Otherwise this post would have to come with a XXX certificate for bad language, racism, homophobia, sexism, and any other kind of ism you can think of as well making derogatory comments and being offensive to and about the mentally disabled.
As it is it’s been downgraded to a bitch fest with racist etc. etc. overtones. It’ll be a full on bitch fest mind you so if you don’t want bitchin’ at don’t read on.
Well, it’s a whopper so I suggest you get a coffee and a couple of garibaldi before settling down to read.
I have so much to tell you about last weekend in Blackpool that I hardly know where to start so I’ll pick a point half way through:
The Tale of the Gay Chinese Waiter
That would be the tale of the GCW, not the tail of the GCW, that would be a totally different story not suitable for here. I haven’t got a story about his tail but I could make one up for you if you like.
So. B and me arrived in Blackpool, starving hungry, far later than we’d intended to. We parked the car where it looked vaguely like it wouldn’t get clamped as soon as our back was turned and set off looking for a suitable eaterie. Blackpool isn’t best known for classy eating establishmnents so we quickly narrowed our search down to two options: Maccie D’s or a Grill place. No contest.
As we went into the grill place, we noticed that it was deserted, never a good sign when everywhere else is packed. oh well, we’re here now. A chubby chinese chap in his thirties minced up to us with a huge smile. “Harro,” he greeted us, “tay fo two?”
We nabbed a table by the window and quickly ordered or meals, fish and chips for me and gammon and chips for B. I don’t believe there was anything on the menu that didn’t come with chips but come on, we were in Blackpool. The waiter turned on his cuban heels and minced back across the restaurant while loudly singing Lady Gaga’s ‘Telephone’ before tossing his hair, throwing his head back and laughing really loudly in a very gay way. Do you remember when ‘gay’ used to mean happy?
After about 3 minutes he came back with two platesful of steaming hot, freshly cooked and delicious food. How the hell did they do that so quickly? The fish and chips was more like whale and chips. I made the mistake of asking the waiter how they got the food cooked so quickly. he told me in very great detail in an accent so thick that, as a generous estimate, I caught about one word in ten. Away he minced again, still singing loudly and laughing uproariously at we know not what. This time he popped outside to make a phone call. Laugh? I nearly bought a round!
Up and down the pavement he minced, hand on hip, all the while laughing his loud, infectious and very gay laugh. When he didn’t have his hand on his hip he flirtatiously curled his hair round his finger. Funny, funny, funny.
Eventually he came back in and parked himself on the table next to us, settling in for a good chat. Since we didn’t understand 90% of what he was saying we just smiled and nodded a lot.
At one point I thought I’d misheard him when he talked about the ‘big erection.’
“Big erection soon, vay big erection fo e’eryone thi’ year.”
“Well, yes, I hope so.” I said, thinking the conversation was getting a bit inappropriate. I’m all for being friendly with the waiters but hell, this seemed a bit much even by my standards. Seeing his his puzzled expression it finally dawned on me what he meant.
OH! ELECTION!!!!! BIG ELECTION!!!! OH I SEE! Haahaahaaaaaaa
Phew! He had me worried then.
Somehow I think I had him worried as well.
An Evening of Dance with Brian Fortuna and Ali Bastian
This years second best birthday present, tickets to see Brian Fortuna dance, as it turns out not with Kristina Rihanof but with his ex Strictly Come dancing partner and current life partner, Ali Bastian.
I’d been so excited about it, I didn’t even mind queueing up for fifteen minutes to get into the tower for the start of the show at 7pm, nor did I mind the rugby scrum type scramble to get the decent , unreserved seats in the balcony. I even managed a smile when the borderline window licker plonked herself down next to me so hard that the everyone on the rest of the row suddenly bounced upwards. Then she proceeded to invade my personal space while she got herself settled, then she yapped incessantly.
‘SHUT THE F**K UP!!’ repeated itself constantly in my head as she continued to yap. I’m not saying she had issues with personal space boundaries but her head was against mine more than once. I smiled on through it all in anticipation of the evening to come.
On came the compere for the evening. Ooohhhhhhhh, here we go!!!
