Where’s Your Car Debbie? by Chris Green
‘Where’s your car, Debbie …… Debbie where’s your car,’ screams a cracked voice. There is an air of desperation about it. It is coming from some distance away. It sounds like it is coming over a PA system in the park. As we approach, Betty and I notice that a large crowd has gathered to listen. There are now hundreds of people in the park, perhaps thousands. Earlier when we had a cup of tea at the café by the bowling green, the park was empty. Betty was saying how peaceful it was, and wondered if we ought to bring a picnic down in the new basket that Bob and Ros bought her as a retirement present.
To find out what is happening, we ease our way forward through a throng of unkempt rebel youths. Many of them look no more than ten or twelve. But then most people look young to us these days. As we near the front, we see two tattooed men in vests jumping around on a makeshift stage. One of them is strangling an electric guitar while his friend is banging on a a drum and shouting hysterically ‘where’s your car, Debbie, Debbie where’s your car.’
‘The man is obviously having some sort of breakdown,’ says Betty. Betty was a psychiatric nurse. She tends to view everything from a mental health viewpoint.
Rather than coming to his assistance though, everyone in the crowd is treating his existential crisis as an excuse to leap up and down. Why are they celebrating his sorry plight? What has happened to compassion?
‘Debbie must surely be in the crowd somewhere,’ I say. ‘Why isn’t she helping?’
‘Where’s your car, Debbie, Debbie where’s your car.’ the man screams over and over.
‘Look at him. The poor man is at his wits end ,’ says Betty
‘What make of car do you think it is?’ I say. ‘A Ford perhaps, or a Vauxhall? A Nissan or a Toyota? If we knew, Betty, we might be able to help. We might have seen it on the way here.’
‘It would of course be helpful to know who Debbie is,’ says Betty.
‘For sure,’ I say, looking around to see if there are any likely candidates. There are no obvious Debbies.
‘I expect the poor man’s life saving drugs are in the car or something and he needs them,’ Betty says. ‘What on earth is Debbie thinking?’
‘Of course, the pair of them might just be trying to get a lift home.’ I say. ‘And Debbie whoever she is doesn’t want to give them a lift. She doesn’t go that way or perhaps she hasn’t got any petrol.’
Betty tells me I can be a bit cynical at times. She says I am unfeeling. But I think I have a point. The man cracking up over there seems be a bit of an attention seeker. And now he has got his audience.
‘You could be right,’ Betty says, as we edge closer. ‘They don’t look like they are from round here, do they, Bill?’
‘You don’t think it might be some kind of ……. street theatre do you,’ I say. ‘Look. ……. There’s a name on the drum. It says Slaves.’
‘You not heard of Slaves, man,’ says the youth spilling Tennents Super down his ripped vest. He lurches towards me. ‘Slaves is big, man. You wanna look out for them. They’ll be headlining Glastonbury soon. That’s where you old folks go, innit. Glastonbury. Look out for Slaves.’
© Chris Green 2015: All rights reserved