Mic: There was a question on the BBC1quiz show Pointless tonight: Question: Which Scottish singer performed, ‘My Old Man’s A Dustman’? Answer: Bob Dylan!
Mark: Excuse me Mic but I think you’ll find Bob’s (Abe) was a dustman and that he recorded it as a tribute to him and changed his name to Lenny Goonigan so that no one knew it was him, just saying…
Mic: Abe Zimmerman was, as you rightly point out Mark, a dustman who operated mostly in the area known as Scotch Corner. I just happen to have a short potted history at hand and, if you’ll graciously indulge me, I’ll set it out below for the edification and education of others who may find some interest in the matter. Able, was quite a remarkable character, celebrated by his peers for his uncanny ability to pick up two (sometimes more – depending on the weight and the fluidity of the contents) bins simultaneously then execute an amazing back flip, done so quickly that centrifugal force was produced allowing the contents (save for the exceptions noted above) to remain in the bin before he deftly landed them onto the rubber topped guardrail of the bin lorry. Over time, because of his tricks, Abe became more well known and was eventually invited to perform his specialised ‘lifts’ first at Kensington Palace where he delighted the Royals ensconced therein by producing some inadvertent though happily subtle anal expulsions whilst ‘straining’ in the Pre-Lift Position (PLP). What was not so delightful however was the accidental but coincidental release of a noxious (thought not to be deadly at that time) arse gas as he sprung from the aforementioned Pre-Lift Position, sometimes also known as the Pre-Flip Stance (PLS). These demonstrations and performances, with their concomitant ‘extras’ very soon led to an invite to Buckingham Palace to perform his constantly developing feats for the then reigning monarch King George. This patronage led to fame, sadly fame led to pressure and sadder yet pressure led to drink. Abe became an alcoholic and tragedy struck when, in a fit of drunken anguish and artistic frustration, Abe tried to develop and enhance his waning, and by now commonplace, and it must be admitted, now somewhat unremarkable feats for a fickle public who had begun to drift away from his performances. There were reposts of disenchanted audiences booing and hissing, stones and stained undergarments were thrown. There were also some who took things a little further and other matter was hurled to the sound of cat calls and loud, unpleasant rasping phaa-aartt like noises. Strangely a lot of cats were reported mysteriously missing in the various in which and around the time Abe was performing. Therefore, unsurprisingly perhaps, rumours began to circulate. No charges were ever laid but sly accusations were made and it was noted in the local Press that Abe never seemed short of food or meat in his sandwiches which oddly were kept in a fur swaddled lunch box made of the new lightweight material Felinite, produced, I’m told by those who know of these things, by boiling cat gut with other suitable materials! He was also known to possess and indeed was seen wearing fur-lined jodhpurs, hats, large overcoats and other clothing in Winter weathers). However he pressed on and began a comeback performance to regain his previous fame and status. In making his comeback attempt (the first of many it’s claimed though this is at present still uncorroborated) Abe began by introducing a tap dancing routine (beginning with just a few steps initially which blossomed into a full ‘Putting On The Style’ foot routine) into the so-called ‘double bin swing lift’ This might have restored him to full fame and glory had it succeeded but Fate had a nasty surprise in store for our dear Abe. In a desperate attempt to regain his crown and in front of all his workmates and peers, and a selection of society’s elite Abe bent to hoist not just two but three bins! It was with these two thirds full cylindrical metal tubes that Abe intended to perform a newly perfected and stunningly amazing feat. He bent, and then from the well known and regularly practised Pre-Flip Stance, he strained, he surged upwards and – at that precise moment – his braces burst! With three well loaded bins in his meaty fists all heading unerringly for his muscular shoulders he faced a stark choice: drop the bins and lose all prestige or carry on knowing he might well expose himself and his heretofore hidden nether regions. What, I hear you gasp, happened? Well, I’ll tell you! Pride won and it was pride that brought him down. As he rose, attempting a simultaneous graceful pirouette, his foot slipped on some cat shyt, he veered off to one side, the bins in their forceful velocity and now wildly out of control, forced him into a painful arabesque, his trousers fell swiftly to his feet and everything was then revealed. As the bins sailed off over the heads of the assembled throng dropping their foul contents