A few weeks back I was clearing out an old box of photos and found a lovely one of my old friend Lucy’s mum, Ros, holding Chloe who was a few weeks old. Now don’t get confused: this Lucy is not Mad Lucy of PIP implant fame, but Juicy Lucy, who I knew when I was ‘litrally’ one. Age three, four, five we would play gypsies in her bedroom, with a wagon made from her bed, pulled by dearly-loved motheaten furry Hassan, a camel that Lucy’s dad Ken had brought back from the Far East. Age six, seven, eight we kept about fifteen imaginary horses under her willow tree. Age nine and ten we would make cakes and wash up which I found fearfully novel as at my house we were not allowed to wash up. (I don’t know, ask Gwanny.) Age fifteen and sixteen we would crash college parties. I would get thrown out but she wouldn’t as she like ‘litrally’ was grown-up, having five older sisters to lend her clothes and make-up, lucky thing.
I don’t know how, but I got it together to put this lovely pic of Ros in the post to Lucy as I thought she might like to see a photo of her mum looking so happy, sitting in a deck-chair in the garden. So anyway this led to Lucy saying why don’t we meet up for a drink at the Old Spring? I said, Oh what fun and shall we ask Hermione? Now, Hermione I ‘litrally’ also knew when I was one as I have a picture of us playing on the floor – age one. We have fun later memories of skiving off school to cycle home for cheese on toast.
So I got to the Old Spring first and shotgunned the table by the fire. I had been planning to have one gin and then coke in order to be able to pick up Bash at ten from a dress rehearsal. However, Lucy and Hermes turned up and ordered a whole bottle of red and a double rum and coke respectively. What was one to do? Party-pooper, moi? Mais non! I phoned Fred and he agreed to pick up Bash. Whoop whoop. I got a couple of double gins down my neck and we started making up for lost time. We have four kids apiece so that kept us busy for a while. The far and distant past did too, and our misspent youth! Our friends from school! Oh, my lord, did that ever get us yakking. Lucy’s sister Jo turned up. Her son Barney was playing with his band at the Portland Arms over the road. Were we up for it? Were we ever! Bitches be giggin! Decided we were going to meet every month and we would be called the Old Springs. Then we decided Rusty Old Springs said it all. Then we realised Rusty Old Springs spelt Ros, which was just wonderful.
We staggered over the road, arm in arm. I think at this point I started to show people my new boob but can’t be sure, maybe that was later. I know Hermes was displaying her rather extensive tattoo to all and sundry. We went in and were the oldest people there, no matter! We bopped about enthusiastically none the less and shouted and drank and appreciated the ‘car-crash cabaret’ wot was the band. They are called Binewski Murder. Boomtown 2013 says they are ‘an anarchic musical rabble who spin tales of doom and debauchery to a soundtrack of waltzes, marches, ballads and car-crashes.’ Yes they were that! I am the most massive fan already.
The stunning, impossibly lanky front man, Barney, is on guitar while a girl called Keri oozes stage presence as she harmonises cross-eyed under her fringe and halloween horns, along to a trombone, bass and drums. Timeless or at least ancient, and vaudeville in a manic, modern sort of way. Bits reminded me of the theatrical Bonzo Dog Doodah Band CD that my sweet college friend Keith who died sent me. I think the truth is you probably can’t be a proper fan of the Bonzo Dog DooDah Band and live. Anyway the Binewski Murder sound is kind of infectious, crunching, bouncy and mental. I kept writing things down for the blog as I didn’t want to forget them. Only trouble is, can’t read them now, the handwriting is just appalling! (Even without being drunk my handwriting has gone down the pan. Who writes with a pen any more? Sad truth, like almost nobody.) ( I keep saying ‘like’ to annoy Bashi who like says it all the time.)
So we eventually came out onto the street and shouted away wildly at some strangers about life the universe and everything. I think they wrote down some things on my pad but I can’t read what they wrote either. Poor lost words.
Maybe this is the point where I showed everyone my boob. Don’t know. I probably scared people. I think the Beaut is beautiful (and so does Miss Benyon as we know. She is its creator though so mmm a bit biased maybe?), and Fred claims he does, but probably peeps taken unawares recoil somewhat at the sci-fi nature of it all.
