Of course, with the inevitability of a turbo-charged stoat winning the Norwegian Small Furry Animal Grand Prix the Summer Of Love soon gave way to the Autumn of Custard.
We can all remember how flower power wilted and faded with the dying days of the summer as autumn crept upon those young, innocent and excessively hairy, teenage blooms of that summer of ’69. Soon, though, the tins of custard powder began to replace the beads and flowers and the streets of Haight-Ashbury were soon filled with strung-out custard addicts begging, lying and stealing for their next hit of warm milk.
Even in the comparatively staid UK, certain quiet corners of city streets shadowed beneath the brooding tower blocks, a cursory search would discover the heaps of discarded custard powder tins, their lids bent into the crude shapes necessary for warming up a ‘hit’ of warm milk. One the milk was warm enough then it would be mixed with that strangely exotic white-yellow powder to make the custard.
Of course, no-one ever started out wanting to become addicted. At first, the teenagers, or, at least those daring enough, would experiment with having a small hit of custard on their apple pie, or rhubarb crumble, perhaps at a party or some similar teenage gathering. The media, politicians and others in authority were warning parents about the dangers of allowing their sons and daughters to attend parties where there might be desserts present, but, then - as now – the parents had little idea of what their children really got up to.
There were lurid tales in the sensationalist media, of course, about the sordid custard orgies of the then hip young rock and pop stars, tales of all-night steam pudding and custard Bacchanalian excess were common in the tabloids of the time. It even made the front page of 'The News Of The World', one Sunday, when two members of the Rolling Stones and their girlfriends were alleged to have been indulging in a naked dessert and custard party when raided by the police who had been tipped off by that very same newspaper. There was talk even, later denied by all present, that one of the girls at the party was discovered by the police, naked in a custard-filled bath whilst the other party-goers gathered round, dessert spoons at the ready.
Soon though, that autumn too was over and the world of these young hipsters descended even further into the murky sordid world of hot cocoa and woolly cardigans, but that is a tale for a different day.