Music Played12 items
Donna Summer Love's Unkind
Best Of Donna Summer, Warner Bros.
Jessie J Price Tag
(CD Single), Lava Records, 1
(CD Single), A&M
Alexander O'Neal Criticize
Hits Album 7 (Various Artists), Hits, 9
Marvin Gaye Can I Get A Witness
The Very Best Of Marvin Gaye, Motown
Ron Sexsmith Believe It When I See It
(CD Single), Cooking Vinyl, 1
The Bobby Fuller Four I Fought The Law
Acuff-Rose Opryland Music: 50th Anniv, Acuff-Rose Opryland
Kid Creole and the Coconuts Annie I'm Not Your Daddy
Fantastic 80's Disc 2 (Various Artis, Columbia
R. Dean Taylor Indiana Wants Me
Super Hits Of The 70's (Various Artis, Rhino
Belle and Sebastian I Want The World To Stop
(CD Single), Rough Trade, 1
The Pierces You'll Be Mine
(CD Single), Polydor, 1
Ella Fitzgerald Let's Face The Music And Dance
Essential Ella, Verve
Confession: Any Old Iron
Dearest Drivetime compassion crew.
I beg absolution for my misdemeanor. I have lived with the guilt for years and need to confess.
My sorry tale is set in 1982 in the halls of residence of a large
northern redbrick university. I was a tall, gangly callow youth of 19 with a liking for the new-romantic music of Ultravox, Soft Cell and Spandau Ballet.
The highlight of the week in the halls of residence was the "Bop" in
the large hall above the bar where we would dance the night away to
Tainted Love, Come on Eileen and To Cut a Long Story Short.
In that part of the country and in that moment of time the fashion for
the male youth on the pull was tight trousers, winkle-picker shoes and antique "grandad shirts", the type with removable collars and acres of white crisp (and thick) pure cotton (don't worry, this does have a bearing on the story!).
As it was the end of the academic year and the final Bop before
leaving the halls for good, I decided to push the boat out and spend
some money on the real thing; a 1930's grandad shirt at least 3 sizes
too big for me and the height of fashion.
Of course a lot of effort went into looking good, trendy and stylish
which, in my case, was getting my BIG shirt really white and crisp.
Many long minutes were spent washing the shirt, rinsing it and hanging it up to dry.
Now antique cotton is not known for its drip dry and crease free
washing so what I ended up with was a large and very creased mass of
thick cotton. Not a good look. My mother had given me an iron when I left for uni in the vain hope that I would be smart and a credit to my community. However, as you can imagine, the iron had spent all its university life unused at the back of my cupboard.
We had an ironing board in our flat which I set up in the common room and got the iron out. Not knowing much about irons I didn't appreciate that water was needed to make it steam and that the Cotton setting on an iron with no water in it is about as hot as the surface of the sun.
Having been in the cupboard for a few months the normally shiny
surface of the iron was looking a bit dull and grubby so, not wanting
to get marks on my crisp white shirt, I thought I would clean it.
Looking round I couldn't see any cloths but looking down I noticed the
nice clean carpet. Now, being a student flat, the carpet in the common
room was made up of hard wearing nylon carpet squares, glued to the
floor. "A-ha", I thought, "carpet is just a big sheet of material that will
clean my iron without me having to find a cloth" so I bent down and
went to rub the face of the now scorching hot iron on the carpet to clean it.
I soon discovered that piping hot metal plates and nylon do not mix; and instead of wiping smoothly and cleanly along the carpet, the iron stuck in one place and a plume of acrid black smoke wafted up into my face!
Until that point, I hadn't noticed the smoke detector in the common
room directly above my head, so the ear piercing sound of fire bells came as a bit of a shock. I pulled the iron from the carpet leaving a large sticky iron shaped imprint, unplugged the iron, quickly put the ironing board back in the cupboard, moved a sofa over the hole and legged it, dropping the still smoking iron in a bin on the way out.
Dearest collective, I would ask for forgiveness for the masses of
students who had to muster outside in the rain for half an hour before
the all-clear and for the University, who did not find the now rock-hard iron shaped patch of carpet until well into the next
academic year, when the unfortunate housemates a year below me were blamed and, despite a lot of protest, had their month’s deposit docked for the damage they had supposedly caused.
Yours, in hope of absolution.