Digby Driver has not always been known by that name, for the very good reason that it was not his original one. He had been born about 30 years before in some year after World War II, in fact--in a midland county borough; and at that time his name was Kevin Gumm. True, he had not been christened Kevin, for he had never been christened (which was not his fault), but he had nevertheless grown up with that name, which had been given to him by either his mother, Mavis or grandmother. His mother left him in the care of his grandmother before vanishing permanently out of his life. This was partly due to the arrival of Kevin himself. He certainly had some evidence tending toward this conclusion; and although his mother had denied the accusation, poor Kevin became first a casus belli between them and before long the final disrupter of a marriage-tie which had never been anything but tenuous. By the time Kevin was old enough to talk, Mavis had not been among those present for nearly 2 years, and since her own mother had not the least idea on which side of the Atlantic to begin to look for her, she found herself reluctantly stuck with Kevin.
William Blake remarked that the unloved cannot love, but he said nothing about the development of their intelligence. Kevin was above average. He grew up sharp enough, and very much a product of his time. He also grew up without respect or fear for parents (since he knew none), for God (of Whom, or of Whose Son, for that matter, he knew even less), or for the school authorities (since they were prevented by law to teach him restraint or discipline). One day, he was sentenced to juvenile court at the age of 10 for breaking and entering an old widow's shop and threatening her with violence. This only taught him to avoid attracting the attention of the police and his parents eventually gave up teaching him. In the mid 1960's, he obtained a state-grant-aided place to read sociology at one of the provincial universities.
As a rebel student, he was a match for all challengers and was a dread of university authorities. He departed from the university to get a small job of journalism at the London Orator and it took him 5 years to become successful.
Here all his past life, from the earliest years, paid off, and all his talents were fully employed. In short, he had found his metier. Kevin's ear was well to the ground and he soon built up a web of reliable contacts and sources of information. Did some wretched, distracted girl gas herself and her children one dark night on Canonbury? Kevin was on the doorstep by 7:00 the next morning and by one means or another could always contrive to extract some interesting remark from the husband, the neighbors or the doctor. Was a child abducted and murdered by a psychopath in Kilburn? The mother had no hope of evading Kevin--he knew her better than she knew herself. Was there a fatal traffic accident on the North Circular, a near-miss by an intending suicide at Putney, a row, a schoolmaster accused of interfering with a boy at Totenham, a Pakistani arrested and bailed on a charge of living on the immoral earnings of schoolgirls at Tooting, a knifing, a shooting, a case of corruption; rape, ruin, bereavement, heartbreak, the riving open of some long-concealed private grief? Kevin was the lad to make sure the public did not miss it; and infallibly hit upon the original line (not necessarily salacious, but invariably personal and destructive of human dignity) calculated to make of his subject a targetfor ill-informed indignation or raw material for a few moments of cixarious and mawkish horror. Privacym resistance and himan worth melted before him like ghosts at cockcrow.
It was while in Copenhagen, getting material for a special feature on pornography and sexual night clubs, that he first adopted the nome de plume of Digby Driver, by which he was later to be known to millions of London Orator readers and eventually even to himself. He had decided that he needed a better image or persona for the job--something a shade jokey, suggestive of youth, energy and good humour, but having--as it were, at a deeper level of loose and irresponsible association--an undertone of delving, subterranean perserverance in the pursuit of news ("Digby") coupled with that relentless, forceful energy ("Driver") which ought to characterize an Orator man. The idea worked excellently. Kevin Gumm had gone into Copenhagen. Digby Driver came out.
You'll tell NerdWithAKeyboard, KGBSpetsnaz, BigBadSquid, B1bl1kal, Jester of chaos, AustinDR, Love Robin, Valkerone, DarkUnknownWarrior, and all of my remaining friends that we did such a great job on reading the rules and working hard.