Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I Was A Teenage Dirtbag (Baby)

Pen and ink meI’ve rarely used this blog as a confessional. I’ve rarely dragged skeletons screaming from my closet and paraded them for all to see.

I always assumed, you see, that you, my dear discerning reader(s) wouldn’t want to read scurrilous declarations of wrong doing and sin making.

But I was wrong. I’ve been hit by a meme. Vegemitevix wants me to name and shame 10 secret things that you don’t know about me. She wants me to fess up, unburden my soul, pour out the unwholesome desires that have racked my body in my darkest years in the wilderness before I found the light.

Now that is going to be tough because this is the third time I’ve been hit by such a meme. I’ve fessed up on two previous occasions here and here.

But even by the second time I was duplicating stuff.

And you know why? Because I was trying to keep the real skeletons out of the limelight. I was going for the easy, palatable stuff. The stuff that wouldn’t drive my burgeoning readership away in droves. I was trying to avoid the real, true blue secrets. The truth and nothing but the truth about yours, er, truly.

So. This is the third time someone has demanded that I divulge and disclose. The third time.

So OK people. I get the picture. You’re not going to leave me alone until you’ve got some dirt, are you? Until you’ve got me naked and exposed, squirming beneath your unforgiving gaze.

Well, I’m not sure I can run to 10 because, if I’m honest, I haven’t led that exciting a life. But some of these revelations may shock and disappoint. They may change the way you think of me forever. If you want to keep me up on that pedestal in your mind (and I’m aware that some of you have placed me pretty high) now would be a good time to stop reading. This is your final warning.

Still here? Geez, you guys are salacious. OK. Here goes.

1) During my late teens and twenties – in fact pretty well right up to my thirties – I would honour my best friend in all the world (Dave, if you’re reading this, I hereby apologize) by personally customizing every birthday and Christmas card I bought him with cartoons of a horrifically sexual nature. What started off as little doodles soon became works of obsessive pornography that covered the entire envelope front and back (and even inside the flap) and also the entire card itself. Entire cartoon strips of sexual depravity would slather their way across the best that Hallmark had to offer. If I was feeling particularly mischievous I would post the card to him through the post. You have to understand that Dave is a postman and has a lot of mates in the post office. Those perversely tattooed missives would have gone round like wildfire. I’m pretty sure that after a while Dave began to live in fear of his birthdays and saw Christmas as a good time of year to leave the country. Weirdly, after I got my first girlfriend at the age of 30 my need to produce these Hieronymus Bosch-like paradigms of perversity died away. I simply no longer had the time, energy or inclination. Thankfully for posterity (and for those who wish to blackmail me) I scanned every card and envelope I ever defaced into my PC. This means I can reproduce one here. Or at least a little snippet of one. If you are easily offended do not click on the picture below as this will only cause it to enlarge and you will have to look at it in all its offensive glory. Believe it or not this is the cleanest example I could find. In case you’re wondering it is meant to be a parody of the Spice Girls. Enjoy.

Spice Girls

2) God. This is the biggie. Being a somewhat sexually frustrated and yet over libidinous teen (never a great combination) and also having a secret desire to be some kind of comedian – bizarre when I was such a wallflower – I used to amuse myself by making my own homemade albums. These would consist of me “singing” over the top of some of my favourite music into a cheap microphone and recording the lot onto C90 tape. I would ad lib sexual paeans of depravity to whatever starlet happened to take my adolescent fancy at the time. I would then make my own tape covers which greatly resembled the cards I used to send to Dave above. In fact, thinking about it, there’s a bit of a theme here, isn’t there? I still have all the tapes. In fact Dave once got a mate of his to turn some of them into MP3’s and put them onto CD for me. I even made a CD cover for that particular album too. And no. I am not going to post any of them online. EVER. Dave had a theory at the time that these outpourings of teen lust were my equivalent of a “cold shower”. Not sure about that myself but I do think that these musical travesties are possibly the most complete embodiment of teenage hormonal crassness ever produced and I may well leave them to science upon my death.

3) Not content with ad libbing the kind of toilet humour that Rik Mayall himself would have balked at, I even scripted it. I would write little plays parodying various soap operas and, armed with a BBC sound effects tape, would embroil my sisters into acting them out on a Sunday afternoon in my Nan’s garage and recording them onto C90 tape. One memorable series was about the Blake & Blake Detective Agency and would usually be, yes, you’ve guessed it, a sorry tale of sexual misdemeanour and horrendous wrong doing. And yes, I still have the tapes. And yes I made covers for them. And no you’re not getting to hear any of them. EVER. See. There is a theme here.

