Strings, very much attached


Brains never had NO string coming out of his torso.

This may, on the face of it, appear tautological; I was at the gym (I go for the provision of latte and selection of back copies of Woman’s Realm) and on the TV, facing the cross-dresser (or whatever the machine is called), was a new, horrifically-updated Thunderbirds.  And Brains had no strings!

I was brought up on a TV diet of Gerry & Sylvia Anderson puppets. As a second year at Bec Grammar, several of the fourth formers called me “Joe 90” – if only I’d had magic glasses, like my ostensible doppelgänger, I could have stunned them as if they were Russian spies trying to kidnap a leading British optician.

As a younger kid, pre-Supercar, Stingray and Thunderbirds (I’m too young to remember Torchy the Battery Boy) I would (literally) watch Watch with Mother with mother.  I have a theory that childrens’ eyes cannot discern string until well into adolescence.   Bill, Ben and Little Weed would have been inanimate objects if it wasn’t for the wonder of string (a girl who lived in Du Cane Court with me wasn’t allowed to watch it, lest it affected her diction – because so many people from Balham & Tooting have gone on to be members of the Royal Family!).  Without string no one from the Tracy family would have been able to rescue anyone locally, let alone internationally.

This was an age of innocence, although this didn’t stop my Guinness-fuelled mother trying to suggest a ménage-à-trois between Spotty Dog, Mrs Scrubbit and Mr Woodentop!  Barbara Woodhouse would have wanted that banned.

Being an advertising man, I was always surprised they never used Captain Black and Captain Scarlet in Oli of Ulay ads – showing before and after; the Mysterons clearly worked Captain Black very hard.

I think string should make a come-back on TV and would welcome Britain’s Got String; Ant ‘n’ Dec’s Saturday Night String and String Come Dancing.

And Muffin the Mule is finally legalised.

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