I love Berk.
I can tell you are shocked. Indeed one reader has spilled his coffee on his keyboard. But at least it doesn’t have sugar in. That’s the real menace to electrical hardware.
Berk, you will surely know, was the star of 80s TV animation Trap Door. Voiced by the wonderful Willie Rushton in a sort of oo-aar Westcountry accent. Each episode was only a few minutes and consisted of egg-shaped blue plasticine Berk battling some disgusting creature that had emerged from the trap door in the basement of the castle where he slaved. His best mate being a skull called Boni. Catchphrases include the classic: Phwoar, sniff that! Come here for a good bonking. Get out of my way, flipping Drutt. And a joke’s a joke but this has gone way beyond the realms of light entertainment.
In short it was yukky and macabre but hilarious. I put the DVD on one day a few months back for a laugh and to occupy TWMBO while I set about some chores. She’s been hooked ever since, culminating in the recent proclamation of her undying adoration of Berk. She’s even taken to demanding Wife-features and I draw pictures of Boni for her in the bath with her special bath crayons.
Part of me wonders if I’ve created a mini-goth. But then I think how grateful I am she’s developed a crush on a retro, semi-sophisticated piece of animation rather than the generic pink glittery princess stuff that’s so difficult to escape.
Trap Door, along with Wallace and Gromit, seem firm favourites just now but who knows - maybe they’ll turn out to be passing fancies. Certainly I can’t recall what TV, if any I watched at that age. I guess as long as it’s in small doses it’s OK. I’m afraid I can’t understand why some people seem to have their tellies on all the time. I know a few folk - the first thing they do when they enter the room is switch on the box. Mad.
In an attempt to balance our bairn and ensure she isn’t brainwashed by Berk, Boni and the creepy crawlies, I‘ve taken to leaving Radio 4 on at bath time, when the Archers comes on. Previously I would have risked injury lunging for the off switch at the sound of the jaunty theme music but it turns out TWMBO likes it, shouts “Akkers” excitedly, boogies in the bath for a few seconds then gets back to rubber duck action.
Although I like to think she’s quietly absorbing the latest goings-on in Ambridge. There was a fairly amusing plotline a few weeks back involving some of the chaps furtively roasting a chicken during Lent and attempting to scoff it before one of the wives came home.
As for other media influences on TWMBO she claps and cheers whenever the audience claps and cheers on panel shows like the News Quiz. I fear the appeal of Brian Matthew’s Sounds of the Sixties is fading - I still love it but rarely do I get a dance these days. Of course, when I say dance, she was only able to crawl so couldn’t really escape my clutches as I burled her round the room while yelping Purple haze all in my brain!
Oh well - as one Sixties troubadour put it: The times, they are a-changing’.