What do you get if you cross Ernie, Bert and a busty blonde?
I met the men behind the monsters from ‘Avenue Q’ on Wednesday and found out that even a puppet can be hot. Especially when the 2 men ‘pulling their strings’ are the epitome of tall dark and handsome. Is it right to fancy a man who spends his days with his hand up a puppet’s butt?
If all things crude, rude and confrontational are your cup of vodka infused tea then ‘Avenue Q’ may be just the West End theatre experience you’ve been looking for. It tore through Broadway wreaking success at every turn and is now here to put some fun back into British life. The musical follows the journey of a bright-eyed college graduate called Princeton. In search of a ‘purpose’ he moves to Avenue Q, (think sesame Street on crack); armed with a tiny bank balance and a lot of lust. Along the way, he meets a variety of weird and wonderful friends and neighbours… perhaps the most crude and endearing of all is the Internet loving ‘Trekkie Monster’.
During my forage into their dressing rooms, I soon discovered the characters are a riot offstage as well as on. It didn’t take long to work out why Trekkie Monster’s signature song is ‘The Internet is For Porn’. Imagine Cookie Monster with a fetish for breasts rather than biscuits. He was like Russell Brand in ventriloquist form; a furrier nympho I’ve never seen. It’s no wonder society is sex-obsessed… have you seen the state of your inbox lately? Anyone for a member extension? Honestly, does anyone even read that drivel? If today’s SPAM is anything to go by, there are a lot of men walking around out there with a girth to gloat over.
If you happen to be under developed in all the wrong places, fear not. If you can’t afford surgery just head down to ‘the Q’ at the Noel Coward Theatre in London’s West End. It’ll soon teach you that it doesn’t just suck to be you – it sucks to be everyone else as well.
Saturday evening found me presenting a three-hour radio show for Streatham Festival Radio Station. In the wee hours of the morning I found myself emerging from the studio, into the heart of Brixton. As I wound my way through the drunks, druggies and drongos I realised there’s a reason that place scares the living hell out of me. “Skunk, skunk, skunk, skunk, skunk, skunk” is still ringing in my ears. Needless to say I wouldn’t bother embarking on a weed-fuelled night in that area – no doubt they’d find me in a dumpster.
Ironically, I was in Brixton the night before – loud, proud and full to the gills with red wine. I couldn’t have been happier or more oblivious to the aforementioned nasties if I’d tried. The stale, stinky slightly rough around the edges interior of the Prince Albert Pub isn’t somewhere I’d go often, (and certainly not somewhere I’d leave without scrubbing my hands thoroughly first) but I relaxed there like I haven’t for a long time. At least when I spilt my obligatory drink it didn’t show on the already stained carpet. Maybe Brixton really is just a state of mind.
Last, but by no means least – I must address the heat. It seems that London has turned into one big sweltering sauna. Sweat stained business men have started flopping it all out in public, beer bellies dot the horizon like the Good Year Blimp’s illicit spawn and white flesh sizzles beneath the rays.
London’s ice cream vendors, parks and lidos are enjoying their brief popularity and after 3 years in this city I finally stumbled upon the rambling overgrown oasis that is Hampstead Heath. Forget porn on the Internet – just head down to the Heath for a spectacle of flesh. There’s even a ladies only pool for those who don’t want to share their cellulite with the world. If you ask me, they should set up a beer belly only pool – for those with pint guzzling tendencies.
Speaking of beverages, a day in Hampstead Heath is best washed down with a stint at The Spaniard’s Inn. It comes complete with a beer garden of the finest degree and a chilled out (if slightly ‘uber cool for school’ clientele). There’s even an adjoining dog grooming business for posh pooches. After my latest hair disasters I might drop in there next time. It’s got to be better than Toni and Guy’s training sessions and the service is sure to be more respectful. Who knows, the wash and dry may even come with a doggy biscuit.
Oh, and to the English loon who proclaimed he’d immigrate to Australia “if only there weren’t any Aussies there”. Just you wait… when I cultivate some muscles and grow a few inches you’ll be sorry mate.