The Nether Regions

The blog that slips an affectionate hand between the thighs of the regional media

Putting ‘Pen’ to paper

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The title of ‘Sunderland’s Most Judgmental Man’ is a fiercely contested accolade, but there’s little chance of it being taken away from Mick “The Pen” Brown any time soon. Further to his previous coverage here, it’s time to gently prod the brain of the Sunderland Echo‘s most dedicated reader-who-treats-the-letters-page-like-a-personal-diary a little further.

Arguably the fairest point ever made by a mentally-unhinged letters columnist: two world wars weren’t fought so folk could prowl around supermarkets in their pyjamas.

Sunderland Echo, 7 August 2009:

Ban these people

ON the day Harry Patch, Britain’s oldest First World War veteran died, the Echo printed a letter from a Mr Joe Plush telling us he had witnessed folk shopping in Asda clothed in pyjamas.

I wonder what people of Mr Patch’s generation would have thought if they could see what they fought for?

It would appear that anyone, no matter how they dress, can shop in a supermarket. But how long before we see people walking through The Bridges in night gowns and slippers?

I know people have had a go at me for using a Harrods carrier but I am merely trying to keep the standards up and what’s wrong with that?

My carrier is almost a statement like an Armani suit or a Gucci watch and, let’s face it, you do not see many in Sunderland.

It’s about time supermarkets and The Bridges had a strict dress code which banned people in certain attire from these areas.

In the old days men used to wear a tie every day. In fact many old fellas still do and the older women in Marks and Spencers are always well turned out.

Mick “The Pen” Brown

I’m not sure two world wars were fought for Harrods carrier bags either, mind you.

I should think the Seaburn tourist board will be livid about this one, but let’s face facts: the man’s uniquely brusque eloquence and inquisitive prose makes him hard to argue with.

Sunderland Echo, 20 May 2010 (full letter, six from top):

Seaburn? Give me the countryside

WHEN I was very young I used to love visiting the Seaburn fairground. I used to particularly admire the fairground worker who jumped on the back of the dodgems and held the pole.

He was always trying to get off with the young lasses who were normally seated with their boyfriends in the dodgem. He normally had a spotty face and a tatoo of an eagle on his arm, which he probably thought made him look tough.

However, as I grew older I soon realised that being a dodgem operator was a naff job, but I still miss the fairground. I think that it’s an essential part of any coastal resort. […]

Some things never change, however. Take, for instance, the OAPs who sit motionless like Capodimonte figures on the seats facing the Marriott hotel. They don’t seem to speak, just slurp the ice cream, and have you noticed they wear coats in the middle of summer? Why is this? […]

I suppose on a hot day you cannot beat the seaside – fish and chips, candy floss and all that.

Or are you the type who is too mean to buy them, relying on some home made cheese sandwiches that when eaten you can taste the grit of the sand as you bring your garden furniture to sit on and enjoy them? I really think that this completeley lowers the tone of Sunderland – stripey sun loungers and a scout’s tent that blows away in the wind.

So perhaps Seaburn is not so good after all. I prefer the countryside.

Mick “The Pen” Brown

It appears that he is not loved by all, however. The anti Mick “The Pen” Brown riposte below was published just a few days after the publication of the  series of letters covered in the previous post. These variously laid into the long-term unemployed, the bingo-playing underclass, women who wear Scholls, and those who swear.

Czar Kazum just isn’t having it. It’s wonderful when war breaks out on the letters pages of regional newspapers; it must have been where people argued before the internet.

Sunderland Echo, 6 May 2010:

Swearing at Mick

MICK “the pen” Brown has us good folk believing that he is well-to-do, yet in the majority of his letters he is either hanging around a bingo hall, in all probability where he actually makes his money, with appalling smoking women, (perchance smoking himself?) or wandering around Southwick falling for uncouth women and complaining when the aggrieved lady remonstrates with him for knocking her precious groceries all over the pedestrian area.

However, I believe the good lady’s footwear is basically irrelevant and you were too busy getting your ears bent. Had I been knocked flying by a clumsy oaf, I would have expleted at you as well good sir.

Nevertheless, your “ban all swearing in the street” is admirable, but I feel the local police has enough trouble trying to catch proper criminals. Anyway, we would have to build prisons the size of Ireland to house all the miscreants who swear out loud after stubbing their respective toes or have somebody knock their groceries flying.

I believe that he should broaden his horizons and take his gambling habit to a good bookies, as the female of the species tend to populate bingo halls and ignore the bookmaker side of gambling.

Czar Kazum

Thank you to Michael Laverick, Sunderland resident and close personal friend of Mick “The Pen”  Brown, probably.


Written by Paddy

June 22, 2010 at 10:53 am

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