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A Bit Of East End Argy Bargy And Mr Whippy

May 6, 2010

I was pottering around at Pie Palace this afternoon. It was quiet and it was peaceful, but that peace was soon broken by the sound of raised voices outside. I went to the window. There were two people at the doorway of the block on the other side of the road. I thought it was loud, friendly banter, but it soon became clear that it was actually an argument. The taller, scrawny man was having a go at the smaller, much broader man wearing an orange high visibility jacket. There were two black dogs circling them while they continued to scream at each other. The high vis jacket man had a much higher voice. It was only then I realised it was a woman.

There’s something about old school East Enders having an argument that is simultaneously scary and funny. You’re sure one of them will suddenly land a punch, a knife or a gun, but at the same time, the meaty sound that makes no pretence of being polite, seasoned with plenty of industrial language, makes for a satisfying meal in the realm of public rows. You just wouldn’t get that with Hugh Grant. Anyway, scrawny man proved to be the louder of the two. As he was getting into his stride, the industrial language increased. Then, just like the Titanic, the balance between the use of the word ‘fuck’ and any other word finally tipped over. I now present a sample for your reading pleasure, ladies and gentlemen. Picture an East End geezer giving it everything he’s got. If it helps, imagine you’re watching a Guy Ritchie mockney gangster film like Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, or any film featuring Danny Dyer: “I’ll facking fack ya facking right up, ya facking fack.” If I were outside and had laughed at that point, this blog would’ve been on suspension, while my bones took their time to merge again. As it was, I was thoroughly enjoying myself from the comfort and safety of my home. A woman emerged from the block and attempted to be the peacemaker by standing between the two. Suddenly a familiar sound filled the air: it was the chiming of the Mr Whippy van. The juxtaposition of the expletive filled argument and the gentle, slightly out of tune tinkle of that call to children, tickled me. I laughed out loud. Another man came out of the block and joined in. The dogs by now had had enough of the bad energy and walked off. High vis woman also started walking away with a phone to her ear. Scrawny man screamed at her: “Are ya calling the fackin’ police? Are ya? Go on, go an’ call the fackin’ police. I’ll call the fackin’ police an’ all, ya c**t!” Eventually, scrawny man used up all his energy and the group dispersed. The street fell silent once more, but only for a moment, because Mr Whippy started up again as if to end this spontaneous, preposterous, theatrical event. That finished me. I could not stop laughing for at least five minutes and I was crying at the end of it, particularly as the chimes continued to float through the air as the van drove off to another street.

No matter what convoluted, or strange plots are played out on TV, nothing, and I mean nothing, beats real life.

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17 comments

  1. Hahahaha. What’s a Mr. Whippy?


    • Mr Whippy is a type of soft ice cream which you buy from an ice cream van. The ice cream is pumped onto the cornet in a swirly style so it looks whipped. There’s bound to be pictures of it if you want to google. Oh, by the way, thanks for having a look at my blog.


  2. Genius – can you get your camera phone/video out next time??? You sure you don’t want to be a script writer?
    I’m sure you would be better than many out there.


    • A script writer? Are you sure? That’s sounds too much like hard work!


  3. Hi P&B I have just spend an enjoyable time catching up with your posts. Cellulite cocktails to Mr Whippy. Every one an excellent read.

    You certainly have the knack of plain and sensible speaking.

    The ‘stick in my mind quote’ this time round is the ‘rather miss the train than my family miss me’ one. Short concise and very much to the point.

    x


    • Aw, thanks. I hope you enjoyed Mr Whippy as much as I did. I tried to put into words what I witnessed, but it wouldn’t be the same as actually experiencing it. I just hope I don’t burst into spontaneous laughter whenever I hear the Mr Whippy tune from now on. Greensleeves will never be the same again.


  4. Awesome! Absolutely hilarious! No tv show can create drama like this. Jeez. Soap opera for free right across the street. Now I miss the big city life (I’m from Berlin but currently living in Heidelberg).


    • I hear great things about Berlin. I must make an effort to go. Is Heidelberg much quieter then? Come to London! Come to Tower Hamlets! All life is here!


      • Being admittedly completely biased – Berlin is the greatest city of the world. 😀 And yes, in comparison Heidelberg is tiny and quiet and tiny.

        London is great. I’m waiting for the time and money to visit again.


