Back in London for Easter, a guest of the noble Dr Whipsnade, whose munificence abounds with every passing year. To create a fitting ambience, the cook is preparing hot cross buns, Simnel cake and other seasonal treats. There will be no Easter eggs, however, out of respect for the doctor’s venerable ancestor who served the British Raj in Bengal. This emissary of the Crown was heinously tortured by local bandits, who thrust a hard-boiled egg, hot from the cooking pot, into his rectum. By such devoted abstinence, his suffering is remembered alongside that of the founder of the Christian faith.
As is customary, a stream of guests will visit the Whipsnade residence to pay their respects and sample the seasonal fare. To my surprise, the first to appear is Trevor Bumphries-Maddocks, the Welsh actor who took lodgings in the garden shed last Christmas . This being his second visit, he is permitted to enter the kitchen for a slice of cake and a cup of hot chocolate. After joining him at the table, I hear that he has dispensed with the stage name ‘Trevor bin Laden’ on account of the unwelcome attention he was getting from overzealous security men, who on one occasion had ordered him to lift up his shirt in a crowded theatre foyer. He had also overheard his agent refer to him as ‘Binny’, which had wounded his feelings. I ask him about his current situation.
“As of now, I’m touring the home counties with an experimental theatre group,” he replies. “The whole enterprise is being funded by Vanessa Feltz, who is also a member of the cast.”
He looks at me expectantly, evidently hoping that I will be impressed by the name of the impresaria. Knowing the importance of self-esteem to an actor, I do not reveal that I’ve never heard of Vanessa Feltz. (I have since discovered that she’s a former TV chat-show host – a heavyweight of the genre by all accounts. I publish her photograph below for those unfamiliar with her appearance.)
“What splendid news!” I exclaim. “Your career will surely go from strength-to-strength as a co-star of the talented and beautiful Ms Feltz!”
“Well I wouldn’t quite go that far,” replies Trevor doubtfully. “She’s more of an avant-garde conceptual type than a stage idol. Our production has a ‘Harmony of Nature’ theme which I think you’d appreciate. Vanessa is the female lead.”
“Do you play peasants then?” I ask.
“No, we actually pretend to be animals. In one scene Vanessa is a queen bee who shares her royal jelly with the hive – I play the first drone. In another she’s a cow in a lush meadow who shares her milk with hungry foxes and badgers – I play the bull. You get the idea. The symbolism of the whole thing is quite powerful. That said, I don’t see it helping me to break into mainstream family viewing.”
“Best live in the present and enjoy what you’re doing,” I advise. “Who knows what the future will bring? Three months ago you were living in a tool shed. Now you’re in an artistically-acclaimed stage production, eating three meals a days and living in your own hotel room.”
“As a matter of fact, I don’t have my own room,” corrects Trevor sheepishly. “Vanessa and myself recently bunked up together. I suppose you might say we were something of an item.”
“You sly dog!” I gasp. “Now that’s what I call ‘method acting’! Don’t worry about ‘casting couch’ slurs. You’ve got to use all the tools at your disposal in show business. Marilyn Monroe did it and look what a superstar she became!”
“I’m not bothered about that,” says Trevor. “What worries me is that my off-stage performances are becoming more demanding than my on-stage ones. It’s a bit of a shock to the system having to puff away every night when you’ve only been getting it once a month at best. I don’t want to be taking Viagra at my age. It makes me wonder how you gorillas manage it with your harems.”
“Female gorillas have an oestrus cycle,” I explain. “When they’re not in season, it gives the male a chance to renew his zest for the hairy kerfuffle.”
“Well the only season she seems to have is permanently horny,” remarks Trevor wryly.
“I believe there are ways for a fellow to satisfy a woman without straining his manhood or draining his virile juices,” I suggest.
“I don’t think any amount of that sort of fiddling about would satisfy Vanessa,” responds Trevor glumly, shaking his head. “Her needs run deep, if you see what I mean.”
“In that case, you must show her the instruments!” I declare. “Order them from cybernooky.com, lay them out on the bed and make the woman whinny like a mare!”
“That’s a very interesting idea,” muses Trevor. “A proposition of considerable labour-saving potential. But I dunno, Bananas, the last time I took your advice I ended up inside a pantomime horse’s arse!”
“What have you got to lose?” I ask. “If she doesn’t like the toys, they’ll probably ruin her appetite for it by any method of delivery. You win either way.”
Trevor nods thoughtfully and asks me to write down the web address on a piece of paper. As I hand him the chit, a horrible thought occurs to me. Ms Feltz is surely not the kind of woman who would attempt to use a sex device on a man, is she? Best keep quiet about that disturbing possibility. You can’t go through life planning for every worst-case scenario.
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