tsarist Russia? How would you like to be rid of them.' 'It has long been my dream,' nodded Herbert, eyes shining. 'We gave up long ago in our attempts to convert the criminal elements.' I gave a signal to the band. 'Leave it to me Herbert. Soon you will be free of them.' The band blasted into Black Sabbath's greatest hits played at a volume that caused passing aircraft to lose height. 'Ker-blang!' roared the guitars. The shock wave hit the Buildings at over 600mph and blew in the windows. The screams of the occupants could be clearly heard even at half a mile distant. A fleet of ambulances removed the occupants none of whom were ever seen within the Metropolis again.
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