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

Friday, October 21, 2005

Parka Club

Back in the time of space hoppers and Brut aftershave, everyone had a parka coat. They were blue, had multiple pockets and - most excitingly - a fur hood that could be zipped up leaving a tiny circle of pelt that was just big enough to eat a Curly-Whirly through. You looked like a curious blue periscope, lending it an adventurous air. And so everyone had one. And it was probably the reason why child abduction was so high in the Seventies; mothers would just grab the nearest blue parka and drag it home, regardless of what was in it.

I had a parka coat about the same time as having mittens on strings. We all used to feed the string through the coats arms, which could be dangerous if you scratched your nose as someone could yank your other arm and you would punch yourself in the face.

* * *

Several days ago, one of the clever, clever people in that links section mentioned a parka on their blog. I blithely waddled up and related this horror-filled tale about how dangerous parkas were.

Little did I realise someone was listening. The email arrived a few hours later.

* * *

When you were eight and your imagination wasn't wholly spent trying to undress the nice boy in Sales, parkas were also great for pretending to be Superman. You put your head in the hood and, leaving the arms free, could run around with your coat billowing behind you just like a cape.

Unfortunately, Superman was shown on TV about the time of some very nasty black ice in our playground. Someone dislocated their knee trying to escape from the exploding Krypton, and we all spent the rest of the week indoors colouring in pictures of Jesus.

* * *

"You've got a parcel," said Diana, our statuesque receptionist. She presented it with a look of casual curiosity.

At the time, I was trying to look busy with an Excel spreadsheet. It appeared impressive, but really I was trying to colour in the cells to make a mosaic of Joan Rivers.

"What is it?" she asked,

Expertly wrapped in a tight cylinder, in a feat of engineering in itself, was a blue parka. It smelled of school.

"I think someone's sent me a parka. A blue one."
"I don't know."
"No, really. Is this some gay thing?"
"No. I just got an email off someone saying that they're going to send me a parka the other day. I thought it was a crackpot."

I checked the label. No post mark, and the label was written in block capitals.

Diana shrugged. "You'd better thank them, then."

* * *

So I did. And I got a reply.

'Welcome to Parka Club' it read. 'Feel free to zip it up and look like a periscope.'

How astonishing. And generous. And odd. I'm part of a club. I haven't been part of a club since I accidentally wandered into the KKK thinking it was Bed, Bath and Beyond. Well, all those sheets in the window were bound to throw a Gentleman Who's Looking Forward To The New Kate Bush A Little Too Much. There was more:

'One thing I would ask is that you post one or more pictures of you wearing your new parka.'

Well. I've posed naked for a magazine before. Well, a magazine and a bag of sweets, but it was a fair swap. A picture of me in a parka was the least I could do.

And twenty years on, I still wanted to run around pretending to be Superman.


tornwordo said...

Can't help but notice that you are adorable in the parka.

Snooze said...

I was thinking the same as tornwordo. What an incredible story. Ah, the power of the Internet.

Dantallion said...

Actually, having checked out your flickr site, I'd have to say that you're adorable even sans parka.

In any event, it would seem, my dear Lee, that you have finally arrived. Fans sending you articles of clothing and all. Soon they might just start sending you Fredrick's of Hollywood peekaboo undies.

St. Dickeybird said...

Mmmmm, Curly Wurly. They don't sell them in Canada- I wanna move back to the UK just to have one!

Dantallion said...

Curly Wurly - I was wondering about that. I had simply assumed that it was a euphamism of some sort...

Lee said...

I would never be so obvious!

Or would I?


SL&V said...

I asked a fashionista friend recently what was the Coat du jour this year.
He dutifully informed me that parkas were "hot".

I sighed (via text, if that's possible) and said "what again???"

I've "done" parkas three times since my schooldays, each time more fashionable than the last (I started with a C&A one so the journey upmarket wasn't exactly difficult).

As cute as you look in a parka Mr Glittering it isn't for men of our age or our persuasion to join in those games anymore.
Instead get yourself a slinky black mac and pretend you're a spy.
Or Kate Moss.

Lee said...

Oh, fret not. My black overcoat is swirling around me as I speak. I see some children in the yard that need a good spooking...

Spike said...

And while we're on the subject of jackets that're also hats, check out the evil hoodie of big gay love over at Clothes to wear when you're starting fights.

wbrant said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a malcolm from macbeth site/blog. It pretty much covers malcolm from macbeth related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)

Broderick said...

Lee Binding, you sexy beast! You look good, plus you got a free parka out of the deal. Now, if only someone would send me a parka... hint hint... I am currently shopping for a winter coat anyways... hint hint hint...

CyberPete said...

Who knew anyone could look that hot in a parka!

Richelieu said...

You know you should be very careful about wearing clothing someone unknown sends you in the post. It could be laced with Strychnine or anything (qv scene in 'Elizabeth' when wench gets totalled by poisoned dress during hot session with Joseph Fiennes).

Last year someone anonymous sent me a black silk mourning tie, with a rather unpleasent threat in Russian...but maybe a parka is less sinister. (I kept the tie, natch).

RickB said...

Wow, proper parkas for FREE this is such good news. About the second or third to last time they were IN they were going for like £70 on carnaby street, and they didn't even have the orange inside. I've gone and bought a *proper* one which is rubbish because even though you can fit Ray Mears and a cutlery drawer in it, it's got a badly positioned drawstring that would make Marti Caine look hippy.

kyknoord said...

There's probably a teeny, tiny webcam hidden somewhere in that parka.

Spike said...

Porn ... the mod scene donning a three button suit, fish tail parka and vespa ...

God bless Google.

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