“One unique contribution Liverpool had made to the counterculture was a character I never encountered anywhere else, and that was the Hard Hippy. The Hard Hippy was somebody who had the same qualities of self-pity and narcissism as the normal hippy but was also capable of kicking your head in. During that long summer I sometimes used to hang around a ramshackle art gallery in the centre of Liverpool where a Hard hippy used to hold court. He had long blond hair and his muscular torso was only ever covered by faded denim dungarees as worn by US hillbilly farmers, except that in his case he wore them with the legs cut off high on his bulging hairy thighs. Dotted around the gallery were various house plants that ranged from fairly well through sickly to dead. One day the hard Hippy was discoursing to a group of us about how he was planning to name the child he was having with his chick Fluoride when a mild-mannered guy in glasses who had been wandering around looking at the terrible art on the wall inadvertently interrupted the Hard Hippy’s monologue.
‘Er… does anybody mind if I take a cutting from one of these plants?’
The whole room fell into a nervous silence as the muscular blond stopped talking and, sensing the change, the mild-mannered guy began to shift nervously from foot to foot realizing that he had made a bad mistake.
After an uncomfortable thirty seconds during which we all fidgeted anxiously the Hard Hippy finally said in a calm but icy voice, ‘I dunno, man. Why don’t you ask the plant?’
‘What?’ said the visitor.
‘I said, “Why don’t you like get on your knees and ask the plant if you can take a cutting?” After all, it’s like you’re taking one of its babies or something, man.’
‘Erm… OK, yes’, said the mild-mannered man, and bending down to the ill-looking spider plant he said to it, ‘Erm… hi. Erm, do you mind if I take a cutting from one of your shoots?’
‘What did it say?’ asked the Hard Hippy.
‘It doesn’t seem to mind’.
‘Well, go ahead, then’.
With trembling hands the visitor took a tiny spring of the plant and quickly left.
‘Fucking straights, man,’ the Hard Hippy said.”
Stalin ate my homework