hither and thither (Abe insisted on full reality in his performances) and as folk scattered for safety Abe’s under garments were then revealed. At first there was hushed gasp of awe which then suddenly turned to horror as the gathered crowd saw Abe’s customised under pants! Made from the back half of a large tabby they covered his genitalia in luxurious fur and it was with some slight admiration though tinged with deep revulsion that onlookers noted the cat’s tail had been hollowed out to provide a snug home for Abe’s long thread-like member. Thus it was that Abe was brought to shame, dragged down to the gutter by cats and their shytz, the very animals he’d abused for his own ends. He became a laughing stock and folk would jeer him cruelly as he shambled along the dirty streets. He eventually moved to Scotland and opened a soup kitchen with his pregnant wife known locally as Fat Mary even before she met with Abe. Some say a child was born, some say it was a boy, some a girl, some say it was an awful apparition, resembling a human but only a little and some say all was as it should have been but was not. All I can report is that around this time I began to take an interest in local culture and the Arts. I heard stories of a thin yet somehow not thin youth. I heard he sang a good song, I heard he had a style, and so I went see him and listened for a while. and there he stood this young boy, a stranger to my eyes, strumming it plain with his fingers, singing ‘My wife is a prawn’. Is it true? I think we’ll never know unless – we find out! Join me next week for more truthful revelations of the music biz. and the making of our so-called legends!
Mark: Indeed Mic, and did you know that god said to Abraham, ‘Gimme a son.’ And Abe said, ‘Man, you must be putting me on!” God said, ‘No!’ Abe said ‘What!!?’ God said, ‘Well you can do what you want, but the next time you see me coming you better run!’ I think Abe did hand him over in the end and he was next seen on TV singing about digging his potatoes and stuff like that.
Mic: That’s absolutely correct Mark, you have it almost verbatim! At the time this was going on I was employed on Maggie’s Farm but I ain’t gonna work on that no more – no suh! As you know I studied Abe’s career very diligently and indeed wrote the only published reference work on his long and eventful life: ‘Maybe Abie’s Baby’ but it may be that in spite of your digesting that weighty tome, you too are not aware of other developments that occurred as time progressed. Let me update you, if you will.
Fat Mary and Abe did find a true love and they both flourished in that warm comforting embrace, so much so that a child, a male boy if you will, was born. Abe took to singing lullabies for their baby son and one of his favourites was ‘Coulter’s Candy’ a well known Scottish lilting tune which could soothe even the most drunken and aggressive of children. It was then perhaps from this lyric that our present day Bob Dylan, for it was of him we first broached these exchanges, emerged as it contains the immortal poetry of such lyrical wonder. Listen without prejudice if you will to the softly sung words: ‘Ally Bally, ally, bally, bee, sitting on yer Faither’s knee, greeting for a wee bawbee, to buy some Coulter’s Candy’. There! There it is! Hidden! Well, almost, in that fabulous lyric is the genesis of how Robert (Bob) Zimmerman came to be known to the world as Bob Dylan. It began slowly; first it was as Wee Bawbee, in reference to his Scottish beginnings and ancestry (later Wee Boabie) though in truth the young Zimmerman suffered cruel taunting and bullying from his scruffily dressed, under fed, undernourished, under the mattress, under the weather, under the spreading chestnut tree, and uneducated peers who would call him ‘Jobbie’ a colloquial term used to describe the turds the boys used to hurl at him when he was in the vicinity of the communal shyt house (itself being no more than a discarded torn and ragged tarpaulin hastily draped over a bomb crater in a tenement back yard where the customised toilet paper was the fur of the multitude of rats that infested the area). This though was then softened over time to Bobby (as in Dylan). It is a well known and documented fact, in fact, that Zimmerman adopted the surname Dylan after watching several episodes of The Magic Roundabout whilst off his trolley and high on pharmaceutical products usually only found on illicit prescriptions. If I can render any more assistance with this subject please place a perfectly clean £20.00 note in a recently washed and rinsed milk bottle, wrap in a back number of the Radio Times then wet it with pure spring water and bring it around to my wee shack. Yours in the first instance but never the twain shall meet me in St Louis Armstrong was a trumpet player of great Scott and skill but – nevertheless – was oft-times called a bug eyed buglist by cruel men who wished him harm. There’s no justice – is there?