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

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Farewell Speech

Dearest minions. It is with great sorrow that I tell you that you’re now going to have to amuse yourself.

Clad in white wafty linen, a large yet tasteful straw hat clamped to my head against the propeller’s flurry, and the most fabulous pair of Jackie O sunglasses, I shall be boarding a plane tomorrow out of this lacklustre country for a glittering month-long holiday. Oh, I wish I could take you all with me, but my plane is so fabulous it doesn’t even have Economy for the likes of you.

I’m sure you’ll play nice. Looking after the whole Known Universe will be former Royal Correspondent Jenny Bond, who’s a bit of an ice maiden, truth be known. So beware all you sinners, for she may smite you from on high with a pithy email about leaving cups in the sink. She’s that serious.

With a clutch of fabulous luggage, I’m heading to LA, then Oz, then back via Singapore. All well and good, until you consider that I’m apparently going The Wrong Way Around The World (an ambition I have wanted to achieve since discovering the joys of boys at school). Doing this thus makes me a day older than the rest of you lot. Which, incidentally, means that my birthday is now on the 23rd of August, not the 24th, and that all of a sudden I’m now a Leo who can’t stick onions, I believe.

Indeed, my friends – a constant source of paranoia at the best of times – have been excelling themselves with this announcement of departure. Wind of my world travel has gotten around to the most removed of them, and they’re all booking up to see me for - quote - ‘One last time’. I’m hoping that it’s an unfortunate slip of the tongue, rather than a rather uncanny prediction playing on my fear of flying. What do they know that I don’t? Will there going to be an army of them tampering with the wings at 40,000 feet? Am I finally going to be able to do my best Shatner impression as My Evil Best Friend Declan and Gertie start unscrewing the fuel tanks as I stare helplessly through the glass? “There’s-Homo’s-On-The-Wing! THERE’S-HOMO’S-ON-THE-WING!”

Indeed, Declan gave me a hug goodbye when I saw him this weekend that had a desperate feeling of finality about it, cemented by him whispering “Can I have your porn?” mid-clinch.


But lo! Hark! From the darkened bar from which I dictate this missive, I can hear the starter engines revving up! It’s time I depart for places warmer and a darn sight more fabulous. I’ll see you all soon.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

And In The Other Bunker...

It’s interesting to note that lesbians have a similar bunker system, underneath Ikea in Croydon. Sitting behind an enormous pool table, the dumpy maiden called the ‘Lez Boss’ attends to her minions, and organising Starter Packs for new members. These consist of one cat, a baggy rugby shirt, an Indigo Girls CD, and a years subscription to Pickford’s Moving company magazine.

The Conversion Is Almost Complete

Deep in our underground bunker, the Gay Lords have an enormous glittering map laid across the finest table. Around this are fabulous drag queens dressed as WRAF officers, diligently pushing lovely figurines together, apart and, in the case of Gertie’s slightly tarnished ornament, into a section called ‘Bushes’ for a meeting with three Latvians.

They are there to keep abreast of the war, reporting to our very own Queen of Podia: a leathery disco queen soaked in moisturiser who, if he ever stops dancing to Kylie, we will all drop down dead. Drugged up minions clad in tight white shorts had just handed him an alarming report, causing him to pause momentarily. This in turn instigated a slight blackout in our collective fashion senses, meaning that paisley will be back for a short while. The report was thus…

Impossibly Beautiful Housemate Mark has a date this weekend. I was languishing on the sofa as he told me, and cocked an eyebrow; “Who’s this?” I asked with pursed lips. I still feeling some allegiance to his former lady after all. Plus a slight worrying possibility was welling up within: what if Evil Best Friend Declan had finally managed to find a beehive wig that was convincing? There’d be hell to pay!

“Someone I met a few months back,” he said. “I can’t remember that much about her - bar she had great teeth, fabulous hair and great shoes at the time.”

And slowly, in the darkened situations room, his impossibly beautiful carved ivory figure was pushed onto the edge of the map…

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Miss Minogue

Oh! I see…

She’s not singing ‘Slough’ after all…

Monday, February 09, 2004

You Come From A Land Down Under

The Wife just texted from Oz:

"Just off to bed. Have eaten a kangeroo today."

