The evenings of my youth smelt of Jazz aftershave and tasted of Jack Daniels poured over chinkles of ice. Nothing much mattered except good lipstick, mascara, big hair and reciprocated urges. Thursdays officially marked the beginning of the weekend, when my friend Gina and I would see if we could club solidly for three nights in a row. I always think of Gina as my sophisticated side-kick – she really could suck the crème from an egg without smearing her lipstick. She always looked stunning in Miss Selfridge black lycra mini dresses and six-inch stilettos, whereas I preferred tight belted baggy trousers from Top Shop and ballerina pumps; she liked to pose, and I liked to dance. We were a good team, she could immediately attract and I would do the chatting. We never used to eat before going out, perhaps we’d share extra strong mints and a squirt of Goldspot spray in the back of the cab before we arrived at the club, but we’d usually be too hyped to eat food.

Anyhow, one night Gina had been force-fed a curry before coming out and she said that her stomach felt a bit grumbly but reckoned she’d feel better after a drink… so she drank… half a bottle of Piper Heidsieck Champagne, four glasses of house white, and two Crème de menthes [looks like washing up liquid, but pretty with a pink cocktail umbrella]. We left the club at about 2am and there were no cabs left, but I never minded walking home, I liked to burn off the buzz. Half way home and Gina began to complain that she needed the loo really badly. She was desperate. Busting. So although it meant taking a short-cut through a really dodgy estate, I said we could probably use the loos on the platform at the railway station. By the time we got there I also wanted to go, and being faster on foot than she, I dashed into the only working cubicle. Big mistake. When I came out something terrible had happened. On platform 2 of the railway station there was a perfectly round cow-pat. Still steaming. Very odd because we were in town. And Gina must have been knocked over by the cow because she was crouching on the floor staggering to get up….
Oh happy days. No CCTV back then. Only the station manager to contend with.

First published on The Scarlet Blue Archive, 13th August 2009

40 thoughts on “Respectable

  1. Mel & Kim’s dance routine to Respectable always looked so complicated! I wonder if Gina had a complicated routine going on before that cow hit her?

    Fab pic. Fab story. And fab vid! Thank you!

    • Gina must have done some swift manoeuvring, Mr Divine, she was lucky she wasn’t trampled to death…. we still don’t know what happened to the cow, it must have jumped on the milk train to London.

  2. It’s a pity we didn’t have the technology back then, otherwise you could have filmed Gina’s performance on platform 2 and put her on the internet, she could have been a Youtube sensation, alongside that woman who ‘dropped litter’ in B&M Bargains.

    Were you playing Tom Hark by The Pirahnas in the pic?

    • Thank you, Ms Carte! That was fun to watch…. we worked up to playing stuff like that…. we were probably playing Nellie the Elephant or some such at that stage.
      It’s a good job social media didn’t exist back then. We were social enough as it was.

  3. [off-topic. sorry.]

    I just saw a TV program about the Jaffa Cake factory. Offhand, orange sponge cake and chocolate sounds wonderful. Are those personally endorsed at Chez Blue or am I being gullible yet again?

      • You made me aware of Jaffa Cakes, and how to produce them, and I’m still not sure if I ever had one – I doubt. Dunking is a totally new perspective,

      • I dunk as much as I can, Mr Mags… dunk and suck… I am in training for not having any teeth. I don’t know why this crossed my mind, possible because losing all my teeth is one of my worst fears.

    • It’s a sorry tale, Mr Ducks! I laughed so hard I nearly fell on the tracks. Appalling behaviour. The Station Manager did clock us on the way out, Gina didn’t use the train to get to work, but I did, and I got a bit of a ‘look’ from him on the following Monday evening. I looked at my feet, waved my train pass at him, and shuffled passed as fast as I could.

  4. Please note, I am now officially on a sulk. A MAJOR SULK. Apparently yesterday was the hottest day in the UK, but not in Devon. As news readers blathered on about how to stay cool in a heatwave I was listening to the torrential rain hammering on my conservatory roof. I did not see any sun yesterday… and it is still raining.
    Anyhow, I am away now to finish my sulk… and Mr Mags – it’s in the kitchen, first shelf on the left, just so you know.

  5. this is a repost? It’s a great story. I imagine the early morning commuters had to side step that nasty surprise patty. So the sax is one of your many talents?

  6. Please send your rain this way, it’ll save me watering.

    It’s funny isn’t it how scent puts us straight into the time. For me it was my teenage brother alternating between Brut and Old Spice.

    More tales of the Adventures of Scarlet and Gina. And those cheeky cows eh? They get everywhere.

    • Yay, Ms Rose! I found the sun! Brut and Old Spice and Henry Cooper and Kevin Keegan. The Old Spice advert featured the surfer, didn’t it?
      Yes, we were a couple of cheeky cows!!

  7. First shelf on the left … help me please, MsScarlet, what is there ? The Creme de Menthe, the green thing nobody can explain, the umbrella ? I’m just a bloke …

    Don’t sulk lovely Scarlet ! A major sulk, after all – we definitely need whatever is on the first shelf on the left !

    • It was a secret message, Mr Mags, just in case something untoward happened to me whilst I was away… it was a secret that would unlock the mysteries of Mogwash – I need to know that the Mogwash paperwork ends up with someone who has the wherewithal to dig up a carpark. I’m back now, so no matter 🙂

  8. Just the other day I accidentally used the French word for “cow pat” which is “bouse” instead of the French word for “nozzle” which is “buse.”

    Confused looks all ’round. But you can see how that could happen.

    • PPffffffffftttttttt!!!!! Do you know how much dental implants cost???? I will keep practicing my dunk and suck technique, thank you very much!

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