John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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Jones’s reaction to the theme from “Out Of This World”

Early Days
Sources of the story: The Sealed Envelope and Chris’s Reply
30th June 1962 to 22nd September 1962
 1. As the phrase “out of this world”
[1] suggests, the theme tune from the TV series of this name sounded rather other-worldly. It was in a minor key, and would have made one feel uneasy if one was forced to hear it in a darkened room. Apart from that, it was pretty unremarkable. Except that Jones detested it, of course!
[1] Out of This World was a 13-episode, hour-long series of science fiction adaptations produced by ABC TV, hosted by horror-film star Boris Karloff, and broadcast from 30 June 1962 to 22 September 1962. I remember especially the episode Cold Equations, with Jane Asher and Peter Wyngarde. Jane Asher had stowed away on board a space vessel, fatally exceeding its permissible payload. The dramatic tension lay in the exploration of possible options; the conclusion was that even by jettisoning all the equipment they could, they still had insufficient fuel to land. (This was the first time I had heard the word “jettison”.) In the final scene, Jane Asher climbs into the airlock to be ejected.

July 1962, at Fleetwood Grammar School
 2. I discovered that fact one Monday lunch-time. Having just left the boys’ cloakroom, Jones and I were standing in the area of boys’ playground roughly between the toilet and the wall of the chemistry lab. I was humming to myself, when I remembered that I had seen “Out of this World” at the weekend and brought to mind the theme tune from it:
Bong bong bong (I sang)
Bo-bo-bong bong bo-bong
 Jones turned to me and putting on his mild, quiet voice requested me to stop.
 “I’d rather you didn’t sing that, if you don’t mind.”
 “Why not, Jonesy?”
 “Well, I’d rather you didn’t. I can’t stand that tune.”
 “Oh.” I was thus silenced.
 We carried on whatever we had been doing. But the tune was still in my mind and a few minutes later, quite involuntarily, I started humming it again.
Hmm hmm hmm
 “Ah!” cautioned Jones, looking at me from beneath lowered brows and wagging his extended forefinger.
 There was again silence.

 3. A day or so later I was in a playful mood and thought I would try a little friendly Jones baiting. We were again outside the cloakroom, when I started:
Bong bong bong
 Jones’s face puckered slightly and he showed his displeasure by baring his teeth. A reedy “Eeeee!” escaped from his throat.
 I paused, and Jones turned away.
Bo-bo-bong bong bo-bong
 “EEEE!” This time Jones’s growl was louder.
 Another pause. Then when Jones, again, wasn’t looking:
Bong bong bong
 “G r r r r !”
 I decided, looking at the fuming, angry person next to me that I had better cease my provocation.
 Some time later, however, a mischievous urge came over me and I suddenly completed the verse of the tune:
Bo-bo-bo-bong bong bong bong
 “G R R R E O W !”
 I ducked as Jones advanced towards me with a determined and very menacing look on his face and arms swinging ferociously like windmills in a strong wind.

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