Honestly, you leave them alone for five minutes and they go native*.

* Well. He is native. But I gather that he thankfully didn't put any Vegemite on it.

Friday, February 06, 2004

Great Mysteries of the World Solved: Part VIII

Maybe it was the desert wine, maybe it was the egg sandwiches, but Angela Lansbury had been acting funny all morning. At first we thought it was a violent dislike to Kirsty Young, whose arrival was somewhat unplanned. No-one was quite sure who’d invited her, but she’d brought some absolutely grade-a pineapple cake and was begrudgingly offered a place on the tartan rug. Now she and Aggie were getting on like a house on fire. They’d even planned a Tupperware party together.

“The Queen loves her Tupperware parties,” said Dame Aggie said, in mock confidence to everyone. The two of them had been hanging out more of late; trips to hairdressers and monster truck rallies, and Dame Aggie made no bones about telling everyone about her new best friend. We all thought that coming to the picnic in a crown and an ermine robe was a little gauche, but she said it was a bit nippy, so we let it pass. Besides, every time she shook her head, the crown fell over her eyes. The first time it happened, Carol Vordermann had just got a mouthful of tea, and laughingly sprayed it over a small child who’d come over to get his ball back. He went back to his parents, crying his eyes out, screaming about the ‘Maths Witch sprayed him with acid!’

Kids these days.

We sat for a moment, watching the football game at the bottom of the hill through the summer morning haze. A bee had taken an interest in Kirsty’s handbag, and she shushed it away with her hand, accidentally in the direction of Cher. Drunk on the heat, it flew straight into her wig and we never saw it again.

“What’s the matter, Aggie?” I pressed. She was normally more ebullient than this. And for ebullient, read ‘drunk’.

She rolled the remains of some pineapple cake around her mouth in thought. “I’ll just come out and say it. Whatever is a ‘cock horse’?”

For some reason, my gaze flicked to Carol. As I thought, she’d stopped with the glass to mouth in shock and was looking directly at me under her fringe. Our gaze met, and we instantly looked away as casually as possible. Unfortunately, her effort to look relaxed left her putting her hand down in the margarine.

Aggie pressed on: “You know, as in ‘Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross’?”

I coughed politely to hide the choking sound from Carol.

“I’m sure it’s just an expression,” said Cher. Her voice was odd this morning: she’d just had the vocoder installed to record her latest single, leaving her sounding like she was constantly on the other end of a phone. Two hours and five bottles ago, we thought we were picnicking under a new electricity pylon, but it was revealed just to be Cher humming to herself.

“Yes, but where does the expression originate?” asked Dame Aggie. Kirsty shrugged. So much for investigative journalism in this day and age, then.

I tried to change the subject, idly pointing out that the flowers this year were magnificent. It was unfortunate that Carol tried at the same time – something about zucchinis – and it all started to look slightly suspicious. For one, Carol and Aggie had never really seen eye to eye after that incident a few years back. Little did they realise that they had more in common than they think, and was the reason why Carol was currently surreptitiously wiping margarine on Kirsty’s parka. It transpired that she’d fallen on hard times a few years back, and finally agreed to do an ‘adult’ video. This drunken confession to me occurred in Cher’s kitchen a few months ago, followed by a steady flood of tears. She’d never really elaborated on it much after that, but what I did garner was that it was thankfully no longer available, and that it may or may not have contained animals.

In retrospect, the above actions proved at least the animals point.

It was a few weeks later that I discovered its title: ‘Three From The Top And One Up The Bottom’.

Well. I won’t go into Aggie’s ‘history’, as it’s fairly common knowledge these days after that magazine article. Let’s just say I’m very proud of my copy ‘Big Nobs and Broomsticks’ – more so as I got her to sign it. After the party passes into that drunken camaraderie when the stereo gets louder and the lights get dimmer, it’s always Aggie that calls for me to stick it on. She’s not proud.

