11 Oct 2015

And Then Trigger Words….

Okay, your first mission, should you wish to accept said mission, is to read the two comments from Caratacus below my last post as this is a post for Caratacus. Both of them paint wonderful pictures of the farmer and the gillie. Caratacus states, "I've been thinking about the various lessons I received for the remainder of the day..." However, it worked in a slightly different direction for me and the trigger was 'Dubbin'. Mmmm. I can see the lights dimming all over the Web-a-Net.

Then along came A K Haart with this post, a couple of lines of which I've glued here as a tantalising taster:

You’ll wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent... Ich bin ein Berliner...

Okay, looks like the last of the lights have gone out so I'd better explain for the last man standing what I'm typing about.

Dubbin was a 'forgotten word' and reading it hit me like a brick between the eyes and I was back so far in time we didn't even have a TV. Can you imagine that?

Junior school. Dubbin on boots ready for the footy match come Saturday. Remember that? Remember the boots? Today they'd probably be classified as lethal weapons. Laces from cast-iron re-enforced toecaps to well above ankle and studs that could destroy a shin. Even through the cardboard shin pads you stuffed down your socks. If you could afford them.

On the coach, going to play another school, not being the best player, I always hoped I'd play okay and not so badly that I'd be dropped, the only one dropped, from the team for the next match in favour of that fat kid in class 4-D. Really, how embarrassing would that be?

During the first ten minutes of play the Captain would ascertain the opponent most likely to score goals. This information was passed to the backs. My job, being one of a pair of fullbacks, was to inflict any damage possible to the potential scorers legs thus reducing his ability to swan about with the ball with impunity. Sadly, this scenario was also playing out, in reverse, down the other end of the pitch.

Our last ball-stopper was, of course, the goalkeeper. A kid selected more for his size and thus his ability to fill the maximum space between the goalposts without having to move. They were also, in the main, dumber 'un a rock and thus didn't seem to give a no-nevermind when an orb of saturated, stitched and laced leather of some considerable weight came hurtling towards their head. "Whoa!! Great save! Hay!! Get up, there's still thirty minutes to go!"

Do the clicky bit here for the classic Playground Football I pinched and posted a little bit after a while ago in 2010. Yes, you've all probably seen it before around the Web but it's well worth a re-visit on a cold Sunday evening. And if it doesn't take you way back and get you chuckling happily, you're way too young and it's past your bedtime.

How about the shoes you smothered in dubbin to keep your feet dry while you scrambled round about the rocks and rock-pools along the seashore? Every inch of you soaking – except your feet –and one slip and those barnacles would remove your skin like a grater strips pee; from a lemon. Foraging for anything of interest but mainly looking for that seaweed that you could pop. This was, of course, way before bubble wrap was invented for popping and the inventor was probably still at school so seaweed was all we had. I wonder, did the fat kid in class 4-D go on to invent bubble wrap?

Or standing in dubbin protected boots on a lonely high moor, covered in all its winter splendour, looking around and just wondering.

So there you go. From a simple post to two wonderfully descriptive comments to the simple word 'dubbin' which has left me in a state of wonderment at our wondrously free-range  past and wondering what happened to all the fun in the world and, more importantly, wondering what became of that fat kid in class 4-D.

Quote;  Jarod Kintz.

“I always wear size 14 boat shoes that are so old they could have been built by Noah.”


A K Haart said...

I've been wondering about dubbin for my walking boots. The stuff I use is water-based and environmentally friendly but doesn't last long. Maybe the manufacturers didn't notice that rain is water-based too.

Mac said...

A K Haart,
The trigger words there, from an advertising and sales perspective, are ‘environmentally friendly’. Does it really have to work as well?