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Christine or Mandy (for Stephen Ward) 1963-4 I Like It (from 63/6 %istory) Who do you like best then

Fred? What do you mean? Christine Keeler or Mandy Rice-Davies? Who do you like best? I like Mandy Rice-Davies best. I like that name, Mandy Rice-Davies. What a nice name. I bet she d like my Dads Malaysian Curry. !e makes that "ith rice. #eah, but "hich one do you like best? Dunno, Mandy? What di$$erence does it make? %hat hot summer term $irst and second year boys debated the hi&hly res'ected merits o$ Mandy Rice-Davies, the blond, and Christine Keeler, the brunette. (''arently they had done somethin& e)ceedin&ly nau&hty but "e never &ot to discuss that. It must have been somethin& really e)citin&, like makin& a movie, as their &lamorous 'ictures "ere in the 'ress most days all summer lon&. We "atched in amusement as the second years held lon& and heated discussions about them* coalitions "ere $ormed and broken on the outcome o$ their debates. We $irst years mostly e)'ressed a 're$erence. I have no idea i$ the third year boys and above ever discussed such serious 'ublic a$$airs, they never mi)ed "ith us or let on to us about anythin& "hatsoever. We ve &ot our o"n Christine and Mandy here as "ell you kno", Dinky said con$identially !ave "e+ Where? !ere at the school t"o sisters, Caroline and ,ara (ltham. -ur very o"n se) bombs. Who are they? Caroline is !ead o$ !ouse and ,ara is ca'tain o$ the ,chool Intermediate !ockey %eam. Wo"+ -ur o"n Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies? I ve never seen them. Des'ite bein& a mi)ed school the boys and &irls in the lo"er school voluntarily lived almost entirely se&re&ated lives. I rarely sa" &irls durin& breaks. Mostly I 'layed $ootball. (nd cricket "as .ust startin& to occu'y us at break. I ll sho" them to you at a$ternoon break, mind you "e have to &o u' to the &irls lockers on the to' corridor. ,trictly s'eakin& "e could &o to the to' corridor at any time, but i$ you did &o the &irls usually "anted to kno" "hat you "ere doin&, so you needed to have an e)cuse ready. I never "ent u' there but I ! "is#era$

kne" Dinky "ould have somethin& to say. !e had an elder brother "ho "orked in a hotel and "ore /evi .eans* he 'robably "alked 'ass &irls all the time, i$ he "asn0t sto''in& to kiss them. 1ot until the third $orm did I notice, let alone talk to, any &irls in my class. Diane "as moved do"n $rom her class to .oin us* she should have been a $ourth $ormer. ,he looked ten years older than me "ith her untouchable &lossy nails and .in&lin& bracelet. %he $irst time she .oined us, a$ter "e "ere all seated ready $or the $irst class o$ the year, a shiver "ent do"n the s'ine o$ every boy and every &irl in the class as she "alked across the room* but $or entirely di$$erent reasons. ,he maintained this &rand entrance all year and al"ays looked as thou&h someone "as about to rush into class and s"ee' her o$$ to some"here e)otic, like ,carborou&h. ,he 'robably kne" Dinky s brother too. I like it, I like it I like the way you run your fingers through my hair Dinky "as ri&ht about Caroline and ,ara, even thou&h they "ere both blonds. Caroline had lon&, sleek, $inely brushed hair "hich she "as al"ays runnin& her $in&ers throu&h, and she tossed it back .ust like Christine Keeler. ,he seemed incredibly so'histicated and I sa" the likeness strai&ht a"ay. I took a real shine to her. I kne" I "ould because I d had crushes on Carolines be$ore. %he &irls on the corridor seemed to han& on to her every "ord, and the corridor "as crammed $ull "ith loads o$ &irls, it "as over"helmin&, I could see "hy I d never come here be$ore. I told Dinky that I had seen Caroline 'reviously but thou&ht she "as a teacher, she seemed so very &ro"n u' and "as obviously bossy. I could ima&ine lookin& u' at her on the screen at the -deon thou&h. ,to' lookin& at Caroline Fred+ ,he ll notice us+ %hat0s "hy "e are here+ I "his'ered back. 2ut "e can0t &et noticed, they ll scratch us. -h -K+ Where s ,ara then? We d better &o and look at her too. Can0t see her, oh han& on she s do"n there back the "ay "e came. /ook like you ve .ust remembered somethin& you ve $or&otten and turn round+ 3)ecutin& Dinky s command as instructed, &ood 'atrol leader Dinky, I turned my back on Caroline and headed back "ith him. I hadn0t been surrounded by so many &irls since my Mum had taken me to a /adies toilet in an emer&ency in Doncaster several years earlier. I "as startin& to &et $lustered in this sli&htly su$$ocatin& no-mans land. /ook there, she s the tall blond "ith the short hair, o'enin& her locker.

