Thursday, 28 July 2011

Chapter eight

The cold breeze slapped against Gladys' skin like a suplex. Her muscles were losing the definition that they'd kept long into her sixties and sometimes she looked like she was wrapped in flash coloured crepe paper, but at seventy five she really didn't give a shit. She could walk, she could run, she could, apparently, kick neo Nazi ass and that was good enough for her.

Windmilling in the park had been a vital part of her routine. She liked to herald the seasons. She liked to curl her toes around grass and, most importantly, she liked to remind the posing masses that old age was coming, and it wouldn't be pretty.

Gladys had been waiting for her eighties. No one liked a scary old lady and the ex wrestler was champing at the bit to scare them all to death. She wanted to gibber and piss herself in public, she wanted to gum sausage rolls in up-market cafes and push into the front of Post Office queues, hearing nothing but sharp intakes of breath in her wake.

One of six girls she'd been raised to be tough in the Alabama countryside, scrapping amongst themselves for dibs on the local boys, wrestling at county fairs for pocket money. She'd graduated with a cauliflower ear and a face that looked like two pugs playfighting. And she'd travelled the world kicking ass until she fell in love and settled down to the quiet life as a lion tamer in England.

It wasn't until after he had died, he who had never managed to break one of her headlocks but had unlaced her boots, rubbed her feet and loved her for exactly who she was, it was after the son of a bitch died that she'd formed the group. In memory of a man who would have made an amazing old git had his crappy heart not got in the way.

SABTY had expanded like a lotto winner's waist line, filling up on grumpy olds from Twickenham to Timbuktu. The Society for the Abolition of the Tyranny of Youth was Gladys' kick in the nuts of the striplings with their overdressed brats in three wheeler buggies; the tottering tramps with plastic hair and the oceans of angry suits who hated giving up their rat piss covered railway seats.

They'd started small, a good grass roots organisation with some old fashioned vandalism. Breaking antique shop mirrors, fleeing justice with displays of senility; holding mid pavement meetings, forcing yummy mummies into the road and blocking roads with the strategic movements of tartan bags on wheels. The WI was shitting itself.

But she'd still enjoyed her solo activities. Windmilling, shuffling, fighting, rescuing younger activists from misadventure involving cake.

The two cake girls were curled up on her sofa under a patchwork blanket, sleeping off the first bit of running that they'd probably done since kindergarten. There wasn't a drop of stamina between the pair of them but, despite being more of a liver and onions gal than a cake one, Gladys liked the cut of their gib. She had visited that park every day for the last year and it was the first act of real generosity that had presented itself before her. They were the first people who had given her faith in young people.

And following yesterday's ruckuss it looked like the newspapers knew something was in the air as well. It looked like a link up between their two organisations could kick start something. Whatever that might be.


  1. Best chapter yet. Also when did the blog get the new background? I usually read in Google Reader so don't get to see it

  2. Thanks very much. Character inspired by the wrestler Gladys "Killem" Gillem, who died last year. She wrestled on the lady wrestlers circuit in the States in the 50's and then calmed down by becoming a lion tamer and falling blissfully in love. She fucking rocked! I want to be her when I grow up. New background appeared after I was bored at lunch a few weeks ago. xxx