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

Friday, March 12, 2004

Glitter For Brains' World Tour! Part II

Over the last four weeks, I have been in five hotel rooms, one log cabin, and in the spare beds of at least two of the Wife's friends. They do say that travel broadens the mind, but they never warned how many free toothbrushes you will accumulate.

First off was the hotel of this dolly old Doctor Who convention in LA, for which Linda Gray had clearly hijacked the expected delivery of glamour in a drive-by earlier that morning. What there was remaining was plainly taken by the big-haired waitress called Mari-Ellen (yee-haw!) who worked in the gauche Tiki Lounge of a bar; she was one of those that called a spade a spade, had nails like talons, and hair so dangerously large you winced every time she wandered under a ceiling fan.

When I had first checked in, they made great play of the fact I would be getting a spa in my room. But what they didn't say was that the spa was an enormous hot tub that wasn't in the bathroom, but was right next to the bed. And surrounded by oddly-smeared mirrors. Well, I did appreciate the thought, though they were two years and one relationship too late for me to actually use it for what it was clearly intended. Indeed, when you turned the air conditioning off, you could hear the low, ghostly moans of waitresses trying to get a film career.

Oh, and it was filthy. Not just in sheer tacky atmosphere, but in cleanliness. I had a go at filling the blessed thing once only to find the plughole blocked, and there is not enough money in the world to make me find out by what alien matter. Gertie took a scant glance over to it on a visit, and asked me whether I woke and expected to find the cold body of a dead whore in it.

Well, I didn't. But then I did.

Meeting celebs in such hotel surroundings seemed merely a happy side effect after the wonders of the deadly whirlpool. I'd already decided to make star guest Susannah Harker my New Best Friend, and gaily sidled up to her in the Green Room after she'd wandered in enveloped in a jet-lagged fug. I insisted she tried the donuts, and complemented her odd green jacket. She said that she thought it was sufficiently sci-fi (bless her) and wandered off even more befuddled, like she'd just been ravaged by tinsel.

And, later, the oddest thing: I bumped into the slightly batty Janet Fielding (she played the Aussie air hostess companion Tegan Jovanka, dear Not-We). She seems a force of nature that is wise to fear, so I tended to pussyfoot around her until one afternoon when we happened to be in the Green Room together. She stared at me for a full two minutes with narrowed eyes until she announced, "You're the artist, aren't you?"

There was no inflection in her voice at all. I had no idea whether she wanted to hug me or kill me.

I said that I was. And here's the weird thing: we chatted for at least another few minutes, and I have no recollection as to what we discussed. The woman's got powers, I tells ya.

As the convention wound down, Gertie and I made our escape to somewhere a little more up-market (and certainly closer to the areas frequented by Men Who Are Good Listeners). This was certainly a good thing as a) I'd forgot the look of every other colour except brown, and b) I'd actually decided to use the spa, but hadn't filled it up enough, causing the jets to fire a high-powered stream of water at the far wall. Fortunately the room already smelled of damp and sleaze before I had my accident, so we escaped into the night with our lives - and our deposits - intact.

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