- Philip Bryer
Booer and the Nudies
Updated: May 12, 2020
Let me take you down ‘cause I’m going to… reminisce about a time when I was about 11 years old.
It was during the school holidays, and of course I remember it as a long and steamy summer; climbing trees, riding bikes, scrumping, chugging lager-and-lime flavour fizzy drinks (a drink which contained a small amount of alcohol, but one must bear in mind that cigarette-shaped sweets and pipes made from liquorice were also available for children at the time), creating mischief, and playing cricket on the green until after 9 p.m. – I could stay out for as long as I liked, as long as I was home before dark. Despite all of this activity in an idyllic July, the inevitable happened.
“What shall we do?”
“Let’s go and see Booer.”
“Yeah, who’s Booer?”
“You know Booer from school. Booer Brown.”
“Booer’s got a camp in the thicket and he keeps his nudie magazines there.”
“Nudie mags, eh?”
We jumped on our bikes and headed off to Booer’s.
“Why do you call him Booer?”
“Dunno, everyone does. He’s just, Booer, but his real name’s Peter.”
“Booer Brown sounds better than Peter Brown.”
Booer’s place was a couple of miles away. When we got there we asked if he'd take us to see his camp in the woods.
“Me nudies,” said Booer, perceptively.
We shuffled our feet, gazed at our shoes, faces flushed.
“Come on then,” said Booer, “the nudies!”
The anticipation was mounting. Nudies! We rode to the thicket and plunged through the trees, bikes bucking and bouncing beneath us. Here, at last, was Booer’s camp. Or what was left of it. It was clear that the camp had received a not-so-social call from a local gang. Sheets of corrugated iron, lengths of plywood, even a white plastic chair lay smashed on the ground, and worst of all, no nudies.
“Me nudies!” wailed Booer.
But at least we discovered how he got his nickname.