Biddy Baxter

Biddy Baxter

It was bad enough having one excitable dog in the house but Sam was positively mellow in comparison to the puppy boy from Ilkley in Yorkshire who shared my bedroom in the autumn of 1984. He went by the name of Biddy Baxter and was overflowing with a potent mix of testosterone, youthful zest and enthusiasm. He was a Loaded lad, but ten years before his time, and though charged up on Diamond White and Chubby Brown tapes, in possession of a softer, cuddlier underbelly that made you want to reach out and give him a tickle. His Freshers Week seemed to last about three months as a predictable pattern emerged of him arriving home very merry in the small hours and waking me up to regail me with tales of his escapades. Now, I was working long hours in the hotel and Sid was putting the pressure on at college, so the last thing I really needed was some excitable bubblehead rousing me from my hard-earned slumbers. But bizarrely, I positively welcomed and encouraged his nocturnal intervention. It wasn’t that his stories were even that outlandish really, they usually involved a mate climbing scaffolding holding a traffic cone or someone urinating in an inappropriate location. It was just the way he told them and the sheer delight he took in sharing the stories that fascinated me, his big eyes getting wider and wider and his chuckle more manic as he reached the climax. Ilkley really must have been very dull because he was like a kid in a sweet-shop, let loose in the big city and lapping it up with every inch of his big puppy dog tongue. He spoke in a quite high-pitched Yorkshire drawl which got even more shrill when he was under the influence. Sometimes I taped him on my dictaphone, just for the hell of it and later he took to recording himself which was quite a feat given his inebriated condition. He was so full of cobblers and of course he fell about the next day when I played it back, usually as he was preening himself in readiness for the next evening sortie. Fastidious about his appearance, he was in fact some kind of part-time model, (possibly for a mail-order catalogue company in Ardwick). It amused me no end to witness such unashamed grooming and self-love as he gelled and perfumed himself in readiness for the night ahead, usually to the accompaniment of his favourite record, Sade’s Smooth Operator.

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