‘C’mon baby, get on down and pickle my cabbage’ with those words from the legendary number one single by Stan Dibber and the Allotment Lean-Tos, Britain’s Summer Of Vegetables began. Not since the mid 1960s had the media been able to hype a teen sensation like this. Yes, there had been punk, acid, knitwear, and all those other far too short-lived fads for the media, especially the sub-section of it that likes to consider itself hip and happening with its collective finger on the pulse, to make significant increases in the audience share they were able to deliver to their advertisers.
Of course, social commentators had been bringing out articles and TV documentaries, seemingly by the score, about the increasing amount of asparagus seen at this country’s leading nightspots, but it had, until Stan Dibber came along, only been sporadic and mainly asparagus-based.
As for the actual pickling of vegetables, there were rumours of such things going in the dark backrooms of some of more hip and happening top clubs, where it was alleged several A list celebrities and major catwalk artists indulged in onion-pickling parties, but nothing had ever been confirmed. This was despite several tabloid newspapers almost openly touting for any incriminating photographs of say a major TV antiques show presenter dabbling with piccalilli in the company of a pair of glamorous local government clerical assistants.
However, like all such modern day fads, the Summer of Vegetables was short-lived. Soon there was talk of some of the bright young things getting involved with sprouts and sordid tales of several young rock stars overdosing on pickled gherkins.
Then, just as the government was to launch a £50 million campaign to warn the nation’s youth about the danger of mixing cabbage and peas, along with a hard-hitting and graphic advertising campaign cautioning of the dangers of pickled beetroot, it was all over as the fickle attention of the nation’s youth turned to the seedy, exotic and disturbingly erotic delights of political blogging instead.
The First 'Tales of the Unexpurgated' book is available here for the Kindle.