I slept on the sofa at my mum’s house. God, do they ever have weird breakfast at that establishment? Porridge with no salt, just mashed banana intilt! Honestly can you imagine? I borrowed a plastic bowl to take back with me and threw up banana-y porridge and tea into it several times along the motorway. Oops. Still, self-induced is OK, much better than chemo.
So, other than having naughty nights aht on the tahn, I have been engaged on new and wondrous creative endeavours. I have been reading a book that I borrowed from the Cancer Centre, called ‘The Tibetan Art of Positive Thinking.’ I only read half a chapter which was about the humungous power of thought waves and I remembered something so fundamental that I can’t believe I had forgotten it. It is that you have to do everything, even picking up pony poos, with LOVE. I knew this before, but sometimes you just forget. You can’t help ligging about, sighing and letting whole days slip by. But now I have remembered: just do everything with a deep and calm feeling of love. Sounds bonkers, I agree, but such a laugh waiting to be had by all, honest. That same day, I brought down all the piles of clothes that had been stagnating, probably for several years, in the corridor, sorted them out, washed them, dried them, loved them, folded them, hung them up. It was a JOY. And no effort. That same day, I came to my computer and just decided on the spur of the moment that I was going to create ‘TITS: the Musical.’ Yes, we will take it to Edinburgh in summer 2013, no time like the present, let’s get this show on the road.
Wicked ideas for songs so far. Far-out instrumentals for the leafy Boob Tube where the women are milked. (I’m thinking Ben Sommers sounds, if he doesn’t mind writing us a few bars. If you are over 18, check out his song Hillary.) Slick salsa (I know Annie and Sexteto Cafe will write me some bars) backed by a frenetic foetal heartbeat for the zumba-crazed anti-mother who induces her baby three weeks early so she can go skiing, contrasting with a chilled spaced vibe backed by a calm da-dum, da-dum heartbeat for the pregnant yoga mums. (Ooh, the lighting person will have fun playing with panicky reds versus cool bluey greens.) Folky jamming or Stomp-like percussion on pots and pans from the stoned crusties running the milk factory. A comedy song when our baddie Tarquin gets it into his head that his girlfriend Francesca is going to have to disguise herself as a lollipop lady in order to spy on the school to find out why the kids are so clever. You can just imagine her upon her zebra crossing, hating the kids, scowling in her lurid yellow coat. We also must have a drinking song (maybe Binewski Murder would write one for us?) for the conman and his cronies in the pub as they study the logistics of them big tits going up the hill and them tiny ones coming down and wonder what the hell is going on.
A comic song of paranoia is required for when Tarquin starts thinking he is being targeted by the Bodily Fluid Terrorists. We need an operatic duet for Booby and Busty when they agree to be poached and go over to the dark side. We need a choral lament to be sung by the women who have defected to the lab from hell. Imagine them wailing with their drips, their chemo, their pallor… and all while their milk is being forcibly extracted. (Such a contrast to our lovely Boob Tube which is productive, expressive, fluid and full of joy.) Tarquin can be at the head of it, conducting the whole nightmare dance. The lighting person will need some scary disco lights for that bit. And then poor betrayed Hetty will burst in on them all and whack out a whole impassioned counter-rhythm throwing it all off-kilter.
The beauty of doing Edinburgh is that it costs so much to hire the theatre for a slot for the week, that people are forced to pare their shows down to an hour. And I mean, I really have got enough material for one hour. We will have to pack it in. And I can’t wait to hand out our leaflets on the Royal Mile. ‘Hmm, TITS: the Musical. What is it about?’
‘Erm, well, it’s about TITS really!’
‘What? Just tits?’
‘Yeah. Just tits.’
I’ve also joined something called Nanowrimo where you write a novel in a month. I thought I might do a full-length version of my new short story which has materialised. Just to give you a laugh, I will paste it here for you. You can see it is also going to be black comedy.
Anyone could make that mistake once, but then he did it again. (That’s the line you have to put in somewhere.)
I weren’t having none of it. If you got yerself a noo girl, with lovely big boobs, you don’t go phoning yer snooty old one. He said he deleted her from his phone but he never.