4) Not on your nelly. You’ve got quite enough to be going on with. And if any of you wish to end our virtual association right now, I fully understand.

Ladies and gentlemen. The confessional is over. I’m not going to hand this meme on but I do dare any of you to respond in kind. Go on. It’s cathartic. It might halve your readership but it’s good for the soul. Apparently.


38 comments:

Owen said...

Oh dear, the harder you try to drive us away, the more often we come back to see what further depravity you will have reported on. We must be gluttons for punishment... and we live in a depraved world, so little you may say is really going to shock and awe us. Well, perhaps the part about defecating in someone's oral cavity... but heck, if you really want something depraved, go look up Charles Bukowski's memorable piece about the guy having sex with a corpse. And look at how famous Bukowski is. So I guess if sexually oriented stories are presented as art, rather than filth, they come across as art never the less... Anais Nin, for example, or even better, Robert Crumb... in fact, your drawings seem to almost have a Robert Crumb influence ? Hope to see more of them. Soon. Otherwise a young lady in black latex carrying a whip will be around to see you...

Steve said...

Owen: see, you're just not trying hard enough. If you were you'd send round 2 young ladies in black latex.

Glad to still have you round for the ride. No euphemism intended. ;-)

vegemitevix said...

Hey Steve those cartoons are bloody good mate. Funny. Very funny. Are you sure you don't work on The Inbetweeners? Cos if you don't you could you know. Thanks for doing the meme. x

Steve said...

Vegmitevix: to my shame I've never watched The Inbetweeners. Maybe I should? Plainly they are kindred spirits.

Thanks for still reading! ;-0

Rol said...

None of this surprises me.

Steve said...

Rol: I knew you'd understand.

Nota Bene said...

Have rung social services, and they're on their way right now...

Very Bored in Catalunya said...

I fear your first girlfriend may have scuppered a lucrative career, surely there were/are many sexual deviants out there just waiting to snap up this work?

Maybe you could hire a gallery and show your best works.

Steve said...

Nota Bene: cheeky buggers. I did them a card last Christmas.

Very Bored in Catalunya: funnily enough I work in an Art Gallery. I don't think they'd be very interested though...

Suzanne said...

"Teenage Dirtbag" - awesome song, not quite as good as "I miss you" though.

Postcard:
Art - clearly you have talent
Words - mmm no comment.

"The Inbetweeners" - you have to watch it, it is very funny, well written, but does make me CRINGE with some of the things that those teenage boys say. Your teenage self would be in good company.

Steve said...

Suzanne: alas, despite my 41st birthday last Friday, I have to confess that my teenage self is very much alive and kicking.

Suzanne said...

Well that can only be a good thing really. Forgot to mention that I also used to tape myself singing, and telling jokes, but sadly (more like thankfuly) I never kept them. I used to have hours of fun though recording and then playing stuff back.

Steve said...

Suzanne: the first time I ever heard my voice on tape it had me in hysterical laughter... I think I then spent the next decade making dubious recordings trying to get back to that initial laughter-ful moment.

The Dotterel said...

Utterly perverted and beyond the pale... C90 tape? What were you thinking of?

Steve said...

TheDotterel: the world is damned lucky I didn't have access to a video camera...

Gappy said...

I used to record the charts onto C90 tapes. Don't think I'll ever be able to see the Spice Girls in quite the same way again...

femminismo said...

Oh, my! Yes, video camera. Bad thing indeed. The world has survived boys like you before however. I do wonder about that first girlfriend, however. I hope you were on your nicest behavior. Is she now Mrs. Bloggertropolis?

The Crow said...

Gee, you sound just like two of my brothers...no, wait...all three of them, the youngest the best at toilet humor. We didn't have access to recording equipment then (too pricey for kids in the projects), or they might have turned into filthy-rich (pun intended) media moguls before they were in their 20s.

BTW, happy 41st!

The Sagittarian said...

That rabbit hutch is still here if you need it...it has great acoustics!

Steve said...

Gappy: now that can only be a good thing, surely?

Femminismo: God no! There's a whole heap of posts I could write about her!

The Crow: thank you - sadly Larry Flynt didn't offer me a job so I cleaned my act up and joined the rat race along with everybody else.

