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Saturday, August 04, 2007

That old pygmy timepiece gag

Today I sat in the garden and re-read Clive James's "Unreliable Memoirs", which was originally published in the early 80s. It remains one of the funniest and wisest books I've ever read.
It's also a reminder of the sad fact that in the last 25 years we have become more prudish as we've become more prurient. If a TV personality of today were to detail his adolescent sex life as minutely as James does his he'd run the risk of being accused of perversity.
Talking about the weekends he used to spend at the local swimming pool in his early teenage years in Australia, he says "I concentrated on the eternal values of the way a girl's nipples hardened against her will behind their veils of blue cotton, or the way the sweet skin of her thigh near the groin might be the vellum mounting for a single black hair like the escaped mainspring of a pygmy timepiece."
I shall now take a hammer to this keyboard.