The heat was swelling as the morning ticked on, filling the air with lethargy. I reached for my sun hat, and Aggie and I hauled the tarpaulin over Cher (the buzzing continued; we were too polite to ask whether it was her humming or the trapped bee). Kirsty lightly fanned herself with her copy of ‘Bella’, head inclined in thought. “Thinking about it, I know what a cock horse would be.”

We all leant forward, eager for the answer. Kirsty waited until she’d got the maximum attention before launching forth. “Well, a cock horse surely has to be a wooden one,” she said.

We mulled it for a moment, and all ‘aaah’-ed in appreciation. That had to be the answer – it fit so well. A wooden horse, to Banbury Cross. Of course! As everybody else chittered on, I caught Carol’s eye, content that the matter would be covered up now, and we could get back to normal.

She was choking on her cake again.

Oh Lord.

Ah. Happy days.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Declan Cummins - A Celebration. Almost.

My Evil Best Friend Declan and I had a puzzling moment last night whilst on the phone. Both languishing on our beds, we were flicking through our old diaries to try and pinpoint the day where we had met. I can recall it through the mists of time quite clearly: while holding court with some strangers, I happened to mention a former Doctor Who companion. This prompted someone across the room to yell, “Mary Tamm is a bitch!” where upon I turned to see this six-foot-six creature looming over to me. He introduced himself and started insulting my wardrobe. I knew he was going to be a close friend from there on in.

But as we sat there, trawling through old relationships and mistakes via the written page, to what year this all occurred was proving to be a mystery. He thought it was 1994, and so this was supposed to be our ten-year anniversary. But it didn’t fit with what our diaries held (mine being Barbara Cartland in style, his: Edgar Allan Poe). Could it be that it’s only nine years after all? My word.

Still. Nine years this month. That’s still worth a party! So, rather than a full celebration of the ginger lord of Evil, we at Glitter for Brains have collated some of Declan’s best lines over the ten, ahem, nine years that he’s been in our lives! We present the Declan and Lee Clip Show!

Regarding an unusually happy female co-worker:
“Well. Either she's bought some new batteries or the dog has learned some new tricks”

Replying to lady-colleague on WeightWatchers:
“I lost 3 pounds last month.”
“What happened? Did you shave your legs?”

When his past boyfriend got a futon, Declan was a little dismayed. They are almost impossible to sleep on. He found a way, of course:
“I have this technique to getting comfy on a futon. You lie back, twist, and take a fist-full of valium.”

The reason he and I are such good friends is not that we have so many common interests, or similar attitudes to everything. No, after almost a decade, we have so much dirt on each other

Leaning against a door jam, drink in hand, to host:
“Enjoying the party? To enjoy this party you would have had to live your life in a cupboard.”

Regarding an overweight man coming into the bar
“My! Its the face that ate a thousand chips.”

After meeting a friend of mine at a party:
“What a lovely friend you have there. Lets hope something runs over her.”

“Who does your hair? The council?”

Being the dutiful son, Declan brought his Irish-Catholic mother a Daniel O’Donnell CD for Christmas. She was so excited that she unwrapped it early.
“Oooh,” she cooed. “Guess what you'll be listening to on Christmas day!”
“My walkman,” said he.

“The best thing about you? You're mortal.”

We were discussing what would happen if he ever went to court. He would plead thus:
“Yes, I am guilty. But I have let go of it.”

The sun was shining, the gays were out. It was London Gay Pride, and dear Declan was sitting on the grass, surveying the action. Gracefully, he placed his fag back in his gob, and clicked his fingers, announcing:
“Bring me the love of a dirty man.”

“My brother asked me what I wanted for my leaving present. I asked for a dialysis machine. Well, he works in a hospital and it would be criminal not to use the connections...”

His delightful description of Leicester Gay Mardi Gras:
“They were having this parade or something, and frankly, I’ve had shits that move faster. And there was a field with a couple of tents - 'Gay Men Against Bad Fashion' - fighting a losing battle there, and the lesbian book tent. I took one look at it, grabbed a steward and yelled ‘point me to the beer tent.’”

