Tuesday, 3 April 2012
Showbiz and Ironing (or the fine line between Domesticity and Diamonique)
‘So many men, so little time, how can I lose? So many men, so little time, how can I choose?’
The neighbours must have been thinking that Dame Kiri had moved in but not taken her hormones. What was actually happening below them was that Danny La Rue was rehearsing his next disco classics album. Yes I know. So on Saturday morning, as well as discussing t-shirts and men with my Australian no.1, preparing a season appropriate look for my 11 o’clock ménage (mélange) a trois in Clerkenwell, splashing the social networks with badinage, persiflage and intellectual rigour, I was also channelling Danny.
Dan was singing Miquel Brown’s ‘So many men, so little time’, in a very deep voice. You couldn’t pay for this stuff, (although paypal, using my usual email address, is a quick way to get financial benefice to me, should the urge take you). Gloria had got me to thinking about drag queens – it’s the New York meets Black Cap state of mind you see, and preparing my brunch outfit took me way back to an evening I spent in the company of Ruby Venezuela, her from madam Jo Jo’s, in her own intimate (tiny) club, one dark, cold night in early 1996.
I had been reviewing the club for Time Out, (it was part of my divorce settlement), and due to the period and the prevailing trends of the time I was wearing an Yves St Laurent shirt – 10 a penny in those days and they all had a little logo on the bosom which said ‘YSL’. I don’t remember the exact colour of the shirt, but the evening was very red as I recall; red wine, red decor, red eyes, and lots of red faced mature gentlemen on the lookout for some restorative firm flesh. MATRON!
‘Larger than ever, Ruby stands over suitably cute barmen, not to mention the doormen, even though with the amount of red wine passing her lips, perhaps she should be lying down.’
‘I’m not saying this space is tiny, but I can see the whites of the act’s eyes, and I’m standing at the back.’
So dear reader, why did I remember this particular evening as I was steaming a chemise, and why did I remember what shirt I was wearing all those years ago? Well I’m glad you asked.
The shirt I was ironing for my 11 o’clock mélange was a Ralph Lauren shirt, and it had a little RLS logo on the front, which reminded me of the YSL shirt from all those years ago. The reason why I remembered what shirt I had on that night, and the reason I was transported right back to January 1996 was because of a bit of a 'to do' I’d had with Ruby whilst I was there.
On meeting me, Ruby had given me the once up, and clocking my market grade rags she said ‘Oh are you one of those YSL queens then?’ Innocent enough I suppose but I’d misheard her you see and thought she’d said ‘Oh are you one of those LYC queens then?’
‘LYC’ was abbreviated parlance in the day for the Long Yang Club, which we understood (although my solicitors tell me it is, and never was anything of the sort) to be an inter-nationality loving organisation whose membership was 50% older white gentlemen, and 50% younger oriental gentlemen. I wasn’t a member of said club, and didn’t want to be badged as an old lech, (I was 27 for heaven’s sake!) and so I excitedly (drunkenly) challenged her assumption of my peccadillos, only to realise once the hoo ha had died down she’d only been on about Yves.
It was a bit embarrassing to say the least hence the file in the memory banks. It was also I suppose the immediate end to what could have otherwise been a long and mediocre acquaintanceship. Anyway 3 letters and the whoosh of a steam iron was all it took.
Please be careful out there and iron safely!