Agnetha's posterior

The manager of the safari camp is flying to London to see ‘Bjorn Again’ perform.

“Wouldn’t it be cheaper to buy an Abba CD?” I ask.

“I have all their CDs,” he replies. “I want to be reminded of what they looked like on stage, especially the blond girl with the juicy bottom.”

I smack my lips in wry amusement. I learnt in my circus days that it’s well-nigh impossible for a woman to impersonate the hindquarters of another. Each rump is as unique as a fingerprint and more recognisable than a face to a gorilla. Still, if he wants to delude himself that he’s feasting his eyes on a perfect replica, who am I to rub fish oil on his fantasy?

Full credit to Bjorn Again for inspiring a new generation of fans to listen to those classic Abba tunes. The Swedish foursome are said to admire the act while taking strong exception to the silly accents their impersonators put on when being interviewed. At a recent function celebrating the premier of Mamma Mia, the guests of honour were greeted with the following announcement from the host:

“I’d like to welcome Bjorn and Benny, who as everyone knows speak the Queen’s English. And having met Queen Silvia of Sweden, I can personally testify to the fact!”

The Scandinavian pair pretended to join in the laughter, but departed a few minutes later without speaking to any of the invited journalists.

“Yah, vee shnubbed zem for sure!” said Bjorn shortly afterwards.

I’m pulling your leg – of course he didn’t say that! All the members of Abba have impeccable English accents, perfected in late-night tutorials with Terry Wogan before their Eurovision triumph. Dr Whipsnade’s tailor in Savile Row recently received a phone call from Benny to make an appointment to be measured for a suit. So polished was his pronunciation that the confused couturier initially thought he was speaking to the Duke of Westminster.

“There is no need to call me Your Grace,” said Benny. “I am not wearing my crown at this moment.”

Deceived by this deadpan quip, the tailor eventually discovered that he was talking to a retired pop star rather than a reigning monarch. He who misunderstands the Swedish sense of irony is doomed to play a bit part in an Ingmar Berman movie.

The song-writing genius of the boys was the engine that powered Abba, but its smooth and lustrous bodywork was personified by Agnetha and Anni-Frid. Their feminine European voices were quite a novelty at the time, and an admirable foil to the feisty – but ever-so-slightly butch – singing of the American ladies. My friend Smacker Ramrod, the circus vet, was always glued to the TV when the girls were doing their stuff. I got the impression that he favoured Agnetha. When once she appeared in somewhat revealing attire, he made noises that suggested he longed to bury his face in the crevices of her creamy flesh.

Both ladies, of course, were married at the time, if not very happily to their male co-performers. The subsequent divorces were predictable. Bjorn and Benny may have been perfect “new men”, sharing everything equally with their spouses and leaving the loo seat down, but is that really what a woman wants at the end of the day? It certainly wouldn’t impress a female gorilla. Perhaps the Swedes should start teaching their young men that being a new man only works if you retain an element of the wild impulsive beast. Deep down, a woman needs to know that if she pushes her man too far he’ll fling her onto the bed and bite her body until she begs for mercy.

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