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Tongue Tied
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If I'd had some qualms about this whole thing, then the title "Subnormality in the seventies : Number 8 in the Series" relieved me of them all. The mammoth effort that went into this book was reduced to eighth position of what was classified as subnormal anyway.

Mind, in 1974 (the year of publication), one pound was a lot of money - I'll bet the bugger was raking it in. Probably had a platinum bib.

Joey Deacon
The main man. Born in 1920. Profoundly physically handicapped, which is very sad. Or is it? Am I simply being monstrously patronising?
Ernie Roberts
Born in 1928. Had a lot of operations on his limbs, apparently, although what these operations were for, I do not know. I can only hope that there was a reason, other than curiosity.
Tom Blackburn
Born in 1926. Not really physically handicapped at all, which was taking the piss a bit. He lived with his aunt, but I can't find out whether she was evil, like in James and the Giant Peach.
Michael Sangster
Entered the team at a later time in 1946, two years after the others had become inseperable. Probably felt a bit of an outsider, and compensated by playing the fool. Not that anyone noticed him playing the fool, what with the company he kept.

Joey came up with the idea to write his story in 1970. He told Ernie, who dutifully went about getting some paper and pen, until he realised that he didn't know how to read or write. Sadly, Ernie was the only person who could understand Joey, so he reported everything Joey said to Michael, who had somewhat more of a clue. Tom typed it all up, using a special typewriter.

My question is, was Michael really necessary? Why didn't Tom just type it straight away? And who did Michael talk to the two years before he joined the gang? My theory is that he used to hang around with the Down's Syndrome kids, until one day he laughed at the wrong point during a joke, and they told him to pig off. Then he saw Joey getting famous and jumped on the bandwagon. It makes me sick.

This process was developed - typing the word "Poo" would follow this pattern.

  1. Joey said "Poo"
  2. Ernie says "P"
  3. Tom says "P for Peter"
  4. Tom types "P"
  5. Ernie says "O"
  6. Tom says "O for Orange"
  7. Tom types "O"
  8. Repeat steps 5 to 7
Of course, most of the words that Joey said sounded like "poo", but happily the book didn't degrade into a kind of mentally handicapped scatological porn novel. Phew!
In the box opposite is a section that took our lads one whole day to write. I'm not being smug or anything, but it only took me thirty seconds.  And my mum felldown the stairs before I was born. When I was one year old my mum put me on the kitchen floor, and I used to roll all over the place. Six months after my Dad bought me a chair with table and you could alter it, low or high, and when my mum put my chair low I used to kick the buds out of the garden. Six months after I was two years old.
As my way of apologising, I am in the process of typing up the whole book, so that you can feel as Catholic as I do about this whole thing.