  5. *snort* Sometimes stereotypes can be so much fun! Did you ever discover what it was they were screaming about? Or did I miss it, being blinded by tears of hilarity?
    The irony of Mr. Whippy promising fluffy white heavenly clouds on a crispy stable base, all the while spitting his own resounding “FAAAck Offf” in musical notes, is just too funny. Thanks Pie, for the tears rolling down my cheeks!


    • You didn’t miss it. I never did find out what they were arguing about. I would’ve needed a translator for all that facking swearing.


  6. I like this post. It just gave me another idea for my book.

    When it comes to such ‘public displays of affection’, mall cops tend to be on the receiving end more often than other mall employees. I myself have been yelled at so often, and there’s nothing I could do. Perhaps I ought to do an expose of this culture of abuse against security guards…


    • Please do. I have no doubt it’s a very common occurrence. I bet you’re not getting paid enough to receive that level of abuse either.


  7. “If I were outside and had laughed at that point, this blog would’ve been on suspension, while my bones took their time to merge again.” ~ by pienbiscuits

    Well, it need not go that way. For example, things could happen this way:

    I was meditating within the tranquility of my dojo at Pie Palace, but that tranquility was soon shattered by the sound of raised voices coming from outside.

    Unable to maintain the peace of mind needed for my meditation session, I resolved to investigate the source of the noise, and if possible, terminate it. Having made up my mind, I rose from the Sitting Buddha position and before I left via the entrance, I stopped by the pile of bricks I had gathered earlier in anticipation of my training needs, and smashed them with the Iron Palm technique.

    My anger only slightly assuaged, I went up to my bedchamber window and looked out. There were two people at the doorway of the block on the other side of the road. I thought it was loud, friendly banter, but it soon became clear that it was actually an argument.

    Unable to tolerate the din any longer, I opened my window, leaped out and landed on the street outside using the flexible Stance of the Drunken Cat. As both verbal combatants got into their stride, the industrial language increased. Then, just like the Titanic, the balance between the use of the word ‘fuck’ and any other word finally tipped over.

    At this point, I could not help but laugh a ladylike laugh that belied the long years of arduous training I received at the Shaolin Temple in Henan Province, China.

    The scrawnier of the two wordy pugilists turned to scream at me: “Are ya calling the fackin’ police? Are ya? Go on, go an’ call the fackin’ police. I’ll call the fackin’ police an’ all, ya c**t!”

    My blood ran cold at this outrageous display of ungentlemanly behaviour, and I knew there was only one thing I could do to salvage my honour as a lady.

    I shifted subtly into the Stance of the Praying Mantis which was suitable for close-quarter combat and called out my challenge:

    “Know my name so that you may know who to curse as your soul stands before Yama, the lord of Hell, in judgment. I am Pienbiscuits and my teacher is Master Liu Song, the Iron Fist of Shaolin!”

    Sensing the imminent threat to his life, the scrawny combatant produced a butterfly knife with a flick of his wrist and burst toward me, his deadly intentions clear as the day on his face.

    Nonchalantly, I hit him on the inside of his right arm with the Iron Palm technique to intercept his attack. While my left hand was thus occupied, my right hand formed a fist and landed 3 punches to his chest in rapid succession. As his chest caved in from the force of my iron fists and his mouth filled with blood, the shattered body of my scrawny assailant fell backward.

    Turning to the second combatant, I stared coldy at her, for she was a woman like me, though not one who has spent a decade training at Shaolin.

    “Please turn away from this fight. I have no quarrel with you this day and before you pull that knife from your pocket, please consider that learning to walk again would be a most painful process.”

    The street fell silent and cautiously the crowd dispersed, the lady combatant foremost amongst them.

    PS: Couldn’t it have happened this way? Ok just kidding. I just read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies you see. So I just couldn’t resist writing this little piece here. Honestly, I couldn’t resist. Sorry. 🙂


    • Excellent work, Mallcop! When I feel ready to do the guest post thing, you’d better be prepared.


  8. WOW So it looks like we finally got a new ‘non-violent’ Super Hero in the form of So contrary to belief, the real Super heros are not just down in Gotham City and other obscure parts of the USA, we got our own, down in Tower Hamlets. its getting exciting!!!

    Watch out there foul mouthed, knife bearers, your days are numbered…

    Mr Whippy is out to get ya!!!!!!!!!!



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