Convoy II

Or, just when you thought it was safe to order another pint of gold top…

Even if you remember the 1970s song by W.C. McCall [actually, that’s C.W. McCall: possibly a Freudian slip there…] or the Sam Peckinpah movie, you may not be aware of the projected follow-up movie, where the action was to be moved to a milk round in West London. If you don’t remember the song, the movie or milk floats, this won’t mean a lot to you.

It was half-past five: I was half alive
And wishing I was back in bed
I’d got 600 up of Silver Top
And a ton and a half of Red.
We were nose-to-tail down Hewer Street
Clear down to Ladbroke Grove,
When Tel came down and checked us off:
He said ‘Let those Gold Tops roll…’

By the time I hit the Westway lights
My wheels began to drag:
By Shepherds Bush I knew the score
So I dropped for tea and a fag.
Halfway round Sulgrave
I had to hit that horn:
I said ‘Big D, this is Catwurzle:
Me flaming float’s broke down…’

He said ‘Hold it son, I’m having tea:
Call the engineers…’
So I did, and they assured me
They’d be out before next year.
I’d pushed her halfway round Brook Green
When I heard a klaxon blow:
It was Charlie in a Morrison,
With another float in tow.

Well, mercy’s sake, good buddy,
Looks like we got us a convoy…

We hit the Broadway well past 12
And swung off down King’s Mall;
Doubled up Ashcroft three floors each
In 15 minutes flat.
By the time we left Riverside
We’d four more floats in hand
Plus three from Express, four from U.D.
And Ted in a Commer van.

“Catwurzle, there’s a 266 bus trying to cut across to Butterwick, come on back.”
“Tell him to get in line, we need all the help we can get…”

We hit Wood Lane three abreast
And those Bears began to snarl,
But they let us through since we had along
Three ambulances from St. Charles.
We crawled up Barlby 90 strong,
And still we picked up more:
two bread vans, three taxis,
12 Hell’s Angels and a van from the GPO.
Tel passed us by St. Marks and screamed
‘You’ll all be on the dole!’
But we carved him up and headed home:
I said ‘let those yoghurts roll – ten four…’

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