Amanda: fabulous! How are you at backing vocals?

Heather at Notes From Lapland said...

wow, Steve, I am impressed at the depth, ingenuity and perseverance of your depravity. the art work is fabulous by the way, not in a 'I want to hang it on my living room wall kind of way' you understand, but you have a talent there and it's no more depraved than a lot of other stuff I've seen.

Now what do we have to do to get to hear some of these tapes?

Steve said...

Heather: cross my palms with lots of filthy lucre...

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Blimey Steve. I could get my worst skeleton out and it couldn't compete with yours!

Are you sure it's wise to share all this with the world?

And what of your image as the urbane, erudite, sophisticated writer we have come to know and love?

Must confess I'm no longer tempted by memes as they take me too far away from who I am and what I want to say.

Keith said...

Confession is good for the soul, so you must be colonically pure by now.

But I now have the same feeling I get from reading early Martin Amis novels. That I need to go and have a good wash.

Steve said...

Laura: not sure whether to take that as a compliment or not! 'Cos I always thought compared to my peers who were all out drinking, snorting intoxicants, joyriding and shagging their way to the std clinic I was leading quite a tame and consequence free life. In all seriousness, I think a lot of my early life was lived vicariously - I was just stupid / arrogant enough to record it for posterity. I had a lot of issues to work through as a teen - and you know what? I did work through them to become the "urbane, erudite, sophisticated writer" that you refer to. I still retain that old toilet humour though and wouldn't be without it - it's as much a part of me as everything else. And although I've shared these skeletons here I don't think I can be condemned too harshly for the gaucheness of my early existence. I had a lot to learn and was fuelled by a need to overcome my vast inexperience. I am a much older and wiser man now - precisely because of my early mistakes.

God, that sounds pompous. I may have to watch some episodes of "Bottom" just to get myself back on track! ;-)

Steve said...

Keith: I know what you mean - my colon is as clean as a whistle... but my hands are as dirty as a dairy farmer in calving season.

Michelle said...

I love it Steve. Fab post, sorry my mind is obvioulsy still in the gutter! You are a talented cartoonist, a tad filthy for my liking but good none the less! lol

Will I be taking up this challenege? errr not sure, can I think of anything as funny? we will see...

Mich x

Steve said...

Michelle: as someone famous once said, it's no crime to be born in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars. I myself am looking at the gutter and seeing the stars reflected. I'm not sure if that counts as some kind of redemptive action or not. And thank you for the compliments. I haven't done much cartoonery for a long time... maybe it's time I picked up my black pen once more?

The Crow said...

"I haven't done much cartoonery for a long time... maybe it's time I picked up my black pen once more?"

Yes, indeed! I have a title (tongue-in-cheek, of course) for your cartoon blog: "Dirtbag Comix"

You're welcome. No, no...I give it to you...no charge.

Steve said...

The Crow: or even Dirtbox Comix? Now that would have a real ring to it...! ;-)

The Crow said...

You bad boy, you!

:)

Steve said...

The Crow: you can't be too pure yourself if you got that! ;-)

LöstJimmy said...

Crikeys, and I thought I was bad...and they say confession is good for the soul

Steve said...

LöstJimmy: and I thought I was bad... - mayhaps we have more in common than you think!

Being Me said...

Gee. Why was your first girlfriend not until you were 30 I wonder? You didn't have these hanging around in your flat/bedroom, did you? (Please tell me you didn't... although even if you did, I still couldn't not follow you)

Teenage Dirtbags are hilarious. Who knew there was someone of great wit and intelligence behind the script of that amazingly drawn cartoon? You could seriously have sold those as greeting cards. Still could, I'm tipping.

Steve said...

Being Me: I tried to negotiate a deal with Hallmark but they slammed the phone down on me. Ah well... I didn't get my first girlfriend until I was 30 because, despite my secret capacity for toilet humour, I was actually a very shy, very insecure and probably not very attractive teen and twenty something. When I hit 30 I stopped caring so much about what people thought and started to develop a bit of confidence. And that's when I finally started to live a life instead of just fantasizing about one.

TheUndertaker said...

Oh dear, oh dear... Don't send that sucker my way, it makes me squirm. Good for you to let your guard down, the secrets out, cards on the table etc... Tabloids next?

Steve said...

TheUndertaker: I'm in talks to be given my own column (no euphemism intended). ;-)