(applause from audience, host wipes tear from eye)
Ho, they are good, aren’t they? Well, lets raise our Babycham glasses to Declan, and his nine years! And lets take this moment to appreciate why this friendship has gone on so long. Not because we have very similar interests. Nor because we have the same outlook on life. No, it’s simply that we have so much dirt on each other after all this time, that it would be very stupid to become enemies.

To solidarity through blackmail! (chink!)

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

10 Past Desperate

This is the third day your divine Ruler has gone without any real sleep the previous night, recalling hours of staring at the bedroom ceiling emotionlessly. Oh yes, the flashbacks to sleeping with various ex’s were bountiful, I can confirm. Yet while yesterday this caused me to be in an utterly intolerant mood and almost injuring Gertie in an email battle, today I have transgressed into a dreamlike state where all is well and the world is shiny and lovely.

I believe it may be the lack of a certain other nocturnal activity to be the cause. Be it that it has now been over two weeks since any sort of horizontal action on my fabulous chaise-lounge, and this is the longest period of time your Ruler has gone without in the ten years he’s been flouncing around the bars with a roguish look in his eye. As my dear Evil Best Friend Declan would say: “My churns are full. I’m backed up. My teeth are practically floating,” but then he’s always had a flowery turn of phrase. Shakespeare, that man. Shakespeare.

One questions whether this snappy mood would transfer to my urge for companionship: I am surprised that I’ve not started rubbing myself up against everyone semi-beautiful on the train. When it comes to sexual congress, I have reached the zen-like state of an Enya video, fully prepared to come into work in a wafty cotton sheet with choral voices about my head. Rather like what I feel today, actually. This is probably to the relief of Impossibly Beautiful Housemate Mark, who I believe sees me as a danger at the best of times, but almost looks pityingly at me in this state of weakened power. I do still hear the sound of a chair being scraped up against his door at night, but now we both know it’s more through habit. Bless.

So, at the core of this is my Wife - I’m missing him horrendously. And not just for the squelchy stuff that may help my slumber, I believe it’s the whole package that’s causing lack of sleep, if you’ll excuse the expression. While we don’t live together, we do spend a great deal of time at each other’s abodes. There isn’t a week gone by where I haven’t spent at least a couple of times turning over in the middle of the night and inhaling his hair – well, there is a lot of it, you see. Thus, to quell the sleepless nights, I’ve taken to sleeping with my Security Wig, a lank patch of locks that are remarkably similar to my sweetheart’s very own. I believe it used to belong to Tina Turner at one point: it says ‘Manufactured in Nutbush’ on the label underneath, and it would explain why there's not a day I wake to find the strutting grandma outside my window yelling that she wants it back while singing - loudly, I may add - about being beyond the Pleasuredome.

Well, tomorrow will be different. The quicksand arrives.

Virus Warning

We were all terribly pleased when Gertie came back from the clap clinic with a clean bill of health. He even looked less grubby, if that was at all possible; like when they’d managed to get the barnacles off a whale’s hide.

The unfortunate thing was that the clinic was employing a new computer system to analyse the various things he had, and he was so chock-full of Galloping Green Nob-Rot that he managed to infect that. The next thing we knew was that there was this thing called ‘MyDoom’ doing the rounds and the lights had gone out on our bridge game. Terrible, as I’d got a straight flush and Judy Finnegan was about to fork over her Channel 4 show. Ah.

Thanks to the magic of the hypercyberinterweb, it’s a fair thing to say that Gertie’s worm has now been almost everywhere. Which is ironic as this is what started this trouble in the first place.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

A Rant. Please Skip.

Many things annoy me, as I’m sure you’re aware. Tourists. People trying to quietly unwrap boiled sweets in cinemas. Dragons really get my goat, too. I really should think about putting a roof on the goat’s pen.

The latest is equating ‘gay’ to ‘this means it’s interesting to you, so listen’. When talking to people, they will aside a sexuality: “And my friend Andy – he’s gay – well, he’s just taken up water-skiing…” By simply inserting that one word, they expect me to sit up and beg for more information.

