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

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Bloomingdale's, New York

We'd already been in there over an hour, and nerves were fraying.
"This is ridiculous," exclaimed the Wife. "There has to be an exit."
"No signs. No functionaries. How do people find anything in here?" I cried forlornly.
"What's that over there? That door! Is it freedom? Freedom at last!"
He pelted over, feet slapping that wide run of the desperate.
"It's the changing rooms," I called out after him.
He returned, his head held low. "Oh, it's the changing rooms."

"This is weird. There's no-one about."
"It's a ghost store!"
"Don't be silly," he said. "We have to think about this rationally. We've been walking around for..."
"Two hours," I prompted.
"-Two hours, and we have simply been unlucky."
"It's a conspiracy."
"So customers buy more Calvin Klein's? Don't be ludicrous."
"How else do you explain that all the signs we follow for 'Exit' lead us back to the men's clothing department?"
He thought for a moment. "Perhaps everything's in Russian, or something. 'Exit' is Russian for 'men'."
"Not according to most of my Gentleman's Recreational Videos, no."
He humphed.
"In fact, it's more like 'entrance' from what I've seen," I muttered to myself.
We walked on.

Time passed.
"What are you doing?"
I looked up, mouth full.
"I'm starving," I muttered. "We've been in here three hours, unable to find an exit. Or a nicely-appointed café."
"You're sucking on the arm of a leather coat!"
"And?"
"Stop that at once!"
I put my hands on my hips. "Look. I tolerate your vegetarianism as long as you don't impose your views on me. In fact, I was-"
"Hush!" he said, smoothing down the coat's arm in the manner one strokes a child's hair. "This is Gucci..."

An hour later.
"God I'm hungry," he exclaimed.
We walked on some more.
"Do you think they've got any tofu trousers in here?" he asked.

"I think I've figured it out!"
The Wife was startled by my sudden shout up after another hour's silence. "Gah! What?"
"We're gays!"
He spoke carefully: "Ye-ee-ees. That's why your iPod is so full of mary music, it sweats glitter in the heat..."
"No, you big silly. We can?t find our way out because we're Gentlemen Who Are Good With Colours! Our natural affinity is to shop!"
"So..?"
"So we have to pretend we're straight! That way, we'll instantly be propelled towards the exit, just like embarrassed dads in a lingerie section!"
"Lets give it a go!"

So we walked on. I'd screwed up my eyes, moving into a new department, thinking of football and ladies and more football. I wanted to smell the heady scents of the perfume department that always prefixed liberation from a department store.
I opened my eyes. The place was full of dangerous looking metal pointing towards us. An unearthly squeal could be heard in the distance.
"Where are we?" I whispered, drawing close to my partner.
"I'm not sure," said the Wife under his breath. "But that thing over there is labelled 'carburettor'..."
I clutched his arm, and whimpered in fear. "Dorothy, I don't think we're not in Kansas anymore..."

Some time later. We'd lost count of how many after I'd eaten my watch. It tasted like jerky.
"You smell that?" cried the Wife.
"What? What?!"
"Organza!"
"Well, that's me," I said, fanning my hand a little. "I'm accidentally wearing the same pants we used as a glop-mop this morning..."
"No, you fool! Organza! The woman's fragrance! We're by the perfume section! See?"
I raised my head. The blinding sunlight streamed through the doors beyond a metropolis of fragrance. It also answered why there were no functionaries anywhere else in the building - the department was teeming with them; worker bees fussing over their pollen.
"To get out, we have to go via them," hissed the Wife. "No sudden movements. Keep close and we may get out alive."
We shuffled forward. My breathing was deep. "Don't show you're afraid," I whispered, possibly a little too loud. As one, the entire workforce swivelled to see us.
"Would sir like to try this fragrance?"
"Sir, there's this new -"
"-with a twenty percent-"
"Buy now and get a free-"
"-in this gorgeous little bottle!"
Voices overlapped into a cacophonous, incoherent buzzing. I felt the Wife's hand slip into mine. "Run!" he yelled.
We pelted for the door, mad-crazed with fear and hunger. Almost there. Almost there!
"Would sir just like to-"
"No!"
But the bottle was brought up and squirted anyway.
"My eyes! My eyes! I can't see!" shrieked the Wife.
"Come on! I'll lead you!"
And... all of a sudden... daylight. Fresh air.
Freedom.

The Wife rubbed his eyes. They'd calmed down a lot in the past half hour.
I leant against the wall, still trying to catch my breath and breathe out the poisonous fumes of the functionaries.
"Can you see yet?"
"Almost. It's all a bit blurry, but it's slowly coming around."
"Good, good. Fancy a tofu burger?"
"Hey!" he said, looking up at the window of the store. "There's a sale start tomorrow morning!"
"What, here?"
"Yeah! You fancy?"
I shrugged. "Sure."
 

Excepts from the Air America Safety Instructions: Part II

Heil!

