Basildon Thong

Basildon Thong

As we hung around the kebab van at the back of some garages, at the back of some houses, at the back of The Bullseye in Basildon, there was some snuffling and rhythmic grunting from the alley. Large donner and chips, chilli sauce? burger sauce? Grunt, grunt…whose is the burger? Two fifty… grunt, grunt… It had to be her, that was the whole reason behind the thong-thing in the indoor phonebox, under the stairs, in a darts venue, in Essex. She couldn’t figure it out any other way, so that’s how it happened. That’s how she got ready to have carnal relations against a garage door with a scary man who had eyes like sulphur pools.

basildon2 300x284 - Basildon ThongEarlier…
We are in a cupboard-cum-corridor, behind the stage, waiting next to an assortment of toilet rolls, bleach and dart-flights. The usual tired, disbelieving headshakes, the usual small talk and the usual internalising of “what the fuck are we doing here” fills the space until the support band finish. They are nice guys in Fred Perry shirts with big muscles and no-messin’. We congratulate them and they take their gear off quick-smart. There’s 35 people in a darts hall, 40 if you include the other band. Another set, in another weird place, in another town. I remember the toilet rolls and the bleach but not much about the gig. It’s 1992 and we’ve done about 200 of these now. At the end the other band surround us and offer enthusiastic compliments, I remember that. We strip down and start taking the gear out… again. This time it’s down a winding staircase. I go and get the money. A guarantee… that’s what the fuck we’re doing here!

The pound notes are carefully secreted in a front pocket and I look for Mo. Same every time. Get paid, give the money to Mo and relax. The manager has offered us a beer for the road so as the last bits of gear are packed, I pass the message and we head for the downstairs bar. Something catches my eye. The contorted figure of a thin women is engaged in a bizarre version of some constricted modern dance. It’s fascinating. What on earth is she doing? Transfixed, I watch as she manipulates her double-joints. Remember, she’s in a phone box. The movements become more strained, as the elasticity afforded by her clothes reaches its limits. Therein lies the clue. Her clothes. Basildon women is attempting and has nearly succeeded in, the removal of her underwear without the removal of her overgarments. The twisting and turning and tugging finishes. She stops short of triumphantly waving the offending thong above her head, instead choosing to push the lingerie into her jacket pocket. Departing the phonebox a little unsteadily, she heads across the carpeted foyer to the front door where a scary looking man awaits.

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