Tag Archives: memories

The Cartographer

The cartographer
saw the vastness of landscape
and rendered it knowable.
Transformed terrain
to elevations, angles,
contour line etchings
and watercourse filigree.

The cartographer
used his raptor vision
to view conflict as landscape,
charting paths through
political quicksand,
over bureaucratic dunes
to the ocean of truth.

The cartographer,
now guided not guiding,
his acute compass
dizzied by Alzheimer’s.
Piercing the fog,
he cedes, all pauses and sighs,
“I’ve lost the path”.

Remembering Rick (& The Young Ones)

I used to love the BBC series, The Young Ones, possibly because of the time it exploded into my life. During a year when I was fully immersed in HSC (that’s the vintage VCE) study stress and adolescent unrequited love angst, it was a welcome 30-minutes a week of shouty, rude, politically incorrect, violent, stick-it-to-the-man, anarchic comedy mayhem*. Just what every teenager needed.

My brother went completely fan boy. He perfected the sneer and dressed as Rick for a costume party. He owned the Cliff Richard single on vinyl, the etiquette book and Neil’s Heavy Concept Album. The book, with its section on How To Use Hyphens (to make better insults), gave us hours of fun.

And so the sad news this morning of the death of Rik Mayall prompted this detour down memory lane. I figure a spot of Googling is the least I can do to acknowledge the impact Mr Mayall and his mates had on my teen years.

Please find below, via IMDB, a snippet of the script from the Cash episode in Season 1, along with a clip of the people’s poet in action.

*If you’re new to the Young Ones, consider yourself warned.


Neil: Guys, guys, guys, I think I’ve solved our money problem. I’m writing to my bank manager. See what you think…”Dear Bank Manager.”

Mike: Yeah?

Neil: Well, that’s it. I’m quite pleased with it so far, though.

Mike: Oh, well, it’s a strong opening, certainly.

Vyvyan: I don’t like the “dear.” Sounds a bit too much like, “Will you go to bed with me?”

Mike: Well spoken, Vyvyan. What do you think instead?

Vyvyan: Uh, what about…”darling?

[everyone concurs]

Neil: [writing] “Darling Bank Manager…”

Rick: No, no, no, no, no, not “Bank Manager,” it’s far too crawly bum-lick. Tell it like it is, put “Fascist Bullyboy!”

Neil: “Darling Fascist Bullyboy…”

Mike: That’s nice, yes, so far so good. So what do you want to say?

Neil: Well, basically, I want to ask him if I can have, like, an extension on my overdraft, but I know there must be a better way of putting it than that.

Mike: Well, what about, “Give me some more money”?

Vyvyan: …”You bastard!”

Neil: Don’t you think that’s a bit strong?

Mike: Ah, Neil, people like that respect strength.

Neil: Yeah, you’re right. Uh, “Darling Fascist Bullyboy, Give me some more money, you bastard…” Uh…”Love, Neil.”

Vyvyan: Not “Love, Neil”! That sounds far too much like, “Come and get it like a bitch-funky sex machine!”

Neil: Yeah, you’re right… Uh, what about, “Yours sincerely”?

Rick: Oh, come off it, Neil. If you’re going to be that sycophantic, why don’t you go ’round there now and stick your tongue straight down the back of his trousers?

Neil: Oh, look, I know, I know, why not “Boom Shanka”? It means, “May the seed of your loin be fruitful in the belly of your woman.”

Mike: He’ll never understand “Boom Shanka,” you’ll have to write the whole thing out.

Neil: Right, okay, here we go. “Darling Fascist Bullyboy, Give me some more money, you bastard. May the seed of your loin be fruitful in the belly of your woman, Neil.”

Rick: Well, if that doesn’t work, I don’t know what will.