We still employ a very enthusiastic Hitler Youth.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

A Joyous Return

Hello. I'm back. And thank you so for the applause - there's nothing I enjoy more than an enthusiastic hand going back and forth on my entrance.

New York, as I'm sure you're aware, is marvellous. For a whole week, my life was champagne, cocktails, heights and helicopters, resulting in holiday snaps that look more like stills from a particularly glamorous opening of a soap opera. And the food! Goodness, my body hasn't had anything that rich in it since I drunkenly bumped into Bill Gates in 1992 and thought 'Ah, what the heck...'

Anyway!

Things I Learned In New York

Times Square isn't square

The Statue of Liberty is tiny

Or possibly far away - my depth perception was out thanks to some misfired semen that very morning

I don't recommend the Empire State Building at all. The queues were monstrous, and the barriers are much too high to nudge any of children running about down the 85 dizzying floors. Besides, for a birthday treat, the Wife had booked us into The Rainbow Rooms not two days before. Although it was only 65 stories up, you did get a panoramic view of New York and a cocktail thrust into your hand as you stepped out of the art deco lift. Much more civilised.

The men of New York weren't as pretty as I hoped or feared

There's a fabulous statue of Alice in Wonderland in Central Park. Which is surprisingly easy to climb

And Yankie Toys R Us sells inappropriate things; for example, DVDs of 'The Ring'. We stood around the display for a good thirty minutes, willing some child to throw a tantrum and demand that they had it. No such luck. And it was the actual 'Ring' film. Not 'Barbie stars in The Ring' with free plastic dress-up Samara. Shame.
 

Excepts from the Air America Safety Instructions: Part I

 
It's her! From Bednobs and Broomsticks!

If you find yourself sitting next to a young Angela Lansbury, chances are she'll have filled her life-vest with gin.
 

Friday, August 19, 2005

Thirty

You see that man over there? White hair, egg timer, looking at me and tapping his scythe pointedly? That's Old Father Time, nudging to remind me I'm going to be thirty in a couple of days. Well. Frankly there's no way I'm seeing in my third decade in this country, waiting for my face to fall and all my hair to drop out by the stroke of midnight. So while I repair to New York for a bijou break-ette, the least I can do for you is this: in my (almost) thirty years wandering this Earth, I've discovered many wild and fabulous things. So in a parting gift to you, the little people, I thought I'd share with you the Thirty Most Important Things I have discovered on my travels of this wide, weird world. Do enjoy.


1. Never go shopping for clothes when you're drunk.

2. There are just some things that the Gays just can't do. Like catch a ball, or tell the absolute truth.

3. Never buy cheap moisturiser.

4. Make sure you employ a cleaner who doesn't mind tidying away, well, let's just call them 'Gentleman's Recreational Videos'.

5. Have your own wand. Even if it doesn't work, have your own wand.

6. Laser pointers, cats and staircases are just hilarity waiting to happen.

7. When pulling, never go for second best. Well, never third best. Alright, fourth, but that's my final offer.

8. Never say 'Oh, I've been through a lot in life...' before the age of thirty-two.

9. If music be the food of love, stick a trombone in batter.

10. Always cut the blue wire. No, wait - the red! The red!

11. Eating disorders do not make you interesting.

12. Children are surprisingly bouncy.

13. Glamour and water don't mix, eg wet cats, or The Gays at a rainy Pride event.

14. Always dance like no-one is watching.

15. But have sex like everyone is.

16. When entering a bar of fellow Gentleman Who Likes Soft Furnishings for a quick snifter of gin, find the ugliest member of the crowd. Keep an eye on him, and when you've drunk so much that he becomes attractive, LEAVE THE PUB IMMEDIATELY.

17. Good clothes can open many doors.

18. Always put yourself in the way of fun.

19. There is more to this life than what you can see, feel, touch and imagine.

20. Peel onions underwater to stop any tears.

21. Bad films are often as enjoyable as good ones.

22. Slowly, you will turn into your parents.

23. Music does not make people come together, Madonna. However, butt-plugs and a mini-bus going up a cobbled road gets a heck of a lot closer.

24. Never buy the clothes you are only half-happy with in the store. Chances are you won't wear them.

25. If wishes were horses, we'd all be married to that ugly farmer with the gammy leg down the road.

26. Your phone should have a hairdresser, a dermatologist, your best friend and a necromancer on speed dial. If you have to have your psychic on speed dial, they're rubbish and should be ditched.

27. If you become anorexic and your knees become fatter than your legs, eat cream cakes.

28. Celebrity friends are so... morish!

29. Cheerleading pom-poms are not for every occasion. Especially not funerals.

30. And never forget where you came from. But never, ever forget where you're going either.


See you in a few days, my lovelies.
 

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Spirit Trap

Warning: contains spoilers for a very dull film

Who brings an umbrella to the cinema? I mean, to put up during the performance?

