Mrs Slocombe’s Feline Acquaintance
Mrs Slocombe’s pussy! A much used TV sitcom double entrendre during my formative years in the 1970’s. Some may say overused, some may say underused and some might say it should have never been used. To clarify, I’m on about the saying itself, not the lady garden of the blue rinsed shop assistant.
I’m blissfully unaware about how often that was used, something I fully intend to keep that way.
The use of this recurring dialogue in the sitcom ‘Are You Being Served?’ always raised a titter (no not a euphemism or double entrendre) from the studio audience, and thus its writers Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft were never gonna remove it.
Why should they? At the time the bawdy double meaning laden format in sitcoms was highly popular. Riding in on the back of the popularity of the equally bawdy ‘Carry On…’ movies, lots of sitcom writers milked this formula for all it was worth (again, not a euphemism or double entrendre).
There just wasn’t the endless references to Mrs Slocombe’s pussy to “entertain” the discerning TV viewer. There was female ornithologist Miss Brown’s tits, not forgetting farmer Mr Grieves cock and zoologist Terry Trumble’s trousersnake.
Ok I admit it, I made all of them up apart from Mrs Slocombe’s pussy. However, I suspect there will be a plethora of 1970’s comedy writers who, if they read this narrative, would think “Bloody hell, Gary’s insightful ideas would have been great character references back in the day.”……… And they’d be right!…… Or maybe not!
As a young kid I did watch ‘Are You Being Served?’, but I don’t recollect it with a fondness I had for other sitcoms of the era like say ‘Dads Army’, ‘Fawlty Towers’, ‘It Ain’t Half Hot Mum’, ‘Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads’ and ‘Terry Trumble’s trousersnake’…….. Sorry, I forgot the last one was made up!
I was never comfortable with the old men chasing young women concept that was part of ‘Are You Being Served?’, a format that was highly successful for Benny Hill at the time. I just didn’t find it that funny and didn’t get why glamourous young women would find these old codgers remotely attractive. I didn’t understand the concept of ‘money talks’ at that age.
To this young northern lad it was 30 minutes of Mollie Sugden’s character referencing her cat in a way that it could be mistaken for her front bottom and John Inman being overly camp. There didn’t seem much more to it than that; to me anyway.
I didn’t think about it as a kid, but I guess making a character openly gay in the early 1970’s on a prime time TV was possibly a risk viewer acceptance wise. After all, less than a decade earlier homosexuality was illegal.
1970’s Britain was certainly not as inclusive as it is now, with tolerance levels of unenlightened people towards minority groups and TV show host Hughie Green at a low…….. If you were black, gay and as irritating as Hughie Green you were in big trouble in those days!
The reason I made ‘Are You Being Served?’ as the topic for today’s blog is there was an updated version of the show broadcast on the BBC TV at the weekend.
I didn’t watch it as I wanted to avoid a potential evening ‘feasting’ on double entrendre. Instead I beat my meat to tenderise it for tea, had a stiff one down the pub and later poked a friend on Facebook!
As I say, I can’t give a review of the updated ‘Are You Being Served?’ as I didn’t see it. Anyway, I’ve got to get off now (not a euphemism or double entrendre) as I need to shout for my wee spouse, who wants to speak to me about something.
“Karen!…. Karen! ……….. I’m Free!!”