Damien on… The “Fabulous” Fifties
Ah, the Fifties. Life was SIMPLER then. You could jump on a bus at the traffic lights – and they ran FASTER, thanks to the driver not having to collect FARES at each stop.
And you could smoke just about ANYWHERE – except libraries, museums, churches, art galleries and theatres (but no-one went THERE). Even NON-smokers always kept ashtrays and cigarettes for GUESTS – instead of sending you into the garden, like they do now.
People were more RELAXED. In those days, if you could STAND, you could DRIVE – forget blood/alcohol limits. And if you interfered with a boy’s shorts, people didn’t make the FUSS they do now – “Oh, that’s just Uncle Norman’s WAY.”
Plus there was none of that pill nonsense – you used a rubber johnny when you had sex. So personal hygiene wasn’t an issue either. Which was just as well, given only the rich had indoor bathrooms.
And you didn’t have to worry about whether you could LAUGH at a joke, like you do now. Casual racism was only a bit of fun and darkies were good sports mostly. And women too.
Of course, you had to be TOUGH to survive to adulthood. None of that mamby-pamby synthetic clothing and bed-clothes. Again, only the RICH had central heating, while YOU had to make do with cotton and wool. Half a ton of which on your bed made breathing a CHALLENGE, as you watched the clouds of condensation rise upwards.
Then there was the MUSIC. Oh, not that Rock ‘N’ Roll stuff – that was just for the greasers who roared up and down the A1 on their motorbikes (there were no SPEED LIMITS then) and listened to it on transport cafe jukeboxes. No, the BBC played Miki and Griff, Alma Cogan and Mantovani – PROPER music. Not that RACE crap.
And you didn’t get LOONIES (you could CALL them that in those days) walking the streets. Weirdos, eccentrics, single mothers and the like were banged up where they BELONGED – in ASYLUMS. And poofs were JAILED – although locking up a shirt-lifter with six hundred men was perhaps not thinking it through.
Of course, there WAS always the risk of nuclear annihilation. But just duck under a table and you’d be fine – and avoid drinking milk for a couple of years.
Also, murderers got what they DESERVED – they got HUNG. And most of them were guilty, too.
Ah, yes – the Fabulous Fifties. They’re not coming back…