Saturday, 31 March 2012

‘Kill Uncle’ – Morrissey (1991)

"I tried to surprise you,
I crept up behind you,
With a homeless chihuahua.
You cooed for an hour,
You handed him back and you said,
"You’ll never guess:
I’m bored now.""

If you received a free sample of Deep Heat cream rub through the post in Spring 1991, then the chances are I sent it to you. No, it wasn’t just some weird thing I used to do for fun. And it wasn’t exactly something I did by choice either. I was actually on work experience for a small design agency in Kensington.  

The idea was that my cousin Matt and I would get some hands-on experience to aid our college advertising course. We imagined highly intoxicating (and dangerously intoxicated) brainstorms for exotic campaign shoots starring Michelle Pfeiffer. We got a week in a cramped loft conversion stuffing thousands of packs of Deep Heat in to Jiffy bags and then hauling them off down the Post Office. So, yes, it was definitely hands-on. And it was certainly an experience.

With our hopes so cruelly dashed on that very first morning, we had one thing to look forward to at lunch-time: a new Morrissey album would be sitting on the shelves of Our Price. Yes, we’d been looking for a job and now we’d found a job, and Heaven knew we were miserable now. Moz would surely balm our tortured souls more gently than any Deep Heat. Well, if you’ve ever listened to 'Kill Uncle', you know what’s coming next. It was a travesty. It still pains me to write that even now. Because I had adored everything Morrissey had sung, written or said up until that lunchtime. But that’s the kindest word I can find for ‘Kill Uncle’.

Don’t worry though, as there’s an uplifting message of hope coming straight up. Matt and I perservered through to the second week of our work experience and had a great time doodling logos. Morrissey went on to release the landmark ‘Your Arsenal’ as his next album. And many good folk up and down the country found their muscular aches warmly soothed by a free tub of Deep Heat that they’d forgotten they’d requested six months earlier.

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