,ara "as "illo"y and athletic lookin& "ith naturally rosy cheeks. ,he "asnt as stunnin&ly &ood lookin& as her $ilm star elder sister but she "as .ust as noticeable. We had to 'ush u' a&ainst the outside corridor "all in order to ease 'ast her locker and her thin&s. ,he "as talkin& "ith a $riend. %hey both had tennis rac4uets. -h yah, that s &reat+ #eah I really like I like it too And I like the way you tickle my chin And I like the way you let me come in When your mamma ain't there ,he san& the lines "ith her $riend and they s4uealed to&ether so$tly. -h it s a really &ood 'arty record isn0t it? We ll have to buy it this "eekend, ho" does the ne)t bit &o? Do that again You're driving me insane Kiss me once more That's another thing I like you for %hat0s another thin& I like 'arties $or+ %hey &i&&led at the thou&ht, then ,ara noticed us s4uee5in& by ,orry, didn0t mean to s'oil your son&. I like it too... ,he cast a some"hat reserved &lance at me. I smiled "eakly as "e tried to scra'e by "ithout a scratch. ,he liked 6erry and the 7acemakers then. ,he must like 7o' Music. ,he "as Mandy RiceDavies 'er$ect t"in. I kne" "ho I 're$erred or, as they say at 6rammar ,chool, "hom I 're$erred. I like it, I like it I like the funny feeling eing here with you 6erry "as ri&ht, I liked the $unny $eelin& on the &irls corridor. Come on Fred, "his'ered Dinky+ /ets &et out o$ here. #ou ve looked enou&h. #ou ve &ot to make u' your mind. I have done, I "his'ered #es I kno", said Dinky, ,ara #es ,ara, obviously, I a&reed And I like it more with every day And I like it always hearing you say You're likin' it too You're likin' it too ,ara liked it too, that "as obvious. I'm askin' you What do you wanna do!

Michael, I asked, "ho do you like best? Christine Keeler. (nd be$ore you ask Caroline. !o" did you kno" I "as &oin& to ask that? 7eo'le talk o$ nothin& else, it0s easier to have an ans"er ready. What about you? What do you tell them? I dont kno". I like lookin& at Christine Keeler and Caroline as they look like $ilm stars, but Mandy looks more $un and ,ara likes 7o' Music. 7o' Music? #ou t"o+ Do you take all your decisions based on 7o' Music? -$ course+ Do you agree! That the world was made for you and me ( rumour s'read like "ild$ire throu&h all the boys &rou's the $ollo"in& Monday that ,ara had bou&ht both From Me to #ou and I /ike It and 'layed it at the 'arty she had been &i&&lin& over. ,he and Mandy "ere de$initely &oin& to be my $eel &ood !its o$ the summer. I like it, I like it I like the funny feeling eing here with you And I like it more with every day %hat summer the boys char&ed around durin& the breaks as thou&h &ri''ed by some invisible testosterone-$uelled $ever. %hey ran a$ter each other like bulls careenin& around on invisible outdoor ,cale)tric tracks 'assin& on rumours o$ "here their $avourite se) bombs "ould ne)t a''ear. ,'ortin& e4ui'ment "as barely touched as &rou's $ormed and re$ormed around the ever-chan&in& $avourites. And I like it always hearing you say ,ara+ Mandy+ Christine+ Caroline+ ,ara... You're likin' it too You're likin' it too (nd so it "ent on throu&hout the summer. Cricket avera&es $ailed to rise, I $ailed to beat the school record in the 889 yards and only the end o$ term $inally sto''ed the &iddy madness that had sei5ed all o$ us in one "ay or another. It "as our very o"n intrusive celebrity culture. ,ome o$ us must have &one on to become 'a''ara5i* you couldnt have had any better trainin& $or it. Whoa"oh, I like it

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