A Change in Expectations: A Professor Animal Chaos Story
Ed. Note: Prof Animal Chaos told me this personal story, and then was gracious enough to consent to share it with the group as part of the 'Great Expectations' challenge. Here's the tale in his own inimitable style.
The DJ's Tale
A sort of explanation to the time, when I 'awoke' and became the person who I am now.
I went to a training facility in Leeds (14 miles away from Ponte') (1969) to be assessed if I was 'capable' of going on a government course, to learn radio and tv repair.
After a 6-week assessment, I was passed to go on the course. 'They' said that because it's a block entry, I'd have to wait a few month = no worries..
Until! My course it turned out to be was NOT in Leeds, but in Mansfield in the Midlands (grr) as I was 'told' the course in Leeds was full – I accepted this.
On arrival at the college, I discovered (again grr!) that it was a college for disabled people – Usual blinkered attitude of the times.
But! Again I'd no worries and took it in my stride, etc. I was going to learn how to repair tv's.
That's the opening part of the story lol.
On a Wednesday night, the college had a 'sort' of disco, very, very limited on the 'word' disco.
It turned out, that the 'DJ' was a person on one of the longest courses and at the end of their course, would pass the DJ'ship on to someone else.
The tv course was the longest at 1 yr and I thought – I'm having THAT job (lol) and 'buttered' up to the dj, as his time was drawing close…
At this time, another 'student' on one of the courses also wanted the job, this guy was ok as such – imagine me in just denim jeans, etc, and HE was in 'levi stay-pressed trousers and shirts, etc' – as different as chalk and cheese!
Except that HE thought he was above anyone else.
One day, prior to 'election' of a new dj, the welfare officer called me into his office and informed me, that he'd done a 'discreet' survey around the college of who 'they' wanted as the new dj?
He told me! That 10% wanted the 'other' guy and 90% want me…
I replied – I don't play that game, he's only about 6 weeks to go before he leaves, so lets share the disco ? He agreed!
When he did the first half, no one got off their seats, etc, when I came on – some got up and danced. That didn't bother me, as I'm not jealous of anyone or on an ego trip, etc.
BUT! After he'd left, I took over the full running of the disco and because the 'college funds' wasn't allowed to help 'finance the disco' I 'roped' some of my new friends and we went into Mansfield Town and I put on a 'Yorkshire' poor man's at college grovel on (evilgrin) We got 45rpm records from various places and we also got some coloured gelatine slide things for the college 'spotlights'.
I set up the best light show that the system would allow and more records to play than the college had ever had1.
Again! Not on any ego trip, but just the real me slowly emerging.
Then! One disco night! 2 students 'got' up to dance – 1 male and 1 female – To explain!
They both had the same medical problem, their hands/arms were of no use (sadface) and sort of swung from side to side (they needed assistance to get out of their wheelchairs) and to dance? they sort of swayed from side to side. As they could not walk, etc, properly as such.
From the stage, I looked down and called one of my mates to take over for a while (excuse: I'd a headache) and needed to go to my room for some paracetamols – In reality! When I got to my room, I bust out in tears! (the only other time I have cried, was when my grandma died when I was 11yrs old) I said to myself! Why are you moaning about YOUR body and life, etc, when 2 people like THAT can get up and 'dance' because you are being you!
From that time onwards – the word negative and associated words were banished from my being.
That was me as myself – then when the Muppets come to our tv – the 'animal' (winkeye) appeared.
To say, my friend – That's why I will never be down! And look at life always in humour mode...