#GuestPost: Mighty MorphinE Power Rangers by Smuff

I have a friend named Smuff. No doubt some of you know him too. Here he is:

Smuff is simply an incredible character, famous in his own rights and equally as fantastic. One night (very early morning) he offered his magical writing services and I felt that this blog would benefit greatly from Smuff's input, so here is the first ever (and potentially only) 'Guest Post' from Smuff Smith.

Mighty MorphinE Power Rangers

The word morphine was the catalyst for my soon to become unhealthy love affair with the programme. I was first alerted to its existence in early September 1993. I had just started secondary school and to be honest I should probably have been growing up and reading 'Adrian Mole' or something but when iIheard James Draper cooing about his first viewing I had a huge urge to find out for myself. I checked my Mum's Daily Mail weekend television supplement for the next scheduled episode and was elated to find that I only had until the following morning to wait until I got my first serving of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. It didn't help that when James was rehashing the exploits of these Lycra skinned helmet wearing super humans that I had misinterpreted the word morphin with the word morphine. I'd taken a keen interest in the pharmaceutical industry from an early age for which I feel my mother was to blame as she was a nurse and used to have the biggest mound of 'Nursing times' back issues in her bedroom and for some unknown reason I found them strangely fascinating and would often have a flick when not partaking in other more interesting child activities.

The morning came and I settled down possibly panting a little and definitely very excited to see what these morphine riddled super heroes were actually all about. From my very limited knowledge of the drug morphine at the age of 12 I was finding what James had described a little hard to believe because these rangers might have been mighty but if the title was to be taken as gospel then they were going to be jacked up to the eyes balls on Heroin substitutes and no way could I understand how they were going to perform the athletic manoeuvres and martial art sequences that James had spoken of on that barmy late Summer morning in Hayes School playground. From very early on that first morning I started to suspect that this was not the tale of some morphine riddled rangers but a rather bizarre television series that I probably should have switched off straight away and retreated to my Mum's room for a good old flick of a classic early 80's issue of 'Nursing Times' but then I saw Kimberly!!!

Kimberly was the Pink Ranger and from the moment I laid eyes on her I knew that however shit it was going to be you'd more than likely find me in front of the TV at the same time, same place tomorrow and then the next day and the next day and the next. Kimberly was the one you fancied and she has to take a large part of the blame for my many hours wasted watching it but I also have to credit her for featuring in many of my favourite adolescent dreams. I would even go as far as saying that The Pink Ranger would probably give Britney Spears a good run for her money in the most boxes of tissues used on a celebrity crush award. Britney probably would just about edge it though.

I'm not really that small-minded so there were actually other reasons that I quickly took a shine to the Power Rangers but in a love/hate sort of way. It was shit but that was half the reason i liked it. I always loved all the early Doctor Who episodes with their amazingly crap monsters and cheap sets and I feel in some way the Power Rangers was very similar but probably with a much bigger budget. There was Zordon the creator of the power rangers. I reckon the chap that made it was a big Red Dwarf fan as Zordon was very similar to Holly the computer but American and in my opinion much shitter than Holly. Zordon was like the American remake of The Office or any of the other half decent British programme the yanks have completely ruined with a remake. But the vague parallels (and they were very vague) with Holly from Red Dwarf also subconsciously assisted in my continued descent to the role of a serious Mighty Morphin Power Ranger Fan.

Bulk and Skull can't go without a mention. Like a poor mans Bebop and Rocksteady from the Turtles these two douchebags as our american cousins would call them were trouble with a capital T. Between them they often provided the most comedy elements of an otherwise gritty script. They even had their own background music which for me shows you must have made it to some degree in the world. They were like the village idiots with a nasty streak but I always had a soft spot for them but I very much doubt at the time that you would have found me declaring that round the bike sheds having a crafty fag at lunchtime.

Probably my favourite of the enemies were the Putties who were the general army of Rita Rupulser. Rita was the main nemesis of Zordon and the Rangers but the Putties were just really expendable foot soldiers or dogsbodies.

The Putties were always the first to face up to the Rangers before Rita called in the big guns. They were strangely scary - despite having the appearance of the 'wacky bloke' from your office who does the London to Brighton in a skintight full body leotard and then does a victory acid tab at the finish and dances vigorously before getting their arse kicked. They never beat the Rangers but their sheer numbers always ensured they were a thorn in their side in most episodes.

I was an avid watcher of the first series and was probably guilty of watching repeats of the same episode on more than one occasion but when they started changing the characters and even introducing new colours of Power Rangers it really got on my wick and my interest soon began to wane. No Kimberley and a new White Power Ranger called Tommy, if I remember correctly, were the final straw and the Power Rangers were slowly phased out of my life. It was an undoubtedly abrupt and sad end to the relationship but I will always look back on that period of my life fondly.

Many years later I was in Southsea BMX'ing for the week and one evening whilst winding down I decided to go in search of acid on the beach, much to the disgust of the local fisherman i seem to remember. Luckily I was to bump into some skaters on the way back to our hotel and soon found myself dropping my first tab of acid in a house overlooking Southsea common. After much laughing and hi-jinx I bid my tripping buddies goodnight, shortly followed by one of their friends who darted past me and disappeared quickly into the night running bare-footed away from whatever he was seeing, shrieking and just generally losing the plot and, as I was later to discover, not returning for two days and still redundant of his shoes, extremely confused and possibly never to be the same again.

I got back to the hotel to find my mate still slumped over the toilet where I had left him many hours before so I cleaned him up a bit, chuckling to myself and got him out of the toilet and onto the bed. When he started to come round a bit I began to relay my night of acid but as soon as we started talking I broke down with laughter because to me he looked like Ivan Ooze the pinky purple mutant enemy from the feature length Power Rangers movie. It's probably one of the most crazy hallucinations I've ever experienced and I guess I've got James Draper and the 'Nursing Times' to thank for that.



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