It's the summer of 1976, a nearly 13 year old Gene Hunt and his little brother Stu get up to all sorts during their six weeks off school, but he bumps into Jackie Queen who sometimes play prank phone calls in the telephone box? Will this be declared the best summer of their childhood?
"Hold on Stu, while I get me Chopper bike from the garage. I'll come with you as I fancy a 10 pence mix up with plenty of black jacks." said a 13 year old Gene Hunt; who was the coolest kid in the street with his fizzy lemon Raleigh Chopper MkII and his little brother Stu often tagged along with him whenever they played out with their mates on the street. Gene may pop to Jackie Queen's house later to see if she wants to come out. "Sometime we mess about in the phone box making prank calls, Stu, me little bro; she'll teach you, but don't use it to scam people please OK?" said Gene advisingly promising Stu who had brown curly hair a packet of Space Invaders and some bubblegum bottles if he's been good for his big brother.
Stu played a few prank calls with his big brother's frenemy Jackie Queen and listening to Dancing Queen playing everywhere.
"I can't choose between Spangles and Opal Fruits. Will someone go halfers with me?" shouted Stu who couldn't decide on his sweets as he was given 5p to spend at the corner shop by Mum or whether to have a mix up "The grumpy shop owner might shout at you as she doesn't like children very much! Hurry up Stu or I'll choose for you!" said Gene Hunt urging Stu to choose his sweets wisely. "Okay, Genie." he sighed dramatically "That'll get me some fruit salad chews, some cherry lips and a drumstick lolly in a white paper bag instead." in Mrs Clarke's corner shop queqing up for their sweets stood behind an old lady buying sliced ham which is cut by one of those machines that goes forwards and back, meat slicer? thought Stu Hunt "or maybe I'll have lots of fizzy cola bottles and pink shrimps instead, bro?"
"Whatever you want, Stu. It's 1976, the best summer ever of our childhood!" remarked Gene Hunt with a cheeky wink in his blue eyes, as the Hunt brothers are living in Lancashire, the land that draught would forget, a month later in September. Stu proudly shows off his big brother Gene on his Raleigh Chopper to some of his little friends who decided to stick with the younger boy "My big teenage bro's yellow Chopper is the envy of the neighbourhood, but the seat too high for me, so I'll never master it..."
"Hey Stuie, what are you crying for mate?" asked Gene worriedly out of big brotherly concern seeing that his little brother is feeling a pinch of envy or had he'd been led astray again? One of the neighbours runs a bread van that goes around their council estate. "Did you ask if they could play what time is it Mr Fox and they just ditched you for following the rules and called you a baby?"
"We were playing Bumper car, bumper car Number 48..." Stu sobbed in a heap of tears "but then their cousins came over to play boring old skipping games... and I went to a different corner shop on my own to get a lemonade lolly and someone's big bro knocked their teeth out on those ramps!" he watched a 8 year old boy who has just knocked his front teeth out trying to copy Evel Knievel ramp jumps on his red Chopper.
"Starsky & Hutch is on tonight, so cheer up, little bro." said Gene rubbing his chin on Stu's dark curly hair and cuddled his little brother, picking him up when Gene sees that he's calmed down, he puts Stu back on the ground.
"Yay!" cheered Stu doing a happy little skip near his big brother Gene, as the teen is getting back on his bicycle. Stu was too young for watching The Sweeney on telly.
"You're only 4 so you know you're not allowed to the shop on your own just yet, Stu." Gene sighed "Mam will kill me, she's warned me about you running off!" he's humming the latest David Bowie song, wearing Wrangler flared jeans and his current favourite t-shirt which says ' lip smackin', thirst quenchin', ace tastin', motivatin', good buzzin', cool walkin', high talkin', fast livin', cool fizzin', ever givin' PEPSI!' on it. Punk is just around the corner.
"Will dad is going to take us to the swimming pool in his bronze ford cortina with the double lights." asked Stu buzzing with excitement, jumping up and down with the wonders of his 4 year old mind.
"Maybe if you're a good boy and he's not in the police station." Gene smiled "Did you make sure you use the Green Cross Code when crossing the road?" remembered that Stu's school had a visit from a police man dressed as Tufty the squirrel on road safety. Mum made Stu watch the Public Information Films as it was important.
Gene and Stu's mum will be making a bacon and egg pie to be eaten with home grown salad and Heinz salad cream for tea. No fancy quiches in Salford, Manchester.
This BBC Life on Mars fanfic was written with the word prompts of "summer", "1976" and "childhood" featuring a 13 year old Gene Hunt and his little brother Stu exploring their relationship from a child's perspective and explains some of the better memories of their 1970's and 1980's upbringing.