On Tuesday I’m back at work, which I won’t pretend doesn’t make me suicidal and then suddenly it’s lunchtime. This lunchtime I’m in need of a book, a book that will replace Dry by Augusten Burroughs, who I’m afraid I had to dump because it was getting quite inaccurate, too inaccurate and I couldn’t bear reading it anymore.
It all started going wrong when Augusten Burroughs mentioned an encounter with an English guy, an encounter that the writer chose to describe like this (this is them bonding in a humorous way as Augusten Burroughs – an American – gently pokes fun at the English guy:
(This scene occurs over breakfast)
“These are delicious," he says of the reconstituted scrambled eggs, the same eggs that sit on my own plate, untouched.
So far I have lost almost ten pounds. "You're from London, what would you know?"
He laughs, "That's very true, actually. This is far better than anything my mother ever made."
I make a face. "Did you have that nasty, yeasty stuff they spread on toast, what's it called?"
His eyes brighten. "Vegemite! Oh yes, I love Vegemite."
"You'll enjoy dinner then," I promise him.
I’m sorry but this is ridiculous. Vegemite is an Australian product cliché. English people eat Marmite. Which is very different. I don’t expect everyone to know this by heart (especially someone who lives in America), but this guy wrote a book and shoved it in our faces. Why should I bother to read his stupid book if he didn’t bother to properly research his facts?
Mind you as I said I didn’t abandon the book just because of the Vegemite / Marmite debacle. I’m very open-minded as you know (ahem) and I kept reading. However, over the next fifty pages or so, Augusten continues to rub my face in his shoddy research and ridiculously inaccurate “facts” (concerning everything from geography to HIV to fashion) and I’m sorry I’m not going to read that. I find it quite offensive.
Anyway, back to Tuesday lunchtime, when I go in Borders and I browse Fiction for, what, 42 minutes? And I end up buying Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.
Then I go over to the magazine section where I look through: NME, Q, Arena, Arena Homme Plus and then I find myself unfortunate enough to walk past the gay press and I stop there because I want to damage a few more brain cells (hopefully once I cross the line between semi-intelligent and completely idiotic I will stop hurting so much), and I see Gay Times has a Readers’ Awards 2008 feature shouting at me from the cover.
So I think, I can’t miss that, I have to see what the Gay Times readers like these days, I like to hurt myself like that, I’ll take the pain and the shame any time of the day thanks. So I open Gay Times and read the following:
Best Club in London:
Best Clothing Brand:
1.Dolce & Gabbana
Best Holiday Destination:
Hero of the Year:
All Time Female Icon:
And anyone who thought that it’s an offensive cliché to portray gay people as Dolce-wearing, Kylie-booty-shaking, G.A.Y-visiting, Ibiza-holidaying, Judy Garland-idolising cattle, I guess hasn’t been reading Gay Times recently.
Avoiding the temptation to give myself symmetrical paper cuts across the eyes with its pages or even causing voluntary impotence by dropping 75 copies of the magazine on my knob, I put Gay Times back on the shelf, and leave.
PS. Who is Judy Garland anyway, and what has she done and why is she admired by the gays? In fact, please don’t answer this, I don’t want to know.
PPS. Would anyone like to get me a subscription for NME or Q magazine please? The NME annual one is only £65 and Q is about £45, I’d like that very much. Or get me a 6-month one actually, cause I'm going away.