Well whoever it was, we met her last night. A group of us had gone out to see the new Billie Piper film (words I never thought I would ever write) and she was sitting two rows in front of us, squirming like a dog with worms and muttering and hissing to herself throughout the trailers. Clearly mad as a box of hair, but we didn't mind. There were only eight other people in the whole cinema, a damning indicative of how good the film was going to be. In all fairness we'd just popped along to see whether Billie was still acting using her jumper cuffs as she did in Doctor Who.

"Ooh, I like the titles," said Gertie sitting next to me. He'd helpfully brought some vodka in case it was going to be too scary for him. He doesn't do horror, which is odd considering some of the monsters he's taken home from the disco. Umbrella Woman also clearly approved as she had taken her brolly down and was waving it like a lightsaber.

Meanwhile Billie Piper arrived at Spooky Mansion, Evil Death House Road, North London, clearly oblivious to the swathe of blood on the porch where a tramp had been killed in the pre-title sequence.
"She's getting all this for £23 a week?" he asked. "It's huge!"
"Antique furniture too. I'd have hocked that by the end of the third week to pay for all the Strongbow I could drink."
Of course the house has a Locked Room Containing Untold Secrets, and a Spooky Clock that's racing towards midnight. Even Umbrella Woman has started hissing like a troglodyte, unable to take the appalling dialogue. And the final straw was when the Vaguely Pretty Drug Dealer moved in with his Waif Girlfriend. His movements were permanently set to 'swagger'.
"I hope he's the first to die," I muttered.
Umbrella Woman threw her bottle at the screen, yelled "This is fucking rubbish!" grabbed her carrier bags full of clothes and stormed out. There was quiet for a moment.
"I think that was former companion Elisabeth Sladen," said someone in our row.

Meanwhile, there was much muttering about how... husky Billie was in widescreen. This is obviously before she lost all the weight for Doctor Who. We happily pointed to the Spooky Door that was banging backwards and forwards like Jude Law at a nanny convention.
"I bet that's the way to the cake shop," someone said. "Billie's just crawling about, out of shot."
Cut to Billie, going on about psychic powers running in her family.
"My mother..." she stuttered. "She was... a medium."
"Yes girl, and you're definitely a 'large'," muttered one of our band under their breath.

Anyway, there was more film. The annoying drug dealer (oh just DIE) and his waif girlfriend were having an argument - probably the most violent point of the film. Which was a happy coincidence as the following then took place:

In the theatre: A father and two children, aged 8 and 6 wandered in. Clearly Herbie Fully Loaded had just finished, and the father had thought 'Hey, I know. Let's sneak into the next theatre and see a film for free!' So they took their seats.

On screen: "What do you mean, you don't fucking know where the fucking drugs are, you fucking bitch! You moved them! You've been fucking helping yourself!" Slap!

In the theatre: The elder girl squirms uncomfortably in her seat, the younger one sits mesmerised while eating her ice cream. The father looks around the theatre to see whether anyone has spotted him. We wave.

On screen: "Don't you ever fucking hit me again! I'll kill you! I'll kill you!" Punch! Blood sprayed everywhere. "Right. You're in for it now, you whore..."

In the theatre: The elder girl pulls on her father's shirt in a concerned manner. The younger one, clearly concentrating on remembering New Words to show Mummy later, continues hoving into her ice-cream.

On screen: Drug dealer cradles his bleeding lover. "Oh, you're so beautiful... so beautiful..." he whispers into her ear, reaching for the scarf to tie her hands to the bedpost.

In the theatre: the father clearly realises that his children have now aged ten years, decides to shuffle them out unceremoniously. The elder girl is slightly too wide-eyed. As the father turns around to give the cinema a final look-over, we give him a round of applause.

Time passes, the film grinds to an end. Someone turned out to be a ghost and someone got impaled on a clock pendulum. We'd already lost interest and turned the film into a drinking game, meaning we were ratted by the time the titles came up. We repaired to the pub to talk it over.

"So they were all invited to that house because they'd killed someone?" I asked.
"Accidentally killed someone," added Gertie.
"Didn't you see that application form for the university?" asked Dan. "Tick boxes for 'age', 'name', 'sex' and 'have you ever smothered your dying mother with a pillow?'"
"Ah," I said.
"I'm hoping for a sequel," said Gertie.
"Where we find out what that Ouija board was spelling out behind their backs in the third act."
"It won't be interesting," I said. "They were very boring students."
"It was probably 'Get some milk in, loves. PS have nicked someone's eggs. Will replace.'"
"Spirit Trap II: Who's Taken My Lentils?"
"I can't really, really wait."
"Really?"
"Yes, I can."
 

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Macbeth

So it was around the kitchen table that three great witches gathered. In attendance, Madam Zolga (the Wife), Dame Pollengrah (my lovely friend Dolly) and Mrs Sherry Bottle (myself) all attempting to break the veil. Or at least tear it a little. Possibly put a kicky little diamante hem on it.

