Posts tagged ‘Los Angeles’
What better or more fitting way is there to spend Valentine’s Day than with a bottle of Lambrusco, copious packets of Walker’s crisps, a slew of horror flicks, two pervy cats, and four psychotic bison frise dogs breathing down your neck? Yup, that’s exactly how I spent what’s supposed to be the most romantic day of the year.
Rather than endure Valentine’s Day on my own (last year I’d given a talk on erotic writing to creative writing MA students at Roehampton University, which was followed by a “date” consisting of my being allocated one token drink, my evening culminating in a delayed train home due to a “fatality” on the line at Romford – not sure if the suicide was a result of a broken heart or a result of living in Romford), I decided to head to that exotic gem of northern England known as Blackpool. Bear in mind that this English seaside resort town has as one of its claims to fame a “space invasion” (where’s Ziggy Stardust when you need him?) featuring several hovering spaceships on Gynn Island (in reality a roundabout), not to mention copious doses of the clap from all those hen nights (a more sedate version of which can be found in my short story “Hen Night” on Amazon Kindle) and stag dos and assorted dubious establishments catering to – dare I use the word – gentlemen.
Now I’m not going to diss Blackpool. I’m sure it’s a damned sight better than Skeggie (aka Skegness, home to the proverbial “dirty weekend” – a place where I’ve yet to go and may well manage to live without having gone). Blackpool does have some good things going for it (other than the Tower, Blackpool rock, and zillions of cheap trinkets on offer) – one being that my good mate Ashley Lister and his lovely wife Tracy and their lovely son Ashley Jr. all live there, the other being that it’s known as “the gay capital of the North”. Although I always seem to miss the Gay Pride Parade, I did go to a drag club called Funny Girls there a couple of years back. It wasn’t too bad as far as drag revues go, save for the fact there was no place to sit and I ended up with a hell of a backache by the time the show ended. Plus the place was packed with raucous females out on a hen night which – in my humble view – is enough to turn even the most masculine hetero male into a raging queen. What made it even worse was the fact that these creatures all wore these cute little furry bunny tails clipped to their rather uncute and unlittle posteriors. The sight was enough to make any man’s mars and venus shrivel up and die.
Meanwhile back at the ranch. At Chez Lister, we partook of a romantic orgy of blood, zombies, cannibals, vampires, and crazed killers all weekend long, the lineup of which included: Sweeney Todd; Dracula, Prince of Darkness; 30 Days of Night; 1408; Hannibal Rising; and Vacancy. Now I must confess that I did feel a bit of the old amorous Valentine’s Day tingle while watching Hannibal Rising. That Gaspard Ulliel isn’t too shabby. In fact, I can conjure up some very romantic scenarios featuring him in the lead role (no pun intended). Oh, and Andrew Garfield too. Okay, let’s throw in Jamie Draven while we’re at it; I do want to be fair here. And if anyone out there knows one or more of these nice lads, kindly pass on the word that I’m single and an absolutely lovely lass – they’d be hard-pressed to find better! (Hey, if I can’t use my blog for my own sinister purposes then what’s the bloody point?)
Did I mention that I played Upwords with the two Ashleys? For those of you unfamiliar with this board game, think of it like council estate Scrabble, with the words forming those grim tower blocks you see all over Britain which were built in an effort to provide public housing and which in London you can now pay full market rent to live in – no extra fees for the graffiti, broken lifts and muggings. During our tourney, I somehow managed to end up with too many tiles of the letter U; I suspect it was part of some father-son plot to cause me to lose the game. Things really began to disintegrate when I was forced to repeatedly place words such as “oh” and “uh” on the board. I mean, how lame is that? Three games and I’d had enough. I next embarked on a jigsaw puzzle, but got annoyed after about an hour, retiring to the living room for a PlayStation game featuring Darth Vader and a host of other butch animated male characters, along with a handful of pneumatic animated female bimbos emitting noises like their flesh-and-blood pneumatic counterparts in porn. I must admit that while playing I became increasingly aggressive, experiencing a killer instinct the likes of which I hadn’t experienced since I lived in Los Angeles – an instinct that usually kicked into gear whenever I drove on the freeways, which was pretty much all the time.
Now don’t go thinking that my Valentine’s weekend was all bloodshed, mayhem and crisps. There was some romance (other than that provided by Monsieur Ulliel). I got to lie back on the sofa in peel me a grape fashion listening to Ashley Jr. play the piano. Then there was my toast thief Spike, who courted me all weekend long by performing The Spike Dance. I tell you, it’s a real talent to be able to get your head and your arse at the same angle. Imagine a U-shaped dog and you get the picture. And hey, if you think it’s easy, YOU try doing it!
Hmmm. I wonder what’s in store for me next Valentine’s Day…
View the rest of my holiday snaps on Flickr.
Watch videos from my “dirty weekend”!
Okay, let’s get this straight: I’m a car person. I started driving when I was just a wee lass of 15. I’ve always gone everywhere in a car. Having spent a bit of time in California, particularly in the hardcore car culture of Los Angeles, I can definitely say that I often feel as if I’ve had my legs cut off living a car-less life in Britain. It’s not that I’m “green” – rather I’m simply too skint to own a car. (Subliminal message: buy more books buy more books!!!!!!!!!!!!)
