A figure whose mission was fun rather than fear had this young Letham lad running for cover behind the settee every time he appeared on the box.
Whether it was his lumbering figure, his unmistakeable voice or an aversion to red Moroccan headwear I can’t recall, but Tommy Cooper gave me the heebie jeebies.
Just Like That.
A few years later, the early Daleks had the same effect and I’ve never liked Doctor Who since.
And in a quantum leap from the sci-fi telly galaxy that’s why I admit to having a hand in the downfall of the superloo.
For a while the hi-tech toilets stood like something Tom Baker might have met in an episode set on the streets of Angus, the door waiting to silently slide open for the next 20p-wielding victim to step inside.
A couple of times in moments of cross-legged desperation I braved the 20th Century cludgie that was the Automatic Public Convenience.
Not knowing if I’d be teleported back in time once the plastic shell had its prey inside.
Or whether a power failure would leave me trapped in a paper towel tardis.
Or – worst of all – if a rogue machine with a mind of its own would open its door and leave me exposed like some poor man’s thinking Rodin on a white plastic seat.
As a money-maker APC’s were a disaster; but as an aide to getting the job done in a jiffy their laxative powers were out of this world.
But the number ones and twos of the space-aged lavvies were up when fifteen grand a year was being spent to run them for a return of less than £200 from barely a trickle of daily visitors. (All Doctor Who fans, I bet)
So while I applaud the positive response to calls from the public for loos to be reinstated at Forfar Loch after years of closing down and selling off public conveniences across Angus, I hope there’s a more substantial flow of customers to new toilets into which £40,000 of town Common Good cash is about to be pumped.
In the world of spending a penny, it would seem that nothing’s cheap.