"Just Say No" I remember the campaign strapline as if it was yesterday, you couldn't go past a billboard or get through an advert break in The Dukes of Hazzard without seeing it. Even Grange Hill got in on the act with some of sort of half-baked song of the same title linking in with the addiction of one it's pupils if my memory isn't fried.
When you're nineteen you're immortal right? The future's way off in the distance and all that matters is now. Glastonbury, Bob Marley may be dead but the Wailers are belting out a beat that just make you sway and bounce man (and you can say man cos' it's c.1984 and you're in a crowd full of rastas), there's an endless sea of dreadlocks and a sweet-smelling blue smoke hanging four feet above the crowd. Every second tent is passing off strychnine laced paper with happy smiley faces as LSD and you're immortal right?
The sun sneaks above the distant horizon to find you waiting for it, high on the hill, somewhere in the distance a radio crackles into life "She took me in and gave me breakfast... and she said... Do you come from a land down under?"
You hear about flashbacks, I thought it was all a load of tosh until tonight. That's all I can credit the three and a half minutes of madness too. With the hour on and dishes done I slipped out for a quick look at Bothal. Scope up it looked pretty quiet, maybe it was the black car that went past; window down I just caught a few bars "...because I come from the land of plenty.."
Look back through the scope and it went a little blurry and then suddenly I'm in Queensland or Sydney bloody Harbour watching this.
Anyway I got straight on the phone to a mate to tell him about this strange experience and I'm trying to have a sensible conversation about how spanking the above duck is and he really should call in and see it even if it has just jumped the fence when he says he can't get down as he's trimming his toenails. At this point I'm looking at the phone in disbelief when that black car comes past again "you better run, you better take cover....." 50 yards down the road car screams to a halt driver jumps out and opens the boot, lifts a large object out and throws it over the fence and I'm thinking "Bastard fly-tippers" when I notice that object is flapping out of the corner of my eye.
Car screams off so I drove down and looked over the hedge and there sat on the edge of the pool is one of those big Mallard x Duclair hybrid thingys. Quacking like mad this beast takes one look me at me and you can see it's thinking "FEED ME" and it's looking for a way back through the fence. I left before the duck spoke. I'm now off to lie down.