Although we knew the tone of the evening when someone forgot the caldron and we had to make do with a fondue set.

Anyway Dolly, an accomplished psychic and bed-wetter, is a deft hand with the tarot and told us all sorts of things about Season Two of Doctor Who and what's going to happen between Britney and Kevin. Dolly also bequeathed an early thirtieth birthday present in the form of some gorgeous Housewives Tarot cards, a fabulous set of fifties glamour-mag arcana that are impossible not to love. Take a look. Who cannot adore any pack that insists on finishing a reading with a nice martini?

While he was jiggling my King of Wands and sticking his hand up my chakra, I was dabbing around with the tea leaves (using herbal tea, naturally) and lighting the way for the spirits (using a Kenzo candle) but the gingham on the back of the cards started to interfere with my readings, and all we got were the spirits of c-list celebs popping up. And you have no idea how hard it is to shift Elizabeth Taylor? Do you? (Oh you say she's not dead. But if that's the case, why does my ouija board keep spelling out 'Marry me, Richard Burton!' every time I grab the pointer?)

Then Wife dropped his wand into the fondue and we had to try and fish it out with the end of his Knave of Cups. We gave up after an hour and tried to contact the dead properly. But only the fabulous ones - Gianni Versace, Judy Garland.

Though who was the slightest bit surprised when we contacted Madonna's career, then? Mmm?
 

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

All Hit Radio!

Regular reader Ian Atkins, who adores nothing more than getting hold of my glittering column each day, has sent me the most marvellous New Favourite Thing. How about creating your own radio station?

It's hilarious fun! You tick some genres, and it suggests things that you may like in return. It's rather like letting a fifteen year old give you head: you gently praise it when it does well, and you berate it when it uses too much teeth - er, I mean, when it pops up with Genesis rather than some nice Spice Girls. And there's some joyful innocent sort of fun to be had in clicking 'Never Play Me Dido Ever Again'. It's almost as therapeutic as that hit I put out on Mick Hucknall last year!

 Click for to launch!

It does take a little bit of training, though. About ten minutes ago, the interface went 'Oooooh! Ri-ii-ii-ght. Cher, Kylie, Laura Brannigan... you're one of those Gentlemen Who Are A Little Too Knowledgeable About Exfoliation, aren't you. Ok, er, here's some of that marvellous Sandi Shaw then. And Lulu's up next!'.

Honestly, I've worked with dullard secretaries who have figured it out faster. Bless.


(Why not try it yourself here? And tell us all about it!)



ADDENDUM
This is a public health warning:
I have just spent the last half hour putting Geri Halliwell songs in rank order. Do approach this software with care.
 

Monday, August 15, 2005

Glitter For Brains At The Movies! The Island

We Go So You Don't Have To!

WARNING: Contains Spoilers.


Now, look. We kinda knew what we were getting ourselves in for with this one. I mean, 'from the director of Pearl Harbour' isn't exactly a seal of quality, is it? But almost more interesting to watch than Bay's attempt at a scrabbling to a higher level of filmmaking was watching the Heat-reading couple sitting next to us, who were dragged in by the boyfriend's love of Jerry Bruchheimer. Anyway, on with the show!

THE ISLAND: The Abridged Script

THE FILM OPENS. There are many STYLISH and INTERESTING IMAGES flashed up. This is DIRECTOR MICHAEL BAY trying desperately to show that he can do ELEGANT and SUBTLE film-making.

THE GAY AUDIENCE:
We give him ten minutes before he cracks and something explodes.

The images are a DREAM. EWAN MCGREGOR wakes up. It is the FUTURE. So everything looks like the FOYER of a FRENCH BANK and all the FONTS are REALLY BORING.

EWAN:
Hmm. Where do all my Puma-branded shoes and socks come from? I shall muse this loudly to show that I am Inquisitive-And-Interesting.

THE GAY AUDIENCE:
Was that an American accent? I'm sure that was almost an American accent...

THE STRAIGHT COUPLE NEXT TO US:
When's something going to blow up, honey? Make something blow up for me...

MICHAEL BAY sits on his hands and tries not to give in. Instead EWAN goes to work. We see lots of cut scenes. It is as INTERESTING AS IT SOUNDS.

ENTER SCARLETT JOHANNSON. She looks like she's had something done to her lips to turn them into a SINK PLUNGER.

SCARLETT:
I have brought you bacon. Oh I hope I do win The Lottery.

EWAN:
The Lottery? You'd better explain to me slowly, even though I've lived my entire life here, I have conveniently forgotten.

SCARLETT:
(Whispering) Oh come on. The audience isn't that stupid.

THE STRAIGHT COUPLE NEXT TO US:
Honey, what's going on? They're having a lottery? Do we get scratch cards?

SCARLETT:
(under her breath) Ohforgoodnesssake.
(to camera) Well. If I win the lottery, I get to leave this place and go and have my organs harvested. I mean, I get to go and live on the Island.