Which relegates me to the glorious dregs of public transportation, where you can experience a lifetime’s worth of experience just trying to get home from an evening out. Mind you, not all experiences are worth having. I mean, living in a cave with Osama bin Laden isn’t an experience I’d wish to partake of. I wouldn’t care to shack up in a cave (or anywhere else for that matter) with Robbie Williams either. Or George Clooney. Or Nicholas Cage. As for Andrew Garfield (oy, such a nice Jewish boy!) … now you’re talking! And let’s throw in Jamie Draven while we’re at it. If Osama still insists on lurking around, we can always get him to make the kebabs. But that meat had better be Halal!
Right, so where was I? Oh, yeah, trying to get home. I can write a book about this, believe me – and who knows, maybe one day I will. Perhaps another in my Erotic Travel Tales
Ca) anthology series. Erotic Travel Tales on British Public Transport – now there’s a catchy title. Or how about Erotic Tube Tales? Err… no, better scrap that one! Speaking of which, I always need the tube (London Underground to you non-Brits) and the train to get home. Note that I’m not factoring in the bus in this discussion, since I tend to avoid them now that I’m living in the Greater London area. I’ve had my fill of psychotic drivers who slam on the brakes in a standing-room only bus, then sit back and enjoy the mayhem. These early-release programmes from prison just don’t work, in my humble opinion.
The other week while waiting on a train platform, I observed a young couple arguing heatedly over the controversial subject of mayonnaise. And yes, I mean that creamy white stuff you slather onto bread when you make a sandwich. I edged discreetly away from the pair, concerned there might be bloodshed. I mean, a discussion of mayonnaise would surely have propelled even a peaceful chap such as Mahatma Gandhi into the ranks of ASBO status. Things soon calmed down, however, when the fellow nearly broke into tears, proclaiming to his woman in a sledgehammer urban London accent that he wanted to be the best he could be for her (a rather syphilitic-looking specimen), and that he was concerned for her health (bit late for that, mate!). I almost wept I was so moved. Well, no, actually I didn’t.
The night would later reach a climactic crescendo as I walked home from the railway station and happened upon a quartet of lads with pint glasses in hand, whereupon two of them (the lads, not the pint glasses) proceeded to urinate the lager they’d been consuming all evening against some unsuspecting trees. (I’ve heard of taking the piss, but this is ridiculous!) They didn’t seem bothered about me, although that’s probably got more to do with the fact that I don’t look like I belong, since I don’t go around with my arse (and the bit wot goes in front) sticking out from under my skirt or my boobs falling out of my top or – the ultimate giveaway – staggering about shriekingly drunk on heels so high they’d give a normal woman (or trannie) nosebleed. Nope, I’m definitely not one of these fair English maidens who end the evening unconscious in a gutter with an all-new strain of STD incubating in their loins.
Now I suppose I could regale you with some tales of true horror, but that wouldn’t be fair. After all, it’s not all gloom and doom in the big bad world of British public transport. Why, I’ve even had my fair share of romance on these journeys, and that doesn’t include eavesdropping on couples indulging in sweet-talk about Hellmann’s or being felt up in a crowded tube train – which luckily has never happened to me and likely never will, since I AM the woman who edited Getting Even: Revenge Stories (
Ca) remember? Anyway, one time there was this rather curious fellow across from me on the train making quick work of two large tins of lager who kept insisting I listen to the music playing on his iPod, as I was sure to “love it”. I told him I only love Staind. He seemed to believe my love would extend to the song he was playing (and perhaps to him). It didn’t. He was crushed. Bad enough I’d broken his heart, but when he got off the train at the same stop as me, well… let’s just say that I walked pretty darned fast up that hilly road home!
Then there was that proposal of marriage from a rather cute bloke who, in an empty train, decided to come sit near me (thank god for CCTV), only to spend the next few minutes gazing at me all starry-eyed. He finally blurted out something about my being a very attractive woman (so who am I to argue?) and pleading with me again and again to please please let him kiss me. He later called out to me to please please wait as I hurried along the station platform to the exit – and consequently, away from his matrimonially minded clutches. Last I heard he was heading off to Southend (or Sarfend as it’s known round ‘ere).
I admit London is probably the place to see and experience it all (whether you want to or not), but that’s not to say other cities in Britain are lacking in travel weirdness. The strangest (well, it’s a toss-up since it’s ALL pretty effing strange) was in a Leicester taxicab, where the driver held me hostage outside my flat as he begged me to let him take me out to dinner. He insisted he could make me happy; apparently he knew what I needed in my life and he could offer this to me – and I should give him a chance to prove himself. I gotta admit, that would’ve been one hell of an offer if he hadn’t been so keen for us to move to India – though I reckon it would’ve been a lot more exciting than Leicester. He wrote his mobile number on the back of the taxi company’s card, then grabbed my hand, not letting go until I promised to call him. Funny that he didn’t waive the fare though. Now THAT would have made me happy.
Gosh. I do hope he’s not still waiting for my call…