Friday, 19 June 2009

Mr Toad

1971 - Mr Toad lived in the next street to us. He was a wee old man who I used to see walking slowly up and down the back entry between our two streets. Mr Toad was weird little man who used to both fascinate and scare me. His odd cartoon-like name seemed to suit his demeanour perfectly. He never spoke to anyone and seemed to be in a wee world of his own. I think he was a trauma-victim from World War II.

When Mr Toad came dandering up the entry we would stop our games to let him pass. He would walk past us, lost in a world of his own and quite often we would file in behind him to form a procession with him leading a line of four or five small kids silently impersonating his awkward, hunched-over walk. He would always be oblivious to this bunch of little brats taking the mickey out of him.

Mr Toad would leave the back door of his house open (in the days when you could leave your back door open), and we would often sneak into his back yard to look at the weird plants he grew. His yard was full of the oddest looking plants we had ever seen. I think a lot of them were in fact weeds that he grew in pots. This wee man held much weirdness and we were strangely drawn to it.

I remember last seeing Mr Toad as he walked down the entry as normal. As he passed me I noticed he had his penis out and was peeing as he walked. He seemed oblivious to the fact that a young child was there witnessing this very strange happening. A strange wee man was Mr Toad.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Willie Watt

Willie Watt lived in the next street to ours and in a moment of synchronicity it was named "Watt Street". I don't know why, but Willie always pushed a bicycle with a set of ladders attached to it around the streets. It was his "I'm the guy with the bicycle and the ladders" thing.

Anyway, to us kids the name Willie Watt was much too comical and we had only one option which was to torture the poor old man with songs about how "Willie Watt has no hair...underneath his underwear" and other poetic classics. We would gather as a dirty-kneed choir outside his house and begin our songs about "Willie Watt...."

There was extreme danger in doing what we did for after hearing our taunts Willie Watt would chase us - and he was TERRIFYING. He would be in the craziest, maddest rage as he chased us about the streets shouting things like "I'm going to kill you wee bastards!" If he had caught any one of us I'm convinced he would have actually committed murder, such was the level of frenzied rage he would be in. Being chased by Willie Watt was a case of running for your life. What a buzz. We would do this at least once a week...