EWAN:
Something's not right.

SCARLETT:
What makes you say that?

EWAN:
I'm Inquisitive-And-Interesting. I'm just going to climb into this air-duct to have a look around.

He does. And discovers a hospital where the LOTTERY WINNERS are being CHOPPED UP, just like the audience did in the TRAILER. He goes back for SCARLETT.

EWAN:
Scarlett! We have to get out of here! Run!

They turn a corner.

EWAN:
Scarlett! Run!

They climb a ladder.

EWAN:
Scarlett! Run!

They exit the hospital.

EWAN:
Scarlett! Run!

They run across the desert.

EWAN:
Scarlett! Run!

And they do. For many, many minutes.

They stop running and meet STEVE BUSCHEMI in a BAR.

EWAN:
But! You work at the complex! You lied to me!

BUSCHEMI:
What the hell is that accent, man?

EWAN:
Er. American?

BUSCHEMI:
Yeah, via Strathclyde. Anyway, I'm here to steal the scenes I'm in.

MICHAEL BAY:
(through loudhailer) Buschemi. Step away from the scenery.

BUSCHEMI looks around shiftily in his large SHOPLIFTING OVERCOAT. He slyly puts a piece of SCENERY in an INSIDE POCKET while MICHAEL BAY'S back is turned.

EWAN:
You have to help us. We have to go on the run and find the people who created us for some weak reason.

THE GAY AUDIENCE:
Don't you think the people who created you won't be particularly pleased to see you?

BUSCHEMI:
Don't you think the people who created you won't be particularly pleased to see you?

EWAN and SCARLETT shrug.

SCARLETT:
We have to do something that's going to get us into an improbable action situation.

BUSCHEMI:
Why?

SCARLETT points at MICHAEL BAY, who's sitting on his HANDS and screwing up his eyes like a TODDLER WAITING FOR CHRISTMAS.

THE GAY AUDIENCE:
Do we have to?

MICHAEL BAY jumps up and down like he's going to WET HIMSELF.

THE GAY AUDIENCE:
Sigh. Oh, alright then.

EWAN and SCARLETT run! They leap on a MOVING TRUCK! Cars CHASE them, so SCARLETT and EWAN start rolling the CONVENIENT TRAIN WHEELS off the back of the vehicle into ONCOMING TRAFFIC! Which EXPLODES! They leap on a FLYING SCOOTER! Which crashes through a BUILDING leaving EWAN and SCARLETT CLINGING to the BUILDING'S LOGO! Which CRASHES TO THE GROUND, destroying a BUS!

THE STRAIGHT COUPLE NEXT TO US:
Cool.

THE GAY AUDIENCE.
Have you quite finished? Have you got that out of your system?

MICHAEL BAY sits back and lights a CIGARETTE, idly dapping at the LAPFUL OF SPERM with his shirtsleeve.

Meanwhile. SCARLETT and EWAN walk into a MSN BOOTH. For in the FUTURE everything will be run by MICROSOFT. They search for something. Hilariously it DOESN'T WORK. Just like THE REAL THING.

EWAN:
(closing pop-ups and offers for holidays) I have to find my creator. Ah, here's the address- Oh! Don't get too close to the glass, Scarlett! Your lips will stick like a suckerfish to-

But it was TOO LATE.

A packet of TALCUM POWDER and a SHOE-HORN later, SCARLETT and EWAN reach the house of Ewan's donor. It is borrowed from GATTICA.

THE REAL EWAN:
Och, what the ken ya doing in ma hoose?

EWAN:
What on earth is that accent?

THE REAL EWAN:
I was going to ask the same of you, laddie. It be Scottish, help ma'boab! It's so the audience can ken the difference between the two of us.

THE STRAIGHT COUPLE NEXT TO US:
What the..? What's going on? Honey, I don't understand!

THE REAL EWAN:
(sighs) I'll put glasses on then, shall I? There. I shall also strain to grow an evil goatee between scenes. Now come on - I'm going to take you back to the lab! I mean, to the news channel so we can expose this heinous crime.

THE GAY AUDIENCE:
...

EWAN:
What?

THE GAY AUDIENCE:
Oh. Nothing.

THE REAL EWAN:
No. Go on.

THE GAY AUDIENCE:
So no chance that you two may just kiss. You know, for a bit?

EWAN:
What's 'kiss'?

THE REAL EWAN:
No.

THE GAY AUDIENCE:
No. You're right. Carry on.

THE REAL EWAN tries to take EWAN back to the LAB. EWAN realises just in time and they fight. EWAN WINS!

EWAN:
Scarlett! We have to free every other clone from the institute!

SCARLETT:
Why?

EWAN:
Because the film is meandering towards a close, and it needs something symbolic to round it all off! Like shots of everyone running out into the sun for the first time! Hopefully in slow motion!