One hour of watching sequence dancing later while listening to “yapyapyapyapyapyap” had me becoming slightly irritated. of course being in the balcony, penned in on all sides, we had no choice but to watch all these sheep, er.. I mean people, lurching around in unison to their sixteen bar sequence. Baaaa. They didn’t / couldn’t even begin their feeble excuse for dancing until the compere shouted “GO!”
Climbing over Mr & Mrs Windowlicker we went downstairs to the snack bar and ordered a beef baguette and a cold drink each. perching on the edge of a table we were swiftly moved on by security. “You can’t stay there, Ali & Brian are signing autographs there in a minute.” Sigh. Juggling the sandwiches, bottles and glasses we perched on the edge of a table that seemed to be unoccupied. Chomping away on my baguette I suddenly noticed out of the corner of my eye our table sliding away from us. Yet another security guard had decided an elderly couple should have it so he just whipped it away without so much as a by your leave. It even still had our supper on it!!
Ali & Brian did indeed sign autographs – for a solid hour! B and me went back to our seats and sat their disgruntled watching the anti clockwise motion of all the dancers of all different abilities as they moved around the floor. It’s very surreal, watching dancing from above.
Eventually the ‘cabaret’ started. It was a formation dance group. All through the evening there had been people wandering round selling raffle tickets to raise money to send this group off to some prestigious competition somewhere, I forget where. They’d be better off spending the money on more training instead because I can tell you now they won’t win.
Lets start with lesson 1 : Formation dancing (the clue is in the name) means you have to do stuff at exactly the same time, not at some point nearish to when some of the other dancers do it. Slick it was not.
At 10.00 pm after much more sequence dancing and yapyapyapping it was time for Ali and Brian to perform. Whoop whoop!!!!
Ask me how long they danced for. Go on, ask me.
Roughly four minutes!!! A total of two dances interspersed with the man himself singing three songs. That’d be one more than he danced to then.
The first dance, a lacklustre viennese waltz was passable enough I suppose.
The second dance, a samba, dear, oh dear, oh dear. What a shambles.
Gorgeous, long limbed Ali Bastian looked like Bambi, arms and legs sticking out all over the place, barely in control of her faculties, with a wide eyed, panicked expression, not dissimilar, I imagine to that of a rabbit at the moment of realising it’s about to be splattered by a juggernaut. The fixed smile and staring eyes remained with her all the way through what I shall laughingly call a dance. For the most part she seemed to getting thrown around the floor by her partner. I bet that was the longest 2 minutes of her entire life. it was an embarrassment to watch, the restrained applause at the end was more out of politeness than appreciation of a performance.
To add insult to our injury, Brian Fortuna stood on the stage at the end of the performance and said how well he thought she’d done. The word, ‘considering’ was elided but we all knew it was there. Then to make it even worse, he told us how this was her first ever performance and they’d had no time to practice.
No time to practice?
Several hundred people have spent a minimum of £12 each, many substantially more than that, to see you dance and you couldn’t find the time to practice?
Do you hold your fans in such contempt that the quality of the performance you provide is unimportant compared to the sheer gratitude you think we should feel for simply being in the same room as you?
Well, Mr Fortuna, With that kind of attitude I can assure you that your fans won’t remain your fans for too much longer. If you can’t find a partner capable of dancing to a level that we expect from a professional dancer than cancel the performance and give us our money back. Roping in your girlfriend to ‘give it a bash’ is just not acceptable.
As for Miss Bastian, I have no doubt that Brian Fortuna whipped her into a false sense of confidence with that peculiarly American approach of brainwashing themsleves into believing they can do any thing just by repeating it loudly and often enough:
‘WHOOP WHOOP, YEAH BABY, YOU CAN DO IT, YEAH, QUITTING IS FOR LOSERS, COME ON, YEAH, YEAH!!!
Terribly un- British.
As it was it didn’t pay off; she was clearly terrified and gave a pi55 poor performance. Confidence (his, I suspect) exceeded ability by a country mile. As her trainer and mentor he let her down badly.
Sometimes, it’s better just to accept your limitations and gracefully decline the challenge.
Think this was wordy? Oh there is soooo much more I could have said, this is the severely edited version.
Tune in tomorrow for the next exciting instalment.