It’s a good, old-fashioned rags-to-riches, capitalism-versus-socialism yarn about what happens to privileged people when they’re brought down to size and are forced to realize what real life is like for pretty much everyone else.
I have to fit in a museum, too, so am heading for the Museum of Sex (known as MoSex) on 5th Avenue. The last sex museum I went to was in Amsterdam 30 years ago, and sex has come a long way since then – unlike my sex life, which hasn’t. It’s been so long, they might well make me an exhibit in the museum, so if you don’t hear from me for a while, you’ll know where to find me.
I stayed in the Mayflower Hotel on Central Park and, on my first venture out onto the streets, was approached by a short, fat, scruffy woman, with a thick, black moustache and a large, ripe pimple on her cheek. She told me I had a curse hanging over me, and that if I went to her house, for the measly sum of $3000 she would remove it.
My heightened state of anxiety these days, though, I am going to put down to a whole new phobia – Googleaphobia. Because no matter what happens to me, my friends, or in the world at large, I am onto Google to investigate further, and now I live in fear of what I am going to find there.
Who starts queuing for the All You Can Eat Buffet at 5am, for goodness sake? I tell you: they are going to consume every last morsel if it kills them, and when the food runs out, they’ll start on the table leg. Trump wasted so much energy worrying about building a wall to keep immigrants out; all he needed to do transport an army of Texans with a picnic to the border.
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On my first day in the small village school (we had moved from Newport for my father’s job), Mum sent me off in a psychedelic crimplene mini dress and a cow bell round my neck. She was a Sixties mother. Alas, Coity had barely caught up with the end of the Second World War. Actually, make that the Wars of the Roses.
There are many areas of life during Covid that have highlighted the essential goodness of humanity: kindness towards others, compassion, the tireless, selfless dedication on the part of essential workers. But the pandemic has also highlighted an aspect of the human personality that not even Covid can suppress: smugness.
Our favorite was Steph’s, in Dean Street, run by the very flamboyant Steph. I was also a member of the Groucho Club, a few doors down, and we would retire there for early evening drinks when we had exhausted all conversation with whomever we descended upon at Steph’s (we once enjoyed a very jolly five-hour lunch with Tony Blackburn).
I thought with Covid we might see a return to the traditional dinner party, albeit with only the people in whose bubble you were allowed to be, but there’s been none of it. Even when the weather turned cold and outdoor dining was the only option, people preferred to don gloves and scarves and watch their hands sticking like Super Glue to a cold champagne glass rather than eat at home.