Friday, 5 October 2012

Comin' right up

My son was taking a poo. I was standing outside the toilet block leaning on my bike enjoying the sun and the serenity (I'm getting more Australian every day).


Yes mate?

Is this a joke?


This – is it a joke?

I had no idea what he was talking about but I know he is of the opinion that I somehow know everything.

Is what a joke mate?

This – this writing on the toilet door?

I walked into the toilet block and into his cubicle and read the words he was pointing to.

Are you a fun young man? Do you want fun times? E mail me to meet - The Hairy Humungous.

What does it say Dad?

I told him it was grown up stuff and that he needn't worry about it. He begged to know what it said, so I read it to him and he burst out laughing.

That's great. We're fun. Hairy Humungous is a funny name.

I didn't go into any more detail. I read the scrawl on the door one way, he took it completely differently. His way was a little less sweaty and shocking (to Daily Mail readers).

Driving back, listening to the diabolical music that he has insisted I put on the iPod, I had a crushing flashback to English class when I was 11. When the pub conversation comes up along the lines of What was the first album you ever bought with you own money? I tend to win hands down on the terrible choice. Mine was Bruce Willis – The Return of Bruno. When I was 11 I was a huge Moonlighting fan and a huge Bruce Willis fan. As far as I was concerned he was cooler than Knight Rider and I had no other ambitions at the time beyond owning black t shirts and jeans and playing the harmonica with a smirk. When his album came out I caught the bus to the nearest record store and paid with my own money and raced home, desperate to become cool through beats and lyrics. I learnt every song by heart and when a week later my English teacher – who was starting to become fascinating with the way she would bend over the desk to see what we were doing – asked us to bring in the lyrics to our favourite song I knew instantly I would bring in a Bruce Willis song.

Like my son translating the back of the toilet door, I had no idea what the lryics I was writing down really meant. The song was called Coming Right Up and was about a barman who was chatting to a female customer. I transcribed it reading a happy song about a helpful man serving a pretty lady drinks. I thought there was nothing at all embarassing as I wrote -

All alone? Don't be nervous, Bruno's here baby, I'm at
Your service - Tending your cup, sit down, belly up.

Nothing at all wrong with -

We toasted everything, that's worth imagining, she told
Me stories that would melt a stone
I managed to just keep a hold of myself

Bruce, being so damn charming, gets invited back to her apartment for another drink. He rides the elevator up and chuckles as he counts floor sixty nine. I eagerly wrote it all down for my homework. As Bruce arrives at her apartment she greets him in heels and stockings and he tells her -

don't forget that little cherry on top!
Comin' right, comin' right up.

And then he promises her he'll be coming right up.

I handed my homework in, certain my teacher - who this week was in yellow tights and a loose blouse and a lot of lipstick - would see the genius of Mr Willis. The following week she said she was going to call on members of the class to read out there songs. She called on Colin and he read out Chubby Checker & The Fat Boys Doing the Twist. She called on Sarah and she read out a Madonna song. The she covered her mouth with one hand and called out my name. I opened my book and started reading. Some of the class giggled at my declaring the song was by Bruce Willis but for the most part the double meanings in the song passed them by. It didn't pass my teacher by. She giggled, she kept her hand over her mouth and as I reached the cherry on top and the promise that I'd be coming right up she excused herself for a moment and left the class.

Driving home to Michael Jackson telling us how utterly Bad he was I remembered sitting there reading out the lyrics, but now with a 38 year old brain instead of an 11 year old one I couldn't pass the references to 69, copious references to coming, and to cherries, without blushing. It seemed ridiculous to be blushing 27 years later (man I'm getting old) but blush I did.

Once we got home my son asked me if jokes have to make sense. I tried explaining the basics of a joke – e.g. What's brown and sticky? A stick. He nodded and told me he understood.


Yes mate?

What's brown and sticky?

Go on then, what is brown and sticky?

A potato is a cat.

He curled up in fits of laughter.

Mate that makes no sense.

He carried on laughing and we went home.


Yes mate?

What's green and sticky?

Go on?

A cat is a potato.

I laughed with him. Somewhere The Hairy Humungous is having fun with fun young men, somewhere else Bruce Willis is charmingly telling girls that their drinks will be coming right up but where I am a cat is a potato and a potato is a cat and it is the funiest thing in the world.

1 comment:

  1. Call me crazy, but I love that album to this day! It is the cheesiest, cheekiest and most charming album ever. Still love to listen to the album and Comin Right Up ties with Secret Agent Man as my favorite. But I love the whole thing!

    Great story!