Idle Eye 125 : The Sos Age

In days of old, when knights were bold
And Bowyers sausages stood the test
I’m glad to say that still today
That Bowyers sausages are the best

This curious little rhyme was drummed into my subconscious relentlessly by my late stepfather pretty much every weekend in the 1970s. Partially to whip up a kind of inter-family bonhomie, as we would chant the thing together in the car on the way to the shops, but mainly because he was the chairman of Bowyers sausages, cynically utilising a primitive form of subliminal advertising for his own ends. I would be lying if I told you I didn’t join in with gusto, but even then I could spot the flaws:

Thrust instantly into a medieval context, the reader is presented with a given that all knights back then were actually bold, as opposed to the more likely premise that they were shit-scared, metal-clad servants of whichever fanatical despot that happened to own the land upon which they lived. Next, there is the contextual leap we are expected to take, in which the Bowyers sausage is inexplicably time-travelled to the period in order to stand a test. Exactly what test is not made clear, probably for reasons of economy, but already we are none the wiser and hunting for clues. 

There are none, for the second half has no correlation whatsoever with the first. For starters, the introduction of the possessive noun only serves to confuse, and the whiplash suffered from being thrown back into the present weakens us so conclusively, we are unable to challenge the outlandish supposition that the Bowyers sausage knocks spots off the competition. Consequently we take it for granted, bereft of any insight as to who the narrator may or may not be. These four lines are, at once, a travesty of continuity, credibility and impartiality. I am eleven years old.

Obviously, I didn’t let on in the car. I knew how ruthlessly I was being exploited yet somehow I was complicit. How could I tell a man fifty years my senior that his grasp of language was at best rudimentary, particularly as I had not yet received my pocket money? So I let it lie. To the point where I taught the very same to the equally exploited workers of a slaughterhouse in which I worked over the summer of 1980. And they loved it too.

I kept shtum for ages when I became a vegetarian. It would have made a mockery of all the ideals we held so high as a family which were built on the foundations of the very thing I had so vehemently rejected. And besides, I wanted Bill Newton-Clare to meet his maker without doubt, which he almost certainly did. But not before leaving us another salient reminder of the mark he made when he was around:

Q:   What came before the Ice Age?
A:   The Sos Age

5 thoughts on “Idle Eye 125 : The Sos Age

  1. lol. brilliant 😀

    we used to do this odd thing in the car on the way to my Nan’s… you know motorway bridges ? well we would start making a noise immediately upon passing under one. it would begin quietly:

    “wuuuuuuuuuuuu”… and this would build and build, reaching a cresendo as we approached the next bridge… “WUUUUUUUUU”….as we went under the bridge it would reach a climax “WOOPEEEEE !!!”

    we did this all the way to my Nans, many times. ive a wonder my parents didnt throttle us.

  2. i am too drunk to read this again, but i would like to add the further comment that.

    1. i bought good quality sausages at lidls yesterday and

    2. die antwoords first album which i just bought is called SOS and is really bloody awesome, even better than pajamas, which i almost certainly cant be bothered to buy, but i htink i have some from avon arriving soon which are black silk befitting my position as lord of all ❤

  3. HAHA the sos age… this put a great big smile on my face!!

    I always remember Grandpa when I have a good sausage (only free range may I add) I can just imagine him chanting this tune away! His pigs still live on at home, the whole gang of them!

    Great post Doug! xx

  4. Bill Newton-Clare made my 10 years old self so excited and ever so slightly scared when he took me for a spin in his wonderful Aston Martin (I thought only 007 drove such machines) along the Wingfield straight before showing my mum how properly to cook (Bowyers) sausages: without pricking!

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