ALAN MOORE “This detached, cynical expression pulls the birds.”
The young, innocent, good natured, politically active, naive, skint, sex starved, long haired new student, Alan Guy Moore.
Alan arrived at Rigsby’s with an ivory prayer book in one hand and a teddy in the other. According to Rigsby, he was escorted to the Rigsby dwellings with his father, ex RAF “Bloody Brylcream boy!”, and his overbearing mother who even blows on his hot potatoes! His father was a little unsure about the bed-sit, who wouldn’t be, and proceeded to start jumping around the room to check the floorboards. He ended up with his foot through the plaster! Alan G. Moore, says his middle names Guy, though he told Rigsby it was George, is a student of the local college, “When did you last go to the college? My-God they must have forgotten what you look like down there.”, Alan:-“I go regularly”, Rigsby:- “How can you? Your hair’s never dry.”
He’s studying medicine, a field where, as Alan puts it, “We know so little.” Which Rigsby can easily believe “You’re tellin’ me.” Though some may think that Alan’s studying divinity! Rigsby’s suspect, “Eh ‘ave you been on the Cannabis again?” Fortunately, his only real-life medical examination has been on a tenant who collapsed in the basement, “You examined him and pronounced life extinct, “Three hours later he starts snoring!” Rigsby denounces. He also treated the household cat, Vienna, for a slight limp and ended up dislocating the cat’s hip which can only put validity to the threat of Rigsby writing to the medical profession if Alan ever becomes a doctor. Should be a long wait though, Alan’s got a crippling fear of manual labour!
An original tenant of the Rigsby household, which he refers to as bleak house, “It’s worse than livin’ in the YMCA!”, and constantly complains to Ruth that the conditions are disgusting, “I’ve forgotten what it was like to wear open neck shirts I can’t spread butter, I tear great holes out of the bread. I can’t study. The brain won’t function at Such low temperatures because it’s so cold” Alan has kept himself to himself over the past months as he is too scared to even approach his strange landlord, Rigsby. His room is constantly cold, with a severe case of rising damp, “How can you ‘ave rising damp in the attic?”, for which he has to pay just over four pounds a week for the pleasure. Eating, “My God, the way you attacked your food…”, his steady diet of sandwiched dried peas, which drum down the stairs like grapeshot, sausages and beans, smothered in tomato sauce, and a hearty honest fry-up, is the only way he can keep warm. Though, he will try and cook a course a five-course meal on one gas ring, as Rigsby notes “I can’t see yer for Steam some nights.”
When he comes into a bit of money he normally treks down to the local Chinese take-away or the fish and chip shop. Miss Jones believes he is shy and lonely, “…so was Crippen!”, Rigsby reminds us. Alan would sooner see his similarities with Jesus Christ, “…HE didn’t have a hair dryer though did he? Didn’t give himself blow waves.” Rigsby retorts. Alan regularly buys the magazine Woman’s Own as well as some adult-art magazines to cherish the female form!?! It’ll come as a great surprise to him that they don’t have staples across their stomachs, and that goes for Rigsby as well. Rigsby’s seen Alan hanging around in WH Smiths and it wasn’t Practical Woodworker that Alan was after “You know it’s bad for the eyes don’t ya?”, Alan – “What?”, “Small print!….That’s hard porn that is mate!” Alan lived alone in the attic flat until Phil arrived, whom he finds very interesting, “He’s the son of a chief”, yes we know! His room’s plastered with his pin-ups and Labour Party paraphernalia. Politically active, Alan frequently attends the local demonstrations with Philip flying the Labour Party flag “The workers and the students must unite, right?” with pride, considering himself a Maoist to a Marxist, a true Red. Al and Philip even give the local baker a clench fist salute. He once joined a political protest intent on breaking in on a National Front meeting, unknowingly knocking a policeman’s helmet off in the scuffle that followed. What with this and his defective rear light on his bicycle which, but as the Detective replies, “We hardly call that ‘form’, Sir.”
Alan keeps a watchful, distant, eye from the attic’s dreary view, “I don’t think Lenin would ‘ave left it like that.”, mocks Rigsby. His other companion in the room is his medical skeleton whom he informs Rigsby was his last tenant “Very funny.” Alan even pretends it’s a woman, complimenting it as he dances with it “’ello darlin” around the room, to Rigsby’s distaste “You morbid sod.” All this along with his ever growing collection of toiletries and hair care products, prompting Rigsby to find no less a similarity than with a ladies hairdressers. Alan’s long, cascading hair is his most prized possession, Rigsby believes he grew his hair so that people would dislike him, “He can hardly see let alone hear….like a bloody sheep dog!”. He even wears curlers to bed, keeping his hair in prime condition. That is when he’s not wearing the mirror out trying to make his eyebrows dance up and down. So much so that he won’t go out after dark or until he’s heard the weather forecast or got out of the bathroom, “Eh, you’ve left another ring round the bath.” He goes home to his parents at the weekends and spends his evenings studying, “The only thing you study is yer navel…..you even shave lying down.” or going to the local cinemas, the Flea Pit and the Plaza in the hope of seeing some naked bodies, “I’ere they get their clothes off in the first ten minutes.”, and the local pub, The Blue Ram’.
