Saturday, 8 September 2007

I know this much is true

The responses to my last post illustrated not only global nature of the Internet (people in Egypt and Israel appear to have been on here, proving that writing tosh about lard can indeed build bridges) but also some of the language problems that crop up.

My thanks go to Tom for his suggestion on how I should avoid any wardrobe malfunctions at last night's Ball. As he lives in Iowa, his suggestion that I should wear suspenders would make perfect sense to him, and, I guess to most of his compatriots. However, I suspect that anyone from Britain reading that advice would get a completely different image, suspenders "over here" being what I believe those on the North American continent call "garters". Wikipedia covers it all here.

Divided as well we may be by a common language, we are clearly of one mind, Tom and I, as my braces did indeed help to avoid any impromptu aardvark impressions. (Oh, and thanks for that image, Matt). Freed from such concerns, I had a truly splendid time. The Ball was in aid of the NSPCC, a very worthy cause indeed, and about 400 people were there. All very classy, in the main, although I did spot one chap in full evening dress but wearing a Bluetooth headset.


Of course, the whole idea of events like this is to get people to dig deep, so there were charity auctions, raffles and the like. This was the star lot on the main auction:

That's the world's first customer Jaguar C-XF. The reserve price was £34,000 so I kept my hand in my pocket (and played with my garter straps). I think it went for £44,000 eventually. Men with Bluetooth headsets need not apply.

The good news - I did get to win my very own Jaguar in the raffle.
The bad news - it's a model.
The good news - this is no ordinary model. This is a 1/12 replica D-Type. It's handbuilt from steel, best part of a foot long, beautifully detailed and is apparently a limited edition collector's item.

I was all for giving it to Katie's dad - a huge Jaguar fan - until I actually saw it. Sorry Glynn, I'm keeping this, and the very moment I get a house with a study, it'll go on display. In fact, sod that, I'm displaying it anyway. My first real car cost considerably less than one of these.

And who was this taking to the stage for the evening's entertainment? None other that Tony Hadley. I'll admit - I was less than enthusiastic at the thought of this. Most male pop stars of a certain age over the last few years seem to have reinvented themselves as sub-Tony Bennetts so I was expecting a certain degree of crooning.

You can imagine my surprise, then, when Tony and his band tore into the Feeder song "Buck Rogers" with gusto. Oh. My. God. This was a complete beer-out-of-the-nose moment. Given that the opening lines of the song are "He's got a brand new car, Looks like a Jaguar" is was probably a deliberate inclusion. But he then followed it up with a set that included tracks by The Killers and Kaiser Chiefs. And he belted them out with all the urgency of a man half his age. Clearly no crooner, our Mr H.

Of course, there were the obligatory Spandau Ballet tracks. Including one of the Holy Trinity for those of us of a certain age.

Let me explain. If you're in your later thirties, you were a teenager during the 1980s. If so, you spent 35% of the decade asleep, 25% playing with a Rubik's Cube and pretty much all of the remaining time trying to get members of the opposite sex to dance with you to one of the following three songs:

  • Save a Prayer - Duran Duran
  • Careless Whisper - George Michael
  • True - Spandau Ballet
I don't care how cool you say you were in the 80s. You may have been able to recite the entire back collection of The Smiths off by heart. You may have pogoed for the County. You may well have had a bedroom painted black and an unhealthily large collection of silver jewellery. But I'd guarantee that at the end of the school disco (for it was always a school disco) you'd be there, trying to get that special someone, whose name you'd scratched onto your WH Smith pencil case, to do the 'hold on tight and shuffle round in a small circle' dance to one of the above.

In fact, it is a truth universally acknowledged that this part of the disco was known as the Erection Section, such was the amount of angst-ridden hormonal activity going on.

For my international cadre of readers - I don't know if any of this translates to you. For all I know, teenagers in Ulan Bator might well get on down to the throat-singing vibe they have going on over there. All I know was that in the early hours of this morning, the man who I heard singing "True" during too many of my ancient rites of passage was there in front of me singing it one more time for real. I was back in the Main Hall at King Edward VI Grammar School, Aston. Whilst there was no-one selling Fanta this time, I did at least have my special someone with me.

And we danced.


Rebecca said...

Crap, now that song is stuck in my head.

fatboyfat said...

You see, now you know how 10 years of my life sounded.....

Mike Nicholas said...

The car looks like a Passat to me??? Would you pay £44K for a VW? Any VW? Good luck to 'em I say. I'll stick with me Piccaso.

fatboyfat said...

You have to bear in mind the poor standards of photography in which I revel. It did look rather nice in the metal.

Tom said...

I would only add one song to that.
For someone of our age, one would almost have to add Madonna's "Crazy For You". It was soooooo romantic (read:sick-making) and everyone wanted to be listening to that and making out/ groping someone in a dark corner somewhere.
And ever since I saw this picture of the new Jag, I've seen print ads and TV adverts for it. I even saw a write up in a car mag the day after I read this.
I'm glad you had a good time and didn't give the other attendees a special show.


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