Martyn Halcrow Suffers Spasms of a Toothache by Martyn Halcrow

Martyn Halcrow

Martyn Halcrow Suffers Spasms of a Toothache


Ten years ago I spotted Professor Eysenck crossing Denmark Hill. I stopped and asked him what contribution he thought the Behaviourist B F skinner might make to the fact that I had recognised him from a photograph the size of a postage stamp. Eysenck smiled and said: ‘Not much.’ We should have left it there, but the good man felt that civility demanded more words. We agreed that I knew he worked at the Maudsley Hospital; perhaps ‘Associationism’ had something to offer. We chatted about Associationism.

I don’t think Associationism would help to explain how I recognised Mr Bill Kalloway, who hailed my cab at a bus stop in Holland Park Avenue. I had not seen or heard of him for thirty years. We once played Cowboys and Indians together.

This week I picked up Lord Boyd-Carpenter from the Carlton Towers and drove him to Eaton Terrace. I had forgotten his name and only remembered it hours later. We were not embarrassed, however. He did not recognise me at all. But had I cooperated with Clarke Kent of the Daily Telegraph – Clarke does not want me to use his real name; odd, I thought, as he wants to use mine – his Lordship might have struggled to place my face. Clarke wants to make me a star. He wants me to be photographed for the Peterborough column of the Telegraph.

Clarke is the second Peterborough journalist to threaten my autistic world. I am aware that the Telegraph is fighting a circulation war for the hearts and minds of the lower middle class. Cab drivers, until this recession at least, had many of the target qualities of Essex Man. But should

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