Journey through space to the Planet Fabulous, where the Ruler of the Universe will see you shortly.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Red! Angry! Red!

My other celebrity friend this week is Lulu.

And she’s full of surprises, I can tell you. For one, she’s only three foot tall, actually smaller than most hobbits, but can down three bottles of Southern Comfort in under ten minutes. The story of how we met is an odd one: I bumped into her hanging outside The Ivy. It happens to be on my way home, and I accidentally brushed past her lovingly while she’d popped out the back door for a fag, hollering at the paparazzi. But they just weren’t interested in taking a picture of her. For one, Shane Richie was coming out the front door. She looked so downtrodden that I simply had to help her out by screaming, “Lulu and I are having an affair!” The cameras whirred and she got to page 48 in the Croydon Herald, so that made her happy.

A thank-you dinner followed, followed by a thank-you foot spa and a thank-you cow’s heart (when asked why, she has a tendency to go all misty-eyed and whisper, “Oh, it was the happiest Christmas ever...” but refuses to be drawn further). The hard times of late have lead to the unusual occurrence of her actually living within celeb restaurant The Ivy thanks to a deal struck with the flamboyant matre d’. They have donated her a booth at the rear of the restaurant where she spends her time, drinking cheap champagne until she falls into the breadbasket around midnight. I was most surprised to see the waiters simply draw the curtains, hoover around her, and leave her until the morning.

Up close, I can reveal that Lulu actually looks younger than I. When pushed on the issue, it transpires that she is in fact an eternal, gaining her power from a black hole she imprisoned under Harrods. Due to harnessing the unique properties of the event horizon, with each Harrods hamper delivered, Lulu not only looks like she’s getting younger each day, but actually is. At the last count, she’s 22 years old, but still makes sure that she gets to bathe in the milk of an elk in the kitchens. Elk’s milk does curdle extraordinarily easily, and she has to take her bath between 8.48am and 8.54am each morning lest she smells like an eclair that’s been out in the sun all day. On one of these days, you are often to find her with a bluetit perched on her head, trying to pick through her hair to what it thinks is the delicious milk inside.

I don’t know why we get on, but we do. We are from separate walks of life completely: I’m a slatternly, pedantic midlander, and she’s a plastic effigy of Yoda in a red wig. Yet the hours dance by when we’re together, and she can spin out a yarn ‘til morning, no matter how drunk she is. For her, the amazement is in how fast I can knit while I talk, creating whole Tom Baker scarves in the duration of one tale about my local town’s Kwik-Fit and the men who serviced me within. Her one slight habit that causes exasperation is she is slightly egomaniacal; everything associated to her must be prefixed with ‘Lulu’. Hence where she lives is the Lulu-Booth. She smokes Lulu-Fags, and clears everyone out of the rear of the restaurant so she can drop her Lulu-drawers and take a Lulu-whizz in the Lulu-bogs.

One thing I can’t thank her enough for is introducing me to her wide and fabulous group of friends. These loyal allies have been visiting her since her relocation to The Ivy, smuggling in food so she only has to order bread from the menu to pay her rent. There was a little accident last time it occurred, leaving me surreptitiously mopping up a beefy source while the waiters had turned their backs: Lulu had an accident with her Pot Noodle before the water went in. As she is only three foot tall, getting the foil lid off is quite difficult to do, and in her haste to get to the beefy flavour within caused it to explode, scattering freeze-dried powder and pasta-y goodness all over her booth. Unfortunately, she was also seated with Patricia Routledge (a consummate bed-wetter) who literally pissed her self laughing and caused the whole thing to ‘stand for three minutes’ lets say, and now her entire alcove smelt of KP Food’s finest for a good six hours. Still, my mopping got most of it up, and I hushed her in her thanks. What else would a friend do?

Needless to say I got a cow’s heart delivered two days later.

But I can’t say that the friendship isn’t hard at times. Her habits have become very set after four hundred years of walking the Earth. New fangled things trouble her: not three days ago, I spent most of the morning trying to persuade Lulu to come down off the light-fittings (someone swapped her Moet for a bottle of Toilet Duck and she decided that she was a fly-on-the-wall documentary like Big Brother or something. Oh, she just needs to feel popular once more...) She is still up there, you know. Another half an hour and we will have to start hitting the chandelier with the Lulu-Brooms.

I can no longer imagine my life without Lulu, and in fact carry a little red-haired gonk with me wherever I go. This life-sized doll reminds me of my special friend, as does starting my ancient Vauxhall Cavalier of a morning: a cold sunrise is often broken by the sound of “We-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-llllll!” over the trees.

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