SCARLETT:
Like what's in the trailer?

EWAN:
Yes! Exactly like those! Come on!

SCARLETT ROLLS HER EYES.

EWAN:
Scarlett! Run!

So they do. And so do the CLONES. And there is much RUNNING into the SUNLIGHT for the first time. And lots of SLOW-MOTION HELICOPTER SHOTS.

THE GAY AUDIENCE:
Oh! Bay hasn't-

Right on cue, the INSTITUTE EXPLODES behind them.

THE END.


(for Rod Hilton)
 

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Death

My first piece of advice for this life is: always become good friends with a necromancer. Why, I find there's nothing worse than unfinished business. If your local phone directory doesn't list, why not have a quick word with that Madonna woman? She obviously knows a good one by the look of her.

Failing that, the rest of us creatures will have to contend with our fitted mortal coils. One often wonders how one is going to shuffle off it - will it be in quiet dignity of passing away in your bed, surrounded by friends sobbing low into their hankies? Or will it be with the sheer gayness of falling off a speaker cabinet at some ghastly Pride event when your hip gives way, your cooling corpse coated in little more than a saucy bit of masking tape and all the silver stars that would stick?

I'm always after a big end, as I'm sure you're aware. I want drama, pathos - naturally including a great deal of ostrich feathers and a mirror ball so large you could signal to the Space Shuttle with it. A final curtain, some rapturous applause, and everyone to file away chatting that 'he may not be original, but at least he was persistent' kind of thing. People pausing in the foyer to pick up a copy of my
racy steamy tell-all autobiography extravaganza called 'Suffering The Slingbacks and Arrows'. You know, the one with me and the whole of the New York Yankies living up to their name in glorious hardback.

Death's not that bad. I've already been through one when I was regressed to a previous life by a psychic, and all it appears to be is slipping away and then waking up in a brilliantly-white space with lots of drapes. Why yes, it sounds like a Conran store - and let me tell you, that is heaven to a lot of Gentlemen Who Are Good With Colours.

But then, what's going to happen to my hairy carcass when I finally vacate it? My naturally giving manner thinks that I should donate it to science, the pluses of which mean I get to be manhandled by some 19-year-old students for the first time in the good part of a decade now. Meanwhile the Wife, being the Earth-loving goblin he is, wants to be hauled up on top of a burning pyre and left to 'return to the soil' as the sun sets. I think he was half-hoping I'd agree to throw myself on there with him in a fit of grief, but the only way I'll go near that is to nip on in an asbestos suit - or with some nice marshmallows on forks.

Failing that, he wants his ashes scattered in a beautiful nature reserve in Oz. Pfft. If I'm going to be dry roasted, I'll want my ashes to be scattered where they're really going to mean something. Like over Tom Cruise at a premiere.

Oh, and I'll want 'Burn Baby Burn - Disco Inferno' played at the cremation, please. Thank you.
 

Monday, August 08, 2005

Drugs

I am rubbish on drugs. Utterly dismal.

You see, we Gentlemen Who Enjoy Soft Furnishings are meant to chomp through pills like Atkins-compliant bon-bons, though I'm buggered if I've ever been able to do properly. Every now and again I will forget the hideous comedowns, the lapping up of water like some rabid dog, the teeth welded together in rictus grin and the eyes the size of dinner plates, and think it's a FABULOUS idea to pop a disco-pill just so I can dance like a spastic in leg callipers who happens to be next to a strong magnet.

But one thing is definite: I will Never Touch Acid Again.

For I ruined a perfectly good pair of shoes, which will certainly never do.

Oh this was in my heady student days many years back, which were mostly spent in a state of freezing cold as all the people in our house couldn't afford to have the heating on, leaving us wandered around the house swathed in duvets and looking like amoeba. One night, all four of us each took an acid tab. Oh they were veterans of dope, old hands at acid, and while they were rolling around and being drawn to the flashing of the alarm clock like moths to a porch light within twenty minutes, exactly nothing happened to me. It was very disappointing.

By 5am and still clearly waiting for a Sergeant Pepper moment that wasn't going to come, I decided to make a cup of coffee. In a couple of hours I had to be at college, so I thought I'd ride it out rather than try and get some sleep. And as I stirred, as the teaspoon made the 'tnk! tnk!' noise on the side of the cup, I felt a sensation, like a sudden emptiness in the stomach. Which is when It All Kicked In.

I looked down at my hand.
"Come on," said the cup of coffee. "We're going for a walk."
"But I've only just made you," I said in a quiet voice, slightly puzzled.
"Who the hell are you talking to?" shouted my housemate from the next room. They'd all gone to bed, worn out from giggling at the fridge light.
"The coffee," I shouted back.
There was a grunt from next door.
I bent down and whispered to the cup. "Can't we just go upstairs and sit and watch telly?" I think I tried to sound seductive.
It tapped its foot and folded its arms. So I sighed, said 'alright', picked it up and left the house.

