Friday, 19 May 2017

TIME FOR ANOTHER 'TEENAGE TALES': HE SHOOK WHILE I SHIVERED...



It was Saturday, March 10th 1973, and me and a
pal, Adam Cowie, were in the Old Village quarter
of our town.  Earlier that morn, I'd bought the 2nd ish of
SHIVER & SHAKE, and was much taken with the free
Spooky Screamer included inside it.  So was Adam.
(Regular readers will know him as 'Billy Liar'.)

We went into a little newsagent's shop, called M.B.
BARR, and I bought some sweets at the main counter,
while Adam looked over the comics on another.  As I was
making my purchase, there was a sudden tearing sound,
which attracted not only my attention, but that of the two
elderly female shopkeepers.  Inwardly, my heart sank,
because I'd guessed what had just happened.

My friend was somehow able to explain away the
sound and the two shopkeepers couldn't notice any-
thing obviously amiss, so I completed my purchase and
we left the shop.  As I suspected, Adam had torn the free
Screamer from the interiors of S&S #2 on the counter -
not something I was pleased about, but there was noth-
ing I could do.  At least he hadn't nicked the actual
comic, which was some consolation to me.

We then went into a centuries old church grave-
yard, whereupon Adam ran about from tombstone to
tombstone, blowing his Screamer and trying to scare a
young couple strolling around, studying the inscriptions.
(Or maybe they were just in there for a bit of 'petting'.) 
What a pillock he was when I think back on it, but I also
can't help smiling at his naivety in believing that his
Spooky Screamer was capable of actually scaring
anyone - even in an ancient graveyard.

So, 'though I was an unwitting (and unwilling)
'accomplice' in the theft of a free gift, whenever I
think back to that day, the memory is a pleasant one.
Shiver & Shake ran for only 83 issues, but it deserved
to last longer, being a great wee comic.  Although I was
only 14 at the time, I was happy to see two characters,
FRANKIE STEIN and GRIMLY FEENDISH, re-
turn from my childhood, where they'd first appear-
ed in WHAM! and SMASH! in the '60s.

Did you buy Shiver & Shake back in the day?
 What are your memories of the comic, chums? 

14 comments:

John Smith said...

In 1973 I was 12 and, unusually I think I do remember this screamer although nothing specific. It was a couple of miles from the village where my parents ran a small corner shop (not a newsagents unfortunately!) to a town that was large enough for a bank etc and every week my dad would drive over to deposit the week's takings. I'd usually be invited along for the ride and was allowed to wander off to explore the local newsagents while he went to the bank. I'd usually have a few pence - enough to buy a comic or two.

One day, after I'd been playing up more than usual, I managed to provoke my Dad to the extent that he grabbed my arm and slapped my backside. This was unheard of! My Dad was emotionally quite distant and never the huggy, touchy-feely type so any kind of physical contact was rare. So, it wasn't painful but I was shocked into silence and withdrew for a while. I know he probably immediately regretted what he'd done (even though I'm pretty sure I deserved it) and later tried to make amends the only way he knew how. He persuaded me to accompany him to town and gave me more cash for extra comics. I remember I must've bought eight or ten and, sitting with the pile of them on my knee, everything else was forgotten. I just wish I had a better memory of the actual comics I bought that day. Shiver & Shake would have been one though.

But I didn't know then, that in just six or seven years, my Dad would be dead. I think about him a lot and wish I'd been able to know him better. I think he was a good man. Years later, when I first saw a therapist, I was asked about my relationship with my Dad and I remember being shocked at how easily, and immediately, I broke down. I think that was the first time I'd cried about his death. I didn't even cry on the day he died, suddenly and unexpectedly. I was just numb and I have been ever since, I think. Although how much of that I learned from his example or how much was a consequence of my 'condition' I'm not really sure.

Thanks Kid.

Kid said...

No, thank YOU for such an interesting and intimate comment, JS. A slap on the backside is probably the mildest form of physical chastisement, but if you weren't accustomed to it, it would naturally be a shock. I once worked for an editor who could sometimes be a bit moody and snap a bit. (I should perhaps point out that there was no slapping backsides involved on either side.) He'd come to me later and apologise, and it wasn't until many years later that I found out the department he worked for was being sold to a dodgy individual, meaning that the working environment he was familiar with would be coming to an end and that there were no cast-iron guarantees for his position. It was only then I realised that he must have been labouring under enormous stress, which probably explained his mood swings. Which is my long-winded, roundabout way of saying that perhaps your dad was under a similar kind of pressure in regard to his shop, and that's why he behaved out of character that day. Thanks for commenting.

John Pitt said...

Well, I WAS just going to comment on the fact that I cannot stand the gits who nick the free gifts out of comics and papers, etc. and that the only Shiver & Shake I bought/read was an odd issue for my younger brother, but then I also got lost in JS's story and a few things spring to mind. Firstly, NEVER feel the need to apologise for your condition and don't be embarrassed or ashamed by it! We are what we are! I have a grandson with asperges and he's a GENIUS!
Secondly, it reminded me of a similar shocked feeling, when an old Uncle, quite out character, suddenly grabbed and shook me! It didn't hurt and even though he was only a little frail old man, it really stunned me and thirdly, it also took me back to a time when I used to help my dad ( who, also, was not a demonstrative man, although he was a big softie inside ) to deliver bundles of the Express & Star to the newsagents after school, whereupon I too would be rewarded with a comic. I would choose TV Tornado for Batman and others in it. Whenever I hear the Monkees' "I'm A Believer" on the radio, it always transports me back to these happy times. It was so pleasing to know, that, in my Dad's old age, he also referred to these times to me as "happy days"!

Kid said...

Now I've got to know - why did your uncle grab and shake you, JP? Had you nicked his free packet of Werther's Originals from his Daily Express?

John Pitt said...

For contradicting him, Kid, but we didn't know that he must have been in a lot of pain from stomach cancer at the time, which must have made him tetchy!

Kid said...

Yeah, I'd imagine stomach cancer would at LEAST make someone tetchy, JP. Can you recall what you disagreed with him about and what age you were? (Nosy buggah, ain't I?)

John Pitt said...

I would have been about 12 and I can recall, but I'll take the fifth on it, as it would not portray him in a very good light! - Let us just say that he was telling porkies!

Kid said...

Not uncle Bill obviously, as he's still alive. If I were a parent, I'm not sure I'd like it if my (or my wife's) siblings (or any other relatives) shook (or even skelped the backside of) any of my kids. Some people don't bother, but I think it lies within the province of parents (and back then, teachers, when it came to the belt, if justified - which it wasn't most of the time) to administer any kind of physical reprimand.

John Pitt said...

You're right, my parents were not happy about the incident, but allowances were made.

Kid said...

Did you get on all right with your uncle after that, JP? Y'know, like it had never happened?

John Pitt said...

Kind of, he tried, but inside I could never forget, or understand. He was actually my Mother's uncle, making him my grand-uncle/great-uncle. Deep down, I couldn't really ever trust him again, even though he had not actually done anything wrong, I knew he could tell a bare-faced lie!

Kid said...

He couldn't have known that you already knew Clark Kent was Superman, so couldn't be your grand/great-uncle, eh? To be even more nosy, JP, did he shake you just because you disputed his assertion (whatever it was), or because he felt you'd done so in an impertinent way? (Even if you didn't.)

John Pitt said...

Just for disageeing with his claim, Kid, - politely!

Kid said...

I see. Well, thanks for indulging my nosiness, JP - I won't ask you any more questions about it.

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