Local Charmers

During February, the rain was relentless and even the most positive weather forecasts just turned out to be horrible prick-teases by the Met Office. But one late Sunday afternoon, I headed west along the M27 with the promise of dry concrete and a few guys that were good-to-go. I met up with Bummer at Kings Park – a well-used, and well-loved concrete park just across from where AFC Bournemouth (The ‘Cherries’) grind out their version League One football.

We headed down to the sea front at Boscombe and meet up with Jake Malt. He wants to grind one of the wooden benches on the pier. Trouble is, it’s locked and unless you’re a fisherman with a permit and a key, you ain’t getting in. A few surreptitious fumblings with the gate later, we manage to get onto the pier and Jake gets to work. Once his shots in the bag, we leave without attracting too much attention – although Danny was chatted up by a local crackhead, and I got my balls busted by an elderly resident who was bitching about being disrespectful by ‘jumping on seats that have been dedicated to someone’s memory’. They weren’t – we checked – we’re good boys.

Just in front of the pier there is an enormous structure which looks like a concrete wedding cake. When it was built, they very kindly made sure that it was un-skateable due to the lumpy, off-set nature of the slabs. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t throw yourself (caveman-style) off the top, right? ‘Dirty’ Dave Russell was volunteered for this particular duty as no-one else seemed that keen, and it was decided (in Dave’s absence, I might add) that he’d be just crazy enough to do it. According to Bummer,  “he loves a big drop”. And it was huge – easily 9-10 foot, top to bottom, with a good 8 foot of horizontal throw. Bummer gets on the phone and 5 minutes later Dave arrives and, at first, he seems to be quite positive….until he clambered to the top and looked down.

After a bit of gentle coaxing, motivating cheers, followed (predictably) by shouts of “ppppuuussssyyyy!!”, Dave launches into the cool night sky – several times – until he inevitably snaps his board clean in two. Only to be expected really, humble ply just isn’t designed for that kind of punishment. So, unfortunately, not a clean maker….although I’ve decided to include the shot as a testament to the shear brutality of the occasion, and Dave’s humungous balls of steel. Think of it, if you will, as his ‘Jamie Thomas / Leap Of Faith’ moment. Respect is due.В Packing up, we get accosted by a couple of right-little-charmers who were determined to have their picture taken to commemorate Dave’s courageous attempts. Watch out for this pair of ne’er-do-wells on some jerky CCTV footage, robbing a sub-Post Office on ‘Crime-Watch’ in a couple of years….you have been warned.

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Bummer & Dave

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