To get out of my road, you turned right, but the coffee said we should go left. I remember all the colours being bleached out of everything and the sky looking a velvet grey, and I stumbled along for a couple of houses before breaking through some tape. It had wrapped itself around my leg and was threatening to turn into a purple-headed snake or something. I forced myself to breathe and managed to extract myself without spilling any coffee, much to its relief.

And walked straight into a policeman. I later found out I'd walked right onto a crime scene. There'd been a stabbing.

"You alright, son?" he asked. He was carrying a rifle.
"Fine," I said, then turned to hush the cup which was slightly panicking in my hand.
He looked at me properly for the first time. "And what exactly are you doing out at this time of a morning?"
I, er, well. What was I doing out at this time of the morning?
"I'm talking my cup of coffee for a walk, officer."
His brow furrowed. He brought his hand up to the rifle. He paused for a moment.
I raised the cup to show him, willing him to believe. His gaze was unreadable.
"Right you are, son," he said after a moment, clearly realising I just wasn't worth the trouble. "Don't tread on the red bits," he added as he waved me around.

We crossed a field, the coffee and I. Which included navigating an electric fence and a bull, but the coffee told me not to worry. I ended up wandering knee deep into a river I hadn't realised was there until I was in fact knee-deep.

"We're here," said the coffee.
"Oh. Where's that?" I asked.
"The river. You see those trees over there? That's where you should be getting to."
"What, over there? But that's over the river. I don't think I'm in a fit state to swim it," I said dubiously.
"It's where you have to get to, though."
"Right."
And I stood and waited and thought it through.

Some time later - it may have been hours - I 'aaah'-ed out loud.
"While my goal may be attainable, it is my choice on how far I go to get it, and must be happy where I am before I can start on that journey!" Oh, it all made sense now. I think that was the answer I was meant to get to, the reason why I'd been brought out here. I would have asked the coffee, but I'd drunk it half-hour previously to ward off the cold.
I looked around. I was in a river. It was time to go home and go to college. With a sucking noise, I moved out of the water. I nodded to the bull and completely circumventing the crime scene. And by the time I'd got home, my footwear was waterlogged and completely green.

And this, my dears, is why you shouldn't do drugs. Just think of the shoes.
 

Friday, August 05, 2005

Bye Bye Baby

My eyes fluttered open. A tinny version of Carmina Burana was playing somewhere in my bedroom.
I groaned. Noise. Stop noise. My hand reached down by the side of the bed, groping around for my mobile phone.
"Mmmumph?" I answered.
The phone seemed slippy in my hands, almost as if it had been bleeding. Which could only mean -
"I do hope I haven't woken you," came the silken purr of my Evil Best Friend Declan.
"Declan? Wha-? It middle... it's the middle of the night..."
I tried to fix my eyes on my alarm clock to back this up; it patiently flashed '6:66' until I rubbed my eyes and the numbers resolved themselves into being a more presentable '4:24'.
"Zoe's given birth," he stated.
"Zoe? Really? That's brilliant! How is she? Is she..?"
Oh god. Oh god. I stopped. Scenes from 'Rosemary's Baby' flashed through my head.
"Is it..?" I asked, tentatively.
"It's fine. Lovely young baby boy."
"And the mother?"
"Perfectly lovely."
I relaxed a little, and let go of the duvet clutched in my hand. Too late did I realise I'd gotten blood all over my Girls Aloud duvet. It was starting to look like a teenage girl had just taken her first ride on the menstrual cycle in there.
"Good. Good. So, you don't, er... you don't have plans for it, then?"
There was a low chuckle from his end of the line. "My dear boy, I've told you. I'm good now."
Oh yeah. That. Declan had bagged himself a boyfriend six months ago, someone who was exactly what Declan needed. Although one wag pointed out that what Declan needed was an exorcist. But ever since then he'd tried to be polite and courteous to all-and-sundry, which was rather like watching one of the Sigfried and Roy tigers performing - and we all know how that ended up. And I knew for a fact he was planning a trip to London in a few weeks after getting a fake tan just to ride the Underground with a large rucksack with wires coming out of it. Then slyly bursting balloons.
"Yes. It's already responding to its name," he added.
"What did they call it?"
"Well, they want to call it Patrick or some such. But I decided that 'Damien'... or even 'Vessel' was much nicer. It responds better to those."
"Oh."
"Although for some reason they don't want me too near at the moment. Zoe said that she needed to bond with it."
"So it had nothing to do with you trying to draw '666' on the back of its head in biro?" I laughed.
There was silence from the other end of the line. My laugh degenerated into a nervous cough that died in my throat. "Of course you wouldn't do anything like that," I added, flustered.
"No I wouldn't."
"No you wouldn't."
"I'd tattoo it."
I gagged. "Declan..." I said, reproachfully.
"I jest, I jest," he said in a flat voice. "I shall let you get back to sleep. I have a crib to make."
"You? Woodwork? At this time of night?"
"You have to do it when the moon is full. And do you know how difficult it is to make a pentagram? Anyway. Goodnight."
He hung off, leaving me to stare at my phone. How very odd. I hadn't even got Carmina Burana as a ring tone on it.
 

