Wednesday, 15 October 2008

A taste of horror more violent and sick than anything you can imagine

I was going to call this post Slaying Demons (2), following on from this one. I decided not to because, in the wake of the harrowing experience I'm about to recount, demons have been faced but not slain. Also - and crucially - I thought it better to go with a far less dramatic, less over-the-top kind of title.

An obsessive bloggy-stalker might have seen many a comment of mine on other people's blogs, relating to children's tv programmes, in particular those from my own childhood. Then again an obsessive bloggy-stalker might have printed out those comments and made some sort of shrine, or fashioned them into speech-bubbles and put them on little home-made action figures and played weird games with them.

Anyway, I'm getting off the point slightly.

I had a conversation at work which was a kind of distillation of many of the aforementioned comments - for example, how Mr Benn was (as far as I'm concerned anyway) a metaphor for illicit substances. You know: bloke goes to see a man in a shop, gets to "try on a costume," then spends a whole afternoon having weird and wonderful adventures in strange lands.

Or how incredibly poignant and sad Bagpuss was, and how I don't think I could watch it now for those reasons, and how it served to gently introduce to children the concepts of loss and grief (so someone told me anyway, but it has a resonance).

And so on and so forth.

My colleagues listened and shared their own reminiscences, and then I found myself thinking about it. That programme.

That horrible, dark, scary, squalid, nasty little programme - full of shadows and evil intent. I shuddered.

Did any of you ever watch Pipkins, I asked.

Shit, I'd let the cat out of the bag now. I would have to go through with it.

Pipkins? Can't remember, what was it like?

How to describe it? It was a horrible, dark, scary, squalid, nasty little programme - full of shadows and evil intent, I replied.

Blank looks. No, don't think so.

I went on to describe how it used to scare the shit out of me, how it was all these seedy, malevolent creatures who lived in this shadowy attic, and everything they did was just dark and hellish. Yet I would watch it every week, and it would leave me feeling like I'd had a brush with something evil.

Still blank looks, indeed a furrowed brow hither and thither too. There was one thing for it. I went on the net and found a clip.

It was easier to watch, knowing my colleagues were there with me. A brush with something evil shared, is a brush with something evil halved (or something). They watched, they squirmed, and they understood.

Days later, they're still talking about it - and I'm still shuddering.


Merkin said...

Well, you certainly put the shits up me at the beginning.

DJ Kirkby said...

Well I turned the vid off as soon as that creature popped up. Didn't have the sound on but it looked scary to me. You may have been joking but I am not risking it :)

Janette Jones said...

But I loved Pipkins!! Topoff the Monkey and Hartley the Hare - it wasn't until I saw it again recently that I realised what flea bitten puppets they were! How can you be scared of that? Now the guy from Fingerbob scares me or the child catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and I have to admit Darleks still scare me. Next you are going to tell me you were scared of the Double Deckers!! PS I once worked with someone who thought the Magic Roundabout had hidden meanings....
PPS Another comment - my reputation will be in tatters...

Queen Vixen said...

Yes I remember it. There was a brummy pig in it. It was hellish and that clip was particularly scary. Shudder.

Fire Byrd said...

I'm too old to remember it, but there was a puppet show on when I was a child that featured a king, and a lord high chamberlin, a wizard and a little black cat called Merlin, that scared me. But I can't remember the name of it.

zola a social thing said...

Well Trousers :-
" Don't let your sword slip through your hand,
We have built Bill and Ben again,
including Little Weed,in,
Flower Pot Land.

trousers said...

Only at the beginning merk? Either you're made of sterner stuff, or you didn't go through with it and click on the link ;-)

Fair enough deej - well there may be just a teensy weensy little bit of exaggeration in the post, but what I'm not joking about is that I do find Pipkins genuinely unsettling. So I don't blame you!

My word, janette, how on earth could you love it? I don't think any other kid's programme scared me, not even Double Deckers. But there's a big difference between not being scared by something and actually loving it! I dunno, each to their own... :)

qv, noooooooooooooooooo not the pig! I'd forgotten all about the pig!

I don't know the one you're referring to, fb, but it sounds like it had a similar effect. Would it perturbe you - or bring about a reminder of those feelings - if you watched it now? Because as mentioned above, I still do really find something very unsettling about Pipkins.

zola, I find your comment oddly relaxing. Should I be concerned?

Butch Boo said...

I ADORED the Pipkins!! There was Johnny (first black man to lead in a childrens' prog).

The excellent wicked and evil Hartley Hare! The fantastic Topoff the monkey on the cupboard. Pig from Birmingham, Tortoise and sometimes Octavia the Ostrich would make a guest appearance....

bloody brilliant!! Great story lines too!!

Anyone remember Hectors' House and HUmprey the cushion??? Now there is scary- I was petrified of cushions for years!


Merkin said...

Well, yes, only at the beginning - at least till I realised your tongue was firmly in your cheek.

My lack of understanding is not unusual in these matters.

I recently sent what I thought was a 'hoot' to a friend of mine from Church 30+ years ago.

However, he saw it differently :

'WHY? Why did you send me the most god-awful god-squad squat-shit suppressed gay drivel? It showed vastly less ability than a nursery nativity play, without the cute costumes….'

When I looked at it again, I understood what he meant (he has recently 'come out')

PS if you do click the link, do check out some of the other versions of what appears to be a cult classic in the making.

Leigh said...

Speaking as one who still finds herself leaving the room when the Daleks come on, you have my every sympathy!

p.s. there's an award for you over at my blog.

Mama Cass on heat said...

It's alright Ma
I'm only dreaming.

trousers said...

Hello and welcome, butch boo. I'm sorry, it's just beyond me how anyone could like it - I clicked on the link I included, and there was Hartley Hare. After mere seconds, I had to switch it off, again with a shudder.

But as I said above, each to their own :-)

merk, I'll follow that link in due course - intriguing though, I hope it didn't ruin the friendship?

leigh, thank you so much! I'll be over to collect it very soon. Very kind of you!

Oh, and I never left the room when the Daleks came on - as a child, I was one to hide behind the settee though.

mama cass on heat, my Finnish friend, that is truly a frightening prospect.

Jude said...

I am so with you on Bagpuss. It was utterly tragic and made me nostalgic for what had passed. Even though I was only about 6.

Nell said...

THE scariest thing I've seen in my life was ET. I was about 6 at the time, and had nightmares for months afterwards. Still avoid it every time it's on the TV. Just thinking about it... *shudder*

trousers said...

Hello jude, and nice to see you. You've put it very well, what Bagpuss was like. I just can't imagine being able to watch it again (which is a shame), and prefer just to keep the memory.

Hi nell, I'd never have thought ET to be scary, purely because I never found it/him to be so: but thinking about it after reading your comment, then yes I'm sure you weren't the only one to have had that reaction. I was a few years older when I first saw it, which may well have made some difference in that respect.