Firstly the trousers, what did MC Hammer called them - loon pants was it? I mean, really. I know it is important to have all the right equipment (no homo) but this wasn’t sensible gym wear, or something comfy you might throw on following an aqua aerobics (libra) session or a carrot juice at Pineapple. Or is that a pineapple juice at Carrot? And secondly, and the real source of my most painful and ongoing angst, was the stage school Johnnies talking as if they were fetched up in the hood.
Rickmansworth isn’t quite the harshlands of deepest Peckham and there isn’t really any need to pretend you were born in the projects if actually your labels are ‘bay window by Acacia Avenue’ and ‘jazz hands by Italia Conti*’.
Then there was diversity on the Pop Factor, and everyone and everything was suddenly going urban. I’m sure at one point I even saw that Mr David Cameroon with the label on his academic gown still showing and him not tying up the laces on his Church and Co’s.
Now, I’ve lived in South London longer than Molly Parkin’s been wearing those hats and I’ve had drinking sessions with Glaswegians (in fact I’ve had drinking sessions with most people), so of course I can understand what everyone is saying urban or cut glass, but I must say I was challenged the other night.
The occasion was a social viewing of Attack of the Block (DVD). Now I’m not going to get into a long discussion about Anti Heroes or my position on their celebration in drama or real life, or the social consequences of children growing up in poverty and neglect - I’ll leave that for the grownups. But what I will just say, whilst I’ve got you, is that I do wish there had been subtitles. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed the film; I’m always very warm towards anything set in London, and I know the neighbourhood featured very well. But I had barely a clue what anyone was saying. Luckily it didn’t really have a detrimental effect/affect on my viewing enjoyment or my understanding of the wider plot; it was mostly skunk and aliens anyway. But it did rather mean that I missed some of the finer points of the character and relationship development, and couldn't always catch everyone’s moniker or what they were having for their tea.
So I piped up to my hosts, for I wasn’t viewing alone.
I said “I have absolutely no idea what these young people are saying”.
And the retort?
Well let’s just say I was told off for being too middle class.
I said ARE YOU NEW HERE?
*other stage schools are available