An eccentric Irish hooligan?
, had an unbelievably wonderful sense of humour
and was an eccentric Irish hooligan second to none.It might strike one as strange that he was prone to this inherent streak in all Irishmen
. That is, their inherent ability to be prone to ‘eejitry’?
At it’s best it’s an art form and at it’s worst, is just plain old less than funny, tomfoolery.
He was an accomplished veteran of both, depending on his mood, which changed about as frequently as his ‘eejitry’.
I used to be an avid reader and a(bit of a mimic in my school-days), which sadly passed me by. The thing is despite being a mimic with a sense of humour, I seldom, if ever, laughed out loud. I often found things funny and laughed inside my head. Occasionally though something made me laugh out loud, often with dire consequences.In the light of this, please permit me to lead you on a journey showing you someone who could make me laugh out loud, almost at a whim.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce you to, Spike Milligan, an eccentric Irish hooligan.
Good old Spike
Well I did try and warn you? The trouble with Spike was, he wasn’t ‘birthed’ or ‘reared’ in Ireland. No Sir. He was birthed in India, in the bygone ages of Colonialism (perish the thought), but his Mammy or Pappy, why, one of them was Irish (sometimes spelled Oirish
), and no matter which one it was, the eejitry
was inherent. He got a massive
dose of it fortunately or unfortunately
depending upon which way your wind blows?Which leads us to, here was an Irishman with an English sense of humour. Stranger things could have happened and indeed did. This never sat well with holy Ireland of the time. Akin to being Afrikaans, yet speaking with a la, de, dah, upper crust British accent. Aye, I’ve seen some terrible things in my short life?The long and short of all this, is that the Oirish (Irish), are very quick too claim anyone famous as their own. They are masters of this, after all we didn’t build the whole Atlantic eastern sea coast of America, plus most of Australia and any where else you care to mention, for nothing ye know? So they jumped on Spike all a glee.Little did they know that he provided something more than their usual craic.
As soon as they realised his humour was more British and he loved nothing better than pulling the Mickey out of dear old Paddy. Why the retaliation was swift and brutal and they banned his book.
It does seem nonsensical that this humourous book was ever banned. It just goes to show how touchy people can be. My father in laws Dad used to go out to a friend for dinner, where they used to take turns reading this book to each other in Irish accents. To them this was entertainment of the highest order. I guess everybody’s sense of humour is just different?
Spike, real name Terence, was gifted, it’s as simple as that. He began his career in music as a trumpet player and played for many big bands of the time. His musical career was cut tragically short by the advent of the second World War. Sadly, despite trying his best to resist being ‘called up’, eventually he ran out of ideas and was conscripted.He later penned a series of short stories of his time in the army, from basic training through to his deployment as an artillery man to Africa, to Sicily and other parts besides. Hilariously funny and also partly tragic as befits times of war. Unforgettable characters who this and any other generation, owe, a huge debt of gratitude too.An accomplished artist in his own right, his series of character sketches in his books, whether they be his friends boots, or his new Commanding Officer
, were an absolute delight and part of the fun of all his books. He was also well known after the war for his portrayal in the Goon show
with such celebrated names as Peter Sellers
, Harry Secombe
and Michael Bentine
.Poet, actor and playwright were a few of his many other talents and he also wrote some memorable children books. To have such a talent, what more could any one ask for?
As a young signaller
The German invasion was imminent
Milligan was despatched with orders
From his Commanding officer
To the overall Commanding officer
Written on the back of an old menu,
C. O. peruses it and gives back to Milligan
With the order
“I’ll have the roast beef and three veg.”
Spike signs up for a driving course
Instructor begins the course with;
“This vehicle is like a human being,
It has got to be feed.”
Scratches nose whilst looking at notes written on his palm,
“It has got to be feed
Peterol and Hoil.”
Who wouldn’t laugh?
No wonder we beat the Germans?
Into each life there falls a bit of sadness? Despite all of his many talents Spike (Terence) was a manic depressive.
It hardly seems plausible, given his sense of humour and his many talents? But there it was and he had at least ten mental breakdowns. In today’s politically correct world, this is now known as ‘bipolar disorder’
and I often wonder if he who was the exact opposite of this (politically correct), thought? We’ll never know as he has sadly passed.Nevertheless, he never tried to hide this and did his best to try and highlight this, with his pull as a very famous person. All credit to him.
Now children, they are the best of all. Their open minds and their ability to laugh. Who could be a better proponent of this, than someone who had the ability to make people laugh? He wrote many hilarious children’s books as well and who could do this better than him?I have deliberately chosen Spike Milligan, Firstly, because I’m so sick and tired of political correctness. And secondly, because I know, here was someone who didn’t give two hoots about this? It’s a more than a welcome change.Immortalised by this quote:
“What is success? To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty; To find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; That is to have succeeded.”
Ralph Waldo Emmerson.
It’s just that lately I’ve been undergoing a huge dose of nostalgia. So many great people who are no longer with us, how sad? More importantly, a reflection of lost ages where being politically correct was unheard of and characters were people who called a spade, a spade. Which brings us back to mimicry. Is this a bad thing, is it bullying, is it cruel and the list is almost endless?I’d welcome your views. And more importantly, thanks for all the laughs Spike. I sure miss you.