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Ancient Texts

Ah Madonna. She keeps the gays quiet.

But exactly how old is our claw-handed harridan of pop? Rumours are flying that Dame Madge is about to get a telegram from the Queen, as one does on one's hundredth birthday. And that her insistence on playing Eva Peron was because she so clearly remembered those events in 1945.

But no. While Madonna looks ageless and deathless, she is a lot older than that. Here's a scene from the Bayeax Tapestry, circa 1066AD.

Well. Madonna DOES keep the gays quiet

You know, in retrospect, we now vividly remember seeing a gargoyle on Peterborough Cathedral decked out in a cowboy hat and some fingerless lace gloves...


(Larks! Why not make your own tapestry? And then tell us about it!)
 

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Well, Well, Well.

Jeremy Sheffield.

You may know him as Alex-from-Holby-City, The-Guy-Who-Wasn't-Debra-Messing-In-The-Planecrash-That-Was-The-Wedding-Date, and his most popular role to date: Guy-In-Blue-Jumper-In-Natalie-Lambrusa's-Torn-Video. He looked quite good in that, you'll notice.

Well I'm ready to tell the world that, yes, Jeremy and I have had a long history dating back many years. First I 'bump into' him in, well, let's just call it a Gentleman's Health Club down in the East End. Then some months later, I note that he's started frequenting my marvellous barbers.

And not days ago, I was pumping away at the gym (not lifting weights - how gauche! - there just happened to be no-one else in the sauna) when who should I spy through my patiently-constructed glory hole but Jeremy himself.

Well now. Once is a coincidence. Twice is something to tell your friends about. Three times? Well, that's just stalking, isn't it?

(looks at watch)

(waits patiently for a marriage proposal)
 

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

World Tourists

We were both sat on the steps to St Paul's Cathedral, swinging our legs and watching the tourists go by.
"I've got a plan," I said, mainly to distract the Wife. He was holding his umbrella like a pool cue, and slyly moving in to jab at a pigeon.
"Go on," he said out of the corner of his mouth.
"Lets hang around and try and get in as many tourist photos as possible."
"I've got a better plan," he said after a moment, straightening up and listlessly abandoning his prey. "But it requires lots and lots of cash."
"I'm intrigued."
He watched his pigeon bob away. "Let's pick on a tourist couple who we know are travelling the globe. And we follow them, wherever they go, anywhere in the world. And then we get into every single photo they take, just in the background."
"Wow!"
"And when they get home, they'll get them all developed and they will be scared shitless!"
"Fantastic!"
"We could wear the national costumes of the country we're in."
"Or - or! - we could wear the costume of the country we've just visited!"
He liked that idea. "Oh yes. An Eskimo outfit in China!"
"And a lederhosen in Greece!"
"I'll pack some deodorant, then."
"Utterly, utterly brilliant. So. How much money have you got?"
He rattled around in his pocket for a second or two. "Uh, about two pound eighty..."
"Oh."
"Oh well."
"Oh well indeed."
"Hm. It was a good plan."
"It was a very good plan."
He nodded slowly. "Fancy an iced bun in the crypt café instead?"
"You're on."
 

Monday, August 01, 2005

"I'm Not In"

Now. As well you know, this place is not a place of rumour and gossip (pauses, waits for hilarity and general cries of 'Pray cease! We may crack a rib!' to die down) but there's currently some scurrilous hearsay going around that the next season of high-kicking hilarity Alias will be the last.

(Episode III Darth Vader on)
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooo!!!!
(Episode III Darth Vader off)

Why?! Why on earth would they want to cancel a show with the same plot every week? It's just not right. And you can't give us that 'Oh, it's time for it to come to an end while it's still a classic' line - the show has jumped so many sharks it performs at the Calypso Beach Marine Show twice-nightly.

Oh there'll be some press release about Jennifer Garner wanting to pursue her movie career, and for exec producer JJ Abrams wanting to concentrate on his other show, Lost - although we feel he's just run out of ideas on how to introduce any more Evil Female Aunties for Sydney to fight - plausibly or otherwise. But more importantly, what on earth shall we, the Gentlemen Who Know Too Many Showtunes, watch now? We'd better hope that something just as fabulous along before too long...

Well. And they'll have to find a use for all those wigs somewhere...

(thinks)


CUT TO: 'LOST' Season Two.

FEISTY LOVE INTEREST:
Jack! Look! Washed up on the beach... there's a crate!

THE MOSTLY ATTRACTIVE SAWYER:
Whatever it is, darlin' - it's now mine.

CREEPY PSYCHIC KID:
Don't open it! Don't open it!

But it was too late...