Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Night I Swapped Underwear With Johnny Rotten

   It’s 1985* and I’m standing at the far end of Moorgate tube station platform on my way to visit an ailing aunt (who turned out later to be completely unrelated to me).

* Not now — this is a diary post, not a time slip.

   It’s late, and drunks gather to lick the tiled walls in the hope of finding small traces of alcohol in the condensed breath smeared between the advertising hoardings.

   “Pray the next train will come soon,” I whisper.  “I have no desire to be turned over and sucked by ruffians whose bizarre booze detection powers might uncover my lunchtime consumption of a modest bottle of Marston’s Thrusting Beaver.”

   That’s when Johnny Rotten appeared, swinging a theatrical cutlass.

   I stood my ground, fearing maybe an outburst of sniggers at most, but Rotten’s blatant swagger was more than enough for the drunks and they shambled away like hyenas fooled by a crimplene antelope.

   In truth, the 70s’ most infamous blaspheming punk icon had done absolutely nothing other than simply exist, yet I knew that if I omitted to thank him in some way, more drunks would descend upon me later in life, swigging from gallon barrels of bad karma.  Problem was, what to say?  It’s hard thanking anyone for something they’re unaware they’ve done, especially when it necessitates making reference to being licked by a bunch of drunks (who  technically never actually licked me anyway).  My only option, it seemed, was to proffer a bland nod in the hope that Rotten would derive some small joy from the sight of a total stranger enjoying his FUCK OFF AND DIE T-shirt.

   Unfortunately, he mistook my nod for a threat — and strode towards me, slashing at the air with his weapon.

   “Are you taking the piss?” 

   With foot in mouth, I shook my head and thought on my feet.  “Do I look like someone who would willingly seek to irritate a man with a cutlass?”

   Rotten’s brow furrowed like custard skin ladled into too small a bowl.  “Yeah.”

   Now I really had to come up with something special.

   “Phew,” I said.  “Then my sex change op  is clearly the success I always dreamed about.”

   “You’’re a woman?” gasped Rotten, rocking back onto his heels.

   “Just been done.”   I ruffled my hair and stuck out my absence of bosom.  “Sorry to have alarmed you.  I hope you no longer feel it necessary to attack me with that weapon of yours.”

   The spiky-haired crooner slipped his cutlass down the leg of his combat trousers and sniffed an apologetic sniff.  “Nah.  The only girls I attack these days are Vivienne Westwood and the Queen.  It’s chivalry, innit?”  He pulled a half-smoked cigar from his trouser pocket and sparked up.  “It ain’t a real sword anyways.  Just been filming a new video.”

   Distracted by his semi-stogie, Rotten was clearly oblivious to the blood spurting from his groin.

    “Are you sure that’s not a real sword?”  I said.

   Rotten laughed.  “Can’t beat a bit of fake blood, can yer?  Christ, we’ve had some fun with this bastard!”

   Now I looked closer, I saw the sword was, indeed, fake.  I made to laugh along with Rotten, but his face grew suddenly dark.  “What’s wrong, Johnny?”

   “Fuckin' fake blood all over my Y fronts!”  He beat wildly at his groin.  “I’ve got a date with Selina Scott in half a fuckin' hour — I can’t fuckin' go like this!”

   “You can wear mine if you like,” I said.  “Let’s swap.”

   Rotten’s head shot back.  “I ain’t wearing no frilly knickers.  I’m a punk, not a flamin' ponce.”

   “Don’t worry,” I said.  “I’m still wearing what I had on before I got the chop.”

   “It’s a deal,” said Rotten, checking his watch.  “You sure you’ll be all right with my bleeders?”

   “Considering I’ve just had my willy hacked off, blood-drenched underwear shouldn’t look too out of place on me.”

   We turned our backs on one another and got undressed, my sex change conceit sparing blushes all round.  When we were done, Rotten pulled up his combat trousers and spun on his heels.  “How do I look?”

   “Exactly as before,” I replied.  “That’s how it works with underwear.  But if it helps, I’m sure if you get to strip down in front of Selina, she’ll be wowzered.”

   “Hope so,” said Rotten, dashing for the train.  “I’ve had the hots for her ever since she interviewed me on Breakfast Time.”

   “When you told her to go and screw herself, along with Mrs Thatcher and ‘the law’?”

   “Yeah.  Great chat up line, that one.  Ta for the underwear, mate."

   And with that, the future pretend butter promoter waved his sword and bounded onto the train.

 Johnny Rotten: Lingerie in the UK


Peter Dudley said...

I'm sure we can all relate to this. It's a universal experience, isn't it?

Whirlochre said...

It certainly was that night.

fairyhedgehog said...

I'm speechless!

Donna Hole said...

Uhhm; well, that was weird . .


Whirlochre said...

The sad part about all of this is that JR never hitched up with SS.

Personally, I blame myself.