Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Off the Cuff

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Off the Cuff

Article excerpt

Byline: By Richard Ord

I love rubbish, man. I do. I absolutely love rubbish." The word man entered our boy Bradley's vocabulary about a fortnight ago. It punctuates his sentences almost as often as right and like.

"This is what you do, right?"

"Hey man."

"What's that? Like."

He's driving us mad, man. Of course, I'm getting the blame, but that's another story, like.

The rubbish he was referring to was the food he enjoys. His diet rules are simple: If the wrapping's bright, colourful and covered in cartoon characters then it's a sure sign there's something tasty inside. He's three-years-old.

Bradley doesn't eat Coco-Pops he eats Spider-Man Coco Pops (free plastic Squirter in every packet).

His drink of choice is coke. He loves it. David Beckham drinks it. Bradley drank it once, at a friend's house. He hasn't stopped talking about it since.

Bradley drinks Ribena at home. But it must have the donkey out of the children's movie Shrek on the bottle ( no imitations accepted (and by imitations he means the same Ribena drink in different packaging).

He's no great fan of fruit; he loves Power Rangers Ninja Storm lollipops. He's never had one, but he loves them, he's seen them on the telly.

His hero is Ryan, the boy who lives up our street. He's the boy with a football permanently attached to his foot and a soccer strip for every day of the week.

Ryan's great. He's got a cool new hairstyle. His hair is shaved within a couple of millimetres of his scalp though he does have the barest wisp of a fringe, which has been bleached blond. Tramlines have been shaved above his ears and, as of last night, the letters NUFC had been shaved along the back of his head. Ryan plays football from dawn till dusk and never tires. I pulled a hamstring just watching him.

He's the street's David Beckham. Nine-year-old Ryan can do no wrong in the adoring eyes of our Brads.

Ryan also eats foot-long luminous green ice pops. Bradley wants, nay demands, the same.

I bought him one. They are called Mr Freeze and feature a cartoon snowman in sunglasses on the wrapper alongside the words The Coolest Pop in the Universe. …

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