Other than alleging to being a member of the active permissive society he does not indulge in any other form of other recreation, as it were, not even football much to Rigsby’s annoyance.” Our National sport…”. Though he does attempt to develop his body in an intense course of bodybuilding “My God it’s Strang the Terrible!”, though Rigsby believes the only thing he’s going to develop is a hernia. He’s also gone through a phase of Kung Fu / Karate type activities, trouble is he never keeps it up, much to Rigsby’s delight and bait for yet another argument. Alan can’t stand Rigsby looking out for him all the time listening for any disturbances outside the front door, “I owe it to your parents.” he wants to be a free man. This, however, is nigh on impossible for the skulking landlord, “I’m not skulkin’. I’m skint!” is always bursting in on his room for nothing other than an argument and a bit of company. Alan’s aware of his loneliness, he knows he’s had no luck with women, as Alan says “If he played blind man’s bluff in a harem he’d end up with a eunuch!” So, Rigsby turns the tables on his lack of luck and proceeds to mark mainly Alan and Phil out as fully paid up members of the permissive society. Though it’s not so bad in Rigsby’s eyes for Phil, “He’s got 10 wives he can afford to be philosophical.”
Philip and Alan would have cured the common cold, found a substitute for oil and conquered space if they had spent as much time on medical research than the research of women. Alan likes his women to be small mouthed and long and leggy, “I dunno how you can be so depraved?”, but his only chat up lines, to these imaginary girlfriends, seem to be “ello darlin’…you have a captivatin’ smile…. come ‘ere often?” and proceeds to date them with a trip to the cinema, a game of scrabble, a listen to the proms and a mug of cocoa, allegedly. Let’s face it he doesn’t want to give himself a bad name, “I don’t usually try anything on the first date.”
A born liar within the world of relationships, Alan’s conscious that women won’t be attracted to him because his only means of transport is “Yorkshire tread’ i.e. a pedestrian. So, he casually throws around a set of car keys whenever he’s in the pub! He’s even gone to the lengths of having his ear pierced, “Earings! God help England.”, much to Rigsby’s disgust. Phil likes it though, “He would. He thinks a bone through the nose is alright.”
Well, as for Alan’s love life, he has claimed to have had a handful, but a heart to heart with Philip “There’s no one more deprived as you Alan.”, soon puts pay to all the lies. For poor old Alan being a student and all the stigmas attached to it, means he should be indulging in carnal pursuits day and night every night but he’s never really known a woman intimately. Though there was Sandra Cooper. She had it in her head that Alan had proposed and they were engaged. He left her sobbing her eyes out after he ate all the food in her house and damaged their hedge. Her brothers weren’t too pleased either and came looking for him with Sandra’s father, “My-God there big buggers aren’t they?” There was Maureen as well. A dedicated cyclist whom Alan used to smuggle in along with her bike of course! She used to hide under the bed “That’s charisma is it?” whenever footsteps were heard just in case Rigsby found her “You’ve been ‘avin an orgy!” Though Maureen would sooner have a drink from her bicycle cannisters, than be entertained by Alan. He even tried to seduce her with the little green pills, claiming they were sweets!
Phil reckons Alan ought to try and entice Miss Jones, now that he’s made his peace with her after telling Ruth about his 10 wives but Rigsby’s got the very same idea, “…yer bloody vampire!”, and Alan’s caught in her room, “I’ve always suspected you. I think it’s your narrow forehead.”. However, he has been going steady with the well-bred Caroline Armitage. A well-spoken and well-bred young lady from a gracious family. Of course, Alan’s not in it for the money even if she has got savings and unit bonds! Oh no, he’s not a fortune hunter is he? Al’s always believed women are after him for his money, that is if they haven’t already fallen asleep in his company. Surprising really as he’s always skint, looking to borrow off Rigsby, “I’ll add it toyer rent.”, or Phil and considers himself a victim of inflation. He even keeps all his change in his sock! He has been dating her for six months and has decided to pop the question and decided to get engaged but with Rigsby pinching the mother-in-law’s bottom in the cocktail hour and spreading the truth to the Armitage family about Alan’s manners, there’s no chance for poor old Alan and Rigsby’s not surprised, “I think he lives in a dreamworld!” New tenant Brenda will perhaps provide Alan with some female interest. An artist’s model, who drinks pints and quite forthright. Alan gets Phil to do the all the running in fixing him up with Brenda and it works! Alan’s as happy as a sand boy and they even spend Christmas together. It’s unknown if the relationship blossomed and whether Brenda left with Alan at the end of 1977. Whatever happened, bleak house was an even sadder place without him and he was badly missed by Ruth, Phil and yes, Rigsby.
In REALITY though….. Alan had never tampered with anyone, or experienced the coloured lights and the sound of crashing waves against the rocks with anyone at all! “…but you’re a paid up member of the permissive society. You know where the ‘erogenous zones’ are.” Rigsby reminds him. “I know where the Himalayas are but I’ve never been up ’em.” replies Alan.
Alan enters Rigsby’s flat, thinking he’s away:-
Alan:- “Rigsby!?..what are you doing back?”
Rigsby:- “Oooh yes…I thought I could smell Cannabis.”