06 July 2009

What's in a name?

Chillaxing in front of the TV tonight while Mrsslippy works to keep me in Bombay Sapphire gin and organic limes, I was alerted by the power of Facebook, and the good taste of Mrs Bellus, to a potentially shit a.k.a GREAT horror film on Sky 3.

Black Swarm, starring Robert 'Freddie Kruger' Englund is proper made for TV bile, and therefore great. So far the killer wasps have only been normal sized, but I'm holding out for a huge CGI motherfucker, on really a ropey greenscreen background.

And whilst watching, I'm reminded of another great creature feature from my youth that has left it's imprint on my life.

My blogging name is Slippymark, but nobody really calls me that. I am known to many friends in Cambridge as Slippy, but when creating usernames and logins for other websites (such as my photo pages), my real name was always taken, and Slippy was always too short, so I started using Slippymark for stuff, and found it was always available, so it has become my avatar. Go Google it, apart from the odd Underworld remix by Mark Mendes, it's me all the way down.

Don't search for Mrs Slippy - or at least not from a work computer. That Mr & Mrs Slippy are definitely not us...

But my friends from my formative years in Norwich do not know me as Slippy, and regular readers, or Facebook friends may have noticed, to them I am Rauc, or Homer.

First guess might be that it's something to do with the overweight, imbecilic man-child of the same name, but you'd be wrong. It pre-dates The Simpsons.

Nor is it short for homosexual. I may be a sensitive soul, but I'm too lazy, too poorly groomed, and too attracted to women to bat for that team. Sorry boys.

No, Homer stems from a film from my youth.....

Back in the late 80's, the formidable Cringleford lads were wrenched apart as key player Nick was relocated to Writtle, near Chelmsford.

To support him in his exile, Stoxie and I would go down on occasional weekends, and spend our days farting on his brothers head, playing tunnelball, and watching films on VHS.

In the days before 2 million channels of fuck all, and the endless possibilities of the internet, the only way to amuse 3 teenage boys of an evening would be for Nicks mum to drive us to the nearest video store, and us to get out absolutely anything that we hadn't seen before involving sport (American Flyer's anyone?), ninjas, or horror - usually one of each.

Let's not forget that this was before Blockbuster and other such mega chains. Video stores were the size of a walk in wardrobe, and stocked a copy of everything. And when I say everything, I don't mean they had a copy of every film, I mean no matter how new or popular a film was, they only ever had one of it - and the good ones were always out.

So by this process (which also held true at home), it was highly likely that if there was a bad sport/ninja/horror film made in the 80's, I've seen it (and since bought my own copy).

One fateful night, we returned to Nick's Elba with a copy of The Nest. A genre staple of island town plagued by mutated insects - in this case roaches. If you ever wondered what a cat/cockroach hybrid would look like, then this is the film for you.

Suffice to say, at the end of the film, man triumphs over beast, largely due to the larger than life local exterminator, and happy and entertained we retired to Nicks bedroom. All was going well - we were going through the usual 'Name your World XI football team' type stuff, then Stoxie got up for a piss, only to return a few seconds later, white as Plums hair, and crying like a girl.

"In...the ...bathroom...." he stammered.

"Massive.......flying ....creature."

"Not...safe........Can't ....go...in."

We bundled down the corridor/tunnelball pitch together, and with Stoxie binging up the rear, and peered round the bathroom door.

He was right.

There it was. Fluttering round the lightbulb was the biggest moth I had ever, and probably still have ever seen.

We needed an exterminator par exellence. We needed the guy from the film we had just seen.

We needed Homer.

But he wasn't there. Left with the alternative option of Stoxie pissing in Nicks room, I stood up to the plate.

With the boys chanting 'Homer, Homer, Homer', I launched myself at the flying abomination, and with both hands, somehow managed to wrestle the vile beast out of the window.

Job done, my talent for insect extermination was carved into stone, and the name stuck. I'm not sure if my other friends in Norwich know the real reason I'm called Homer. It's not for a cartoon caricature, or a sexual slur.

It's because that fateful night in Chelmsford, I damn well saved Nick and Stoxies lives.

One day I might tell you all why I'm called Slippy in Cambridge. My close friends here all know.

All I'll say for now, is it's got very little to do with Underworld, and alot more to do with undercarriage....


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