Idle Eye 54 : The Real Story of the Blues

Clapham Delta, London 1912

‘Howlin’ Norman Thompson:  Morning, Larry.

‘Lonesome’ Larry:  Morning, Norman.

‘Howlin’ Norman Thompson:  Tram’s late again.

‘Lonesome’ Larry:  I see that.

‘Howlin’ Norman Thompson:  Distressing.

‘Lonesome’ Larry:  Somewhat.

‘Howlin’ Norman Thompson:  There’ll be hell to pay at Fenchurch Street.

‘Lonesome’ Larry:  I fear there will.

‘Howlin’ Norman Thompson:  How’s the mojo?

‘Lonesome’ Larry:  Just fine, Norman, just fine. And yours?

‘Howlin’ Norman Thompson:  Mustn’t grumble, I suppose. Spent the weekend tinkering but she’s really not tickety-boo just yet.

‘Lonesome’ Larry:  Confounded thing. Have you tried new improved Wonderwall from Nibs Industries? A quick squirt and you’re in the pink, apparently.

‘Howlin’ Norman Thompson:  Yes, I saw that on last week’s newsreel. Something along the lines of ‘Who needs twelve bars when one will do?’ Or am I mistaken?

‘Lonesome’ Larry:  The very same, old boy. Seems this Nibs chap is running on one over there in Barnes and doing rather well.

‘Howlin’ Norman Thompson:  Running on one? Whatever do you mean?

‘Lonesome’ Larry:  Why, one chord, of course! All that complicated nonsense from Mississippi: Hell bent on twisting our melon, man. Perhaps we should take a leaf out of this fellow’s book and we’d all have a bit more time to cane the children and patronise the wife.

‘Howlin’ Norman Thompson:  Well, I must say that does sound splendid! I can’t remember when I last gave the eldest a sound thrashing or confined the sow to her quarters.

‘Lonesome’ Larry:  I’d not let Mrs Pankhurst hear that if I were you, old bean.

‘Howlin’ Norman Thompson:  Ha ha ha ha ha ha, ha ha ha ha! Very good, Larry!

‘Lonesome’ Larry:  Yes, I thought so.

‘Fat Mama’ O’Beace appears

‘Howlin’ Norman Thompson:  Uh oh! Here comes trouble.

‘Lonesome’ Larry:  Oh Lordy!

‘Fat Mama’ O’Beace:  You boys a-talkin’ bout me agin?

‘Howlin’ Norman Thompson:  No, Ma’am. We’s just a-waitin’ for dis ole tram.

‘Lonesome’ Larry:  Ain’t dat da truth.

‘Fat Mama’ O’Beace:  Now, I no wanna hear no tale of dissin‘ de twelve bar onna count of Nibs In-Dust-Tree. He da Devil chile, with his one chord WunnaWall an he an his Barnes speshal frens. You stay cleeah, y’unnastan?

‘Howlin’ Norman Thompson:  F’sure, Mrs O’Beace

‘Fat Mama’ O’Beace:  Now, I has a cli-yant me ting in Bal-ham. See y’all.

‘Lonesome’ Larry:  So long, Mama!

‘Howlin’ Norman Thompson:  Don’t go changin’!

FMO’B heads off south

‘Lonesome’ Larry:  Awkward.

‘Howlin’ Norman Thompson:  Rather.

‘Lonesome’ Larry:  Still no sign of that tram.

‘Howlin’ Norman Thompson:  Sadly not.

‘Lonesome’ Larry:  Rotten luck.

‘Howlin’ Norman Thompson:  Larry?

‘Lonesome’ Larry:  Norman.

‘Howlin’ Norman Thompson:  This…Nibs. No chance he could knock up more than one chord, is there?

‘Lonesome’ Larry:  None whatsoever.

‘Howlin’ Norman Thompson:  I rather feared that was the case.

‘Lonesome’ Larry:  I’m afraid it is.

‘Howlin’ Norman Thompson:  Shame.

‘Lonesome’ Larry:  Indeed.

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