I decided now was the time. I started taking his sperm regular like. Thing is, I needed the money! What you gonna do? If you need the money, you need the money.
I’d run downstairs gagging, spit into me jam-jar, trot over the road to number 14 in me dressing gown and hand it to Pat. Pat would pass over a hundred and fifty quid wivout batting an eye.
Ha, those were the days. Three hundred quid a day to burn. First things first, I booked meself a little ‘holiday’ at the Rivers and came out with an even bigger pair of boobs! I had mojitos in Baroosh almost every day. I took me mates Shelley and Chardonnay shoppin in Harlow. I’d go dancin at the Fountain three times a week. I was a Lady wot Lunches, me! The Crown, the Star, the Boars Head.
Then one of Pat’s clients had twins. OMG, gorjuss or wot. Blond little cherubs they were. Soon as I saw them I knew. They had ‘the lip.’ His lip. Matt’s top lip is kinda….well, different. It’s like muscly. It moves a lot. Like twitches but in a good way? Well, these babies had that same lip, honest to God you could see it. Also, their eyes like gave it away. A blue that’s just so blue I can’t explain. Like a deep blue wiv a flash a purple. Gotta give it to him, he is a lovely man. I wouldn’t be wiv him if he weren’t now, would I? I’m a classy bird, I needed myself a good un.
So Pat says to me, she says ‘I need three lots a day, Eileen.’
I stares at her, like wot? ‘I don’t even know if he can, Pat!’ I say. ‘He already thinks I’m a nympho.’
‘I’ll give you two hundred a shot,’ she goes, ‘as the posh mums are after it.’
‘Hunh! Course they are!’ I says to meself. ‘They want pretty babies and they don’t care how they get them.’
Everyone knew that Matt’s spunk made the best babies. There was them snooties wot paid through the nose for his sperm like four and five years back. The little girl is the pride of the pre-prep with her drama prize and the angelic boy got a Waterstone’s poetry award ahh bless im.
Then one of Pat’s ladies, you so will not believe this, only went and had triplets! I know, three of the little buggers. Oh my lord though, you shoulda seen them. From another world they was. Hair so blond it were blinding. Rosy cheeks. Twitchy lips. Flash a purple. Honest to God, everyone wanted a bit of that.
So I started having it off with Matt in the middle of the day as well. I’d pop a vajazzle on, shimmy up to him in my silky dressing gown, take his hands from his computer, run them over my new boobs. I’d lure him into the bedroom.
He probably found it a bit odd that I never stuck around after our little sessions. But men, they just don’t question things do they? Not if they’re getting enough. They don’t argue.
It did make me laugh though just how many of Matt’s sperm-kids was around in our town. I could tell em a mile off. They had a Matt-swagger, that lovely jutting out chin and ready smile. OMG they was all over the place! Blond, almost white hair, but thick, so thick. And always that lip, curlin and strong. A larf and a half. And he didn’t have an effing clue!
I was tickled pink every day thinking about my lovely secret. For a good few years I surfed them profits.
Then, last October the first knock at the door came. A lanky teenager in a puffy Fat-face gilet. Curled his top lip. ‘Does Matthew Lark live here?’ he asked, just like that, cheeky bugger.
I slammed the door in his face.
A month later two girls probably about twelve years old turned up on the doorstep with matching Russian furry hats. Hair like silver straw. Their upper lips flipped upwards to reveal gleaming teeth. ‘We’re wondering…if our dad lives here?’
‘Not on your life, Nellie,’ I replied, pushing their fingers off the door-jamb.
Three weeks later, just before Christmas, I opened up to a whole horde of crazy blondies. Silent, beseeching eyes fixed on mine, muscly upper lips stretched over them pearly teeth.
‘Darling?’ Ooh bollocks, it was Matt, behind me. ‘Who are all these people? Are they carol singers?’
The horde’s mouths dropped open as they feasted their eyes upon my husband.
‘Yeah, they are,’ I lied all firm like. ‘Carol singers. Go on! Sing then!’ I urged them. (‘You little bastards,’ I added under my breath.)
The horde opened their perfect lips spookily as one: ‘Lead us, Heavenly Father, lead us…’