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Come On In My Kitchen (part seven)

March 23, 2011

‘Oh, I thought it was your todger that was trapped’, Constable Grimbold remarked on witnessing Delroy’s spot of bother first-hand. Delroy had a right mork on and declined to reply.

Grimbold took the train seat next to Delroy, just like an old pal. Delroy winced in an unfriendly fashion. By habit he was impolite to lawyers and policemen.

Had he been working with a partner, Grimbold might have fancied a bit of the old Good Cop / Bad Cop fun and games. As things stood, he was stuck in the role of Crap Cop. He told Delroy that he’d just need to take down a few details (though he hadn’t even a pen, the wanker) and then we’d see about getting this little circumstance solved so we could all get to where we’re trying to go.

‘Piss off, Plod’, said Delroy. Grimbold took the remark in good nature and grimaced like a sock puppet. It was supposed to be a smile.

Oh, so he smiles does he? Just remember that the cheerful jingles you hear on the adverts on your jolly television were all recorded by some character in a bedroom feeling incredibly ashamed of what he’s up to. It’s to be hoped so, anyway.

Grimbold, who had often been ashamed of what he’d been up to in his bedroom, conjured a packet of Monster Munch from his coat pocket. This livened up the picture considerably.

He offered Delroy a Monster Munch and Delroy, like a donkey that’s gradually learning to love again, accepted one with a reluctant hand.

His father came to England in the 50s. He worked in the car plant in Coventry but by night he was a calypso singer known as King Cant. He made a record or two that sold well enough – his big hit was a calypso about how long the queues at his local post office were since a neighbouring post office closed down and the local one had to serve almost twice the number of customers. Of course he had the situation down much snappier than that on the record.

You’ll hear different stories about how this King Cant got his name. Some say that when he’d been on the drink he would moralize at length about not very much – he was descended from a disgraced Anglican minister in Trinidad, and sermon-giving was in his blood. It was said that he’d be up on his feet in the pubs speaking a lot of cant – and that his less successful records were marred by this tendency also.

Others insist that ‘Cant’ is really ‘Can’t’, and that Delroy’s dad came to be called King Can’t by his friend since he tended – the mornings after his drinking, mostly – to be a total misery, full of negative feelings about life’s daily challenges. His boss would ask him to hurry over with a new set of parts. ‘Boss, I can’t’, he’d whimper.

As a matter of fact, King Cant was named when he was still a schoolboy at a church school near Port-of-Spain. The teachers were giving the kids plenty of English history, providing them with a full and proper sense of the mother country and all its bewildering comings and goings. Handed a brutalised old history primer to work with, Delroy’s dad was told to give a report about an English king of his own choosing. He was a bright boy and the only obstacle to his completing this simple assignment was a dash of what’s now known as dyslexia. So he stood there in front of his class, in front of his teacher – at public speaking he was a smasher – and delivered a meticulously-researched account of one King Cunt attempting to halt the tides of the ocean. His delighted classmates applied the name to him immediately and it was only in his adulthood, when he began releasing records, that the name was cleaned up for public broadcasting.

And if you believe all of that, you must be as silly as you look.

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