One desperate side effect of being a mary is when you’re outed to people, they will relate the fact that you are a cack-pipe cosmonaut with any scrap of information they have on the subject. I’m aware that this is how people communicate, but some of the responses I have garnered over the years have edged into sheer stupidity. The usual response is “Ah! Right. My brother/father/cousin/former room-mate is gay”. I assume that it shows that they are accepting of it as they have already come across someone in their life who’s a mary and filed it away. What the reaction to this is, I’m still not sure. Do you then go “What, Brian? Your brother/father/cousin/former room-mate? I thought he was when I slept with him, but didn’t want to say…”

It reminds of an incident when my normally ape-like father revealed a hitherto unforeseen wit while we were in America. He was cornered in a gift shop by the ancient female owner, who insisted he ‘speak British’ to her. She then started asking whether he knew Betty.
“You must know her,” said she. “Betty. About this tall. Grey hair. You know, Betty from Blackpool.”
Rather than point out the size of Britain, and the fact that there are a couple of million people living on this little old island, he started playing along.
“Betty. Hmm. Pleasant woman. Sparkling eyes?”
The woman clapped her hands. “That’s her!”
“Yeah. She’s dead.”

If it’s not the brother/father/cousin/former room-mate that gets brought into conversation, you get all sorts of stereotypical impositions. I have been collecting the more desperate reactions for some years. Thus:

“Oh! You’re gay! I met John Inman in panto in Birmingham!”

“Really? Gay? I once tried on my wife’s shoes, you know…”

“Gay? Ah. You sure? Your voice is quite deep…” (that little nugget was from my father)

My all-time favourite was:

“Gay? Really? We had a poodle we thought was that way, once…”


Monday, February 02, 2004

The Tide Is High. And Has Turned. Hooray.

We do apologise that there was no update on Friday – we were out to capture the black heart of pop patchiness, cornering and slaying the three-headed Atomic Kitten in a branch of New Look, Basildon. It was a terrible mess – fake tan everywhere. It looked like we’d pureed Dale Winton.

It was this that reminded us that Atomic Kitten’s legacy is not a collection of songs that will live on forever like the Beatles, or on an equal footing, the Spice Girls. Here is a triumvirate solely responsible for row of day-glo orange shiny legs one witnesses gaggling outside clubs called ‘Creation’. Rows of girls, clad only in a Croydon Overcoat*, all knowing the limited dance moves to ‘The Tide Is High’. Bless them; their leaders are now dead. Who will lead them to triumph, or more correctly, lead them in a rousing chorus of ‘Ooops Upside Your Head’ at the wedding? Not Girls Aloud – we maries have claimed them as our own. Besides, Nicola and co would never dare dress at TopShop. We think.

The battered bodies of the Kittens will now be placed in that storage for all ‘we’re taking a rest’ popstars – The Byrite Store on Oxford Street. This is a shop that has been placed in a time-loop, forever one week from the threatened Closing Down boasted by their placards. It has been for the five years I’ve been living in the capital, and will continue like this eternally. They join Bananarama, Shakespeare’s Sister and Lolly, forever wandering the isles. Just think of it as the pop version of the Ghostbusters ghost container in the basement.

Indeed, you will oft find Cher browsing around the racks at closing time, clad in a public-diverting yashmac. She’s certainly not shopping for overly-stylised yet decidedly affordable items to bolster her ‘StreetCher Named Desire’™ image, no - she actually sleeps in some Tupperware around by the ladies’ parkas up the back in order to keep her looking so youthful. We carbon-dated her at a party the other week for a laugh – she’s now younger than the Roman Empire. And just as powerful, mind.

Ah, it’s not all good news. With the Kittens’ mortal bodies destroyed, their glitter-coated unholy souls do get one last stab at the domination they coveted: hark the hilarious scrabbling for solo careers by the three of them. Just ignore it and it will go away. They can’t harm you.

So. Phase One is complete. We’ve now invited Daniel Bedingfield in for a Byrite suit fitting.

* Croydon Overcoat: a thin sheen of glitter across the shoulders of any Croydon Slappette that seems to keep them perfectly warm as they clatter from the pub to the club on a bitter November eve, arms folded, because they don’t want to pay the coat fee.