Jane Fonda, Penelope Pitstop & The Generation Game

All I can say is that It had been a hair raising journey. We had endured a white knuckle ten miles or so courtesy of my dad’s unpredictable driving, exacerbated by road rage!. It wasn’t hair raising for Mally, though, as his barnet has been bereft of locks since around the time Jane Fonda quit making movies.

When I say he hasn’t had locks for a while, I mean hair not on his house or car doors!……..So don’t go round to burgle his house or motor, especially as he has a Rottweiler! …… Well my mum, anyway!

I don’t know if my dad went bald from the stress of Jane Fonda quitting acting, or whether the timing was purely coincidental. I’ll have to ask him when he stops staring longingly at his ‘Barbarella’ poster!

Jane Fonda in Barbarella


The only noticeable hair he has now is a resplendent plumage spouting from his ears. Anyway, his two passengers (myself and my son Jonny) were in shock after what seemed like being transported through a portel back to the 1970’s into an episode of the animation ‘Wacky Races’.

My dad is normally a cautious driver, however, once Penelope Pitstop cut him up at the Tesco’s roundabout at Seacroft the remaining few miles drive to Headingley became somewhat fraught!

The incident seemed to enrage him and he drove faster, weaving lanes, only slowing down once as he caught sight of a 25% off wine offer at Moortown Sainsburys!

Penelope Pitstop … Her irresponsible driving around the Leeds ring road was responsible for my dad’s road rage!

Penny Pitstop

This normally timid, unassuming man was now in the throes of previously unseen road rage. This included verbally abusing the leisurely pace of the Arkansas Chuggabug, fist shaking as we overtook Peter Perfect in his Turbo Terrific and shouting “Geek!” at Professor Pat Pending at Lawnswood roundabout.

It was all very unsettling stuff, but thankfully as we neared the cricket ground at Headingley, Leeds, he seemed to calm down. That is until the Anthill Mob stole our parking space off St Michael’s Lane! …. Before he leapt into another rage, Jonny and I pacified him by telling him Jane Fonda wouldn’t have been impressed with his irate behaviour. We moved on and parked in the next street.

As we parked it started drizzling again for the umpteenth time of the day. My dad opened his boot to reveal several waterproof coats and caps. I questioned if they’d been breeding, which received an unimpressed grunt response. He donned his cap and waterproof and we headed towards the ground.

At the end of the street I asked him if he’d locked his car. “Errrrr… I best check!” he replied, before doddering a hundred yards back down the street towards his motor.

Jonny gave a rye smile and said to me “Bloody hell, I’ve just seen what I’ll be like in fifty years!” I pointed out it was worrying, however at least he’d have lots of caps and waterproof coats! ……. He conceded that and on the return of my dad we headed towards the cricket ground.

Anyway, he should worry. I’ll be like that in twenty five years!”

It has been commented on the three of us resemble each other, especially the Bruce Forsyth chin! One of Brucie’s catchphrases on the TV show ‘The Generation Game’ was “Let’s have a look at the old scoreboard!”.

As we walked towards the towering light green stand of the cricket ground, I suspected we wouldn’t be looking at the scoreboard much this afternoon. There is no way they’ll play today in this rain I thought to myself!

Brucie …… “Nice to see you.To see you ……..Nice!”

Programme Name; Brucie's Generation Game Now And Then

So we arrived inside the ground, and took a pew just a few seats along from Dick Dastardly and Muttley, who luckily my dad hadn’t seen!

It was all very unpleasant sitting getting rained upon. This eventually resulted in becoming so cold we stopped drinking beer and went onto coffee! …. It was suggested to a bloke with very hairy ears that we go into the bar, but apparently he’d rather be cold and sat down rather than warm and standing!

My irritability wasn’t helped by having repeat everything twice to my dad. I suggested hearing aids but Jonny rightly pointed out he probably just needed to remove the carpet of hair out of each ear!

The three of us before the cold set in!….

Cricket pic

As I sat there all I could think of was that I couldn’t believe it was so cold in June!…….. My dad sat there vacantly thinking of his first glass of red later that evening and of course Jane Fonda!…….. Jonny, who’d bought our tickets as presents, commented his gift would live long in the memory, but for the wrong reasons!

He’s not wrong. I’ll always remember my 52nd birthday present from him was pneumonia!!

Anyway the game started after about two hours wait once the rain stopped. The number of overs were reduced because of the delay. Yorkshire batted first and made a woefully low score, which Northants reached with a canter. What a rubbish few hours!

Another of Bruce Forsyth’s catchphrases is “Good game! Good game!” ….. It wasn’t!!

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