So where were you when Elvis died?

Posted: February 8, 2009 in Musings
Tags: , , ,

elvis_dancing1Recent musings on this topic were greeted with stunned silence from a younger friend, followed by, “Shite woman, yer as old as f**k!”

I laughed, then did the maths. Elvis died in 1977. That’s more than forty years ago. More than three billion people have been born since then, so I am clearly older than more than half the planet. But does that qualify as “old as f**k”?

Copulation is, after all, as old as human history. Older, in fact, occurring as it must have, in all preceeding links in our evolutionary chain.

According to the oracle Wikipedia, the earliest fossilised evidence of sexually reproducing organisms dates back to the Stenian period, one to one-point-two billion years ago.

Well, bless my fossilised ovaries, I’m not that old, so perhaps the young whipper-snapper was referring to the term itself, not the actual act.

My trusty Compact Oxford lists the origin of the term as germanic and I believe there is a Dutch term fokken (“to strike or beget” though what those terms have in common continues to disturb me.)

Googling the origins of the term is highly entertaining, but difficult to pinpoint with any accuracy. There are scatterings of literary references to be found, dating back as far as the thirteenth century, but Heavens to Murgatroyd, I’m not even that old.

Now if I could just remember what my point is … Oh yes.

All you young things out there, just you enjoy reveling in your innocence and beauty, foofing those gleaming locks with smooth, unlined hands and turning cartwheels while you can.

Young and beautiful is but fleeting. Old and cunning, now that can last a lifetime.

[Editors note: Christine Bongers was washing her smalls in the laundry of Newmarket Gardens Caravan Park, whilst on a school debating trip to the Big Smoke in Brisbane, when a newsflash came over the wireless. So where were you when the King died?]


  1. Judith says:

    I was walking across the hall from my bedroom to the bathroom with my little portable (orange) tranny (that’s transistor radio, you young whippersnappers, not my resident drag queen…) when I heard the news. My dad was already up and he’d heard it too. I was 13 and I remember it like it was yesterday.

  2. tonirisson says:

    I thought F**k derived from the penalty etched onto the tombstones of people who were executed For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge.

  3. I wasn’t alive for the King’s demise, but I do recall the exact moment the two towers were hit. I was in college at the time, and of course uni students don’t sleep, so we were up watching some dodgy late night movie when the news cut in with the image of the plane hitting the towers. We honestly thought it was a hoax, or a strange way of advertising a new hollywood movie. Very surreal.

  4. Bronwyn Hope says:

    I was lying in my bedroom and my aunty Mona came in and announced it. (She followed Elvis to the grave just a couple of years later – aged just 33). It was almost immediately a lesson to me about the dangers of becoming too ‘flabulous’ – peanut butter and bacon sandwiches notwithstanding.

  5. Karen B says:

    Me? I’d spent the night on a rollaway bed in the oungeroom of my sisters 1 bedroom flat at Newmarket. She came running out of the bedroom to wake me with the news she’d just heard on the radio. I think the Ekka had just started that day too, it was a Thursday I think. How’s that for memory, just don’t ask me what I did yesty though.

  6. Kath says:

    I was on top of a ladder painting Jude’s kitchen ceiling and as I turned to shreik the news to her, ridiculously assuming she’d be remotely interested, the rope bit between the two legs (of the ladder) snapped, the legs shot apart, I landed arse-first on the top step and knackered my coxyc for the rest of my life. I didn’t even like the fat bastard!!!

  7. As the whippersnapper who made the statement, can I just say that I was joking and if I didn’t add at the time, I had a least intended to…you’re looking well fur a women of your years.

    Did I make it worse or better?

    I have to say though I nearly pished my knickers laughing when I read this.

    Seriously I really didnae think you were older than me. Definitely not that much older than me. Its been a long time since somebody anybody called me a whipper snapper. Or could, to be honest.

    I’m getting oota here before I get myself into more trouble.

  8. chrisbongers says:

    Land sakes, you are in big enough trouble already, young man. You just stay in that corner, facing the wall and have a good long hard think about yourself. And don’t come out till I say so!

  9. Tina O says:

    Wow Chris! I’ve just stumbled across your wonderful writing career. And here I was, knowing you only of your ace tuckshop skills and wicked forehand.
    I’m no writer but I do have a vivid memory of where I was …
    I was nine and my sister and I were on our first ever holiday without my parents: on one of Reg Ansett’s Boeing 727’s (Mum, being his former office girl, refusing to let us fly any other airline) down to our Nanny in Melbourne where we slept together in her big old dusty double bed alongside the vintage dresser table with “ladies things” laid out on crystal trays on crocheted doilies. We spent our days in the main watching “Inch High/Private Eye” cartoons, “My Favourite Martians”, “Josie and the Pussycats”, “Captain Caveman” and “Nancy Drew Mysteries” on Channel 10, snatching freshly baked scones straight out of the tea towel and avoiding Nanny’s Yardley tinned talcum powder hugs and our uncle’s stamp collection.
    But all that is just window dressing …
    I was on the telephone (stop imagining an iPhone and imagine instead a vintage black Telecom rotary dial phone) to Dad, wishing him a happy birthday and begging him to let us come home a couple of days early. My Aunt rushed in from the street, dragging at least two or three of her brood of seven, gushing all about it. The whole household (including the two taller-than-I scary Great Danes who spent their lives on my other uncles’ single bed) congregating in the front room around me, emoting their words and drowning out any chance I had of returning home to my bottle of Coconut Reef Oil and my favourite ‘pos’ in the dunes across Albatross Avenue.
    And here is a curly one for you …. Where were you when Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales died?

  10. chrisbongers says:

    Absolutely no idea. Now isn’t that wierd?

  11. Karen B says:

    Diana??? Remember it very well.
    I was acquaiting myself with my first born, 3 day old little ‘princess’.
    Was trying to breastfeed MY princess when news came on telly in my hospital room. At day 3 post partum I was VERY teary already and cried a river over Diana. Funny thing is, I’d never liked her and thought she was a fruitcake. Ha ha

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