The eye of the tummy

Another evening tending bar at the safari guesthouse, and I hear some men discussing their favourite scenes in a James Bond movie. One mentions the ominous advance of a deadly laser beam towards Sean Connery’s flinching testicles. Another recalls the chest-crunching squeeze inflicted on Pearce Brosnan by the vice-like thighs of Miss Xenia Onatopp. Before I can reflect on the peculiarly masochistic character of these choices, I am asked for my own treasured highlight of the Bond canon. I answer without hesitation:

“It is the moment in The Spy Who Loved Me when Roger Moore sucks a ruby from the navel of an Egyptian belly dancer.”

“I remember that!” exclaims one of the guests. “He was lucky he didn’t swallow it!”

“007 never swallows,” I reply solemnly. “His suction power is always finely tuned to the requirements of the mission.”

“Ho-ho-ho,” they chuckle, giving me a knowing look.

I wonder what it’s like for a woman to have a jewel sucked from her navel. Probably quite shocking the first time, but then more enjoyable as she acquires a taste for it. The technique of the sucker is obviously very important. I should imagine the crucial point is to extract the stone quickly in one powerful suck, rather than gobbling at it half-heartedly like an ailing goldfish. You could practice by sucking an egg out of a chicken.

I’ve had a soft spot for belly dancers ever since Princess Banu, the Turkish maestro, visited the circus I worked in. After watching us rehearse, she returned the favour by giving us a free demonstration of her art, performed to the tune of a popular Levantine love ballad. I was utterly enthralled by the spectacle, my eyes following her belly button as it tossed and rolled amid the smooth undulating flesh of her abdomen.

After hooting exuberantly when she took her bow, I raced to give her my compliments in person.

“Marvellous, Princess!” I effused. “Your fabulous exhibition of tummy twisting has elevated me to a state of transcendental rapture!”

“Thank you so much, GB,” she said. “As I have pleased you, perhaps you could do a little favour for me.”

“Name it, Princess!” I exclaimed. “You are Salome to my King Herod… although I’d rather not chop anyone’s head off, which might compromise my philanthropic work with the Quakers.”

“I don’t want anyone’s head, GB!” she giggled. “It is your wonderful feet I am interested in. I have heard they can do amazing things. Would you peel and eat a banana for me using just your feet and toes?”

If you think I found this request demeaning you’d be absolutely wrong. We gorillas are not ashamed of what we are and what we can do with our feet. Only humans are strangely sensitive about being asked to perform acts for which they or their breed are particularly renowned.

“Of course, Princess,” I said. “I have a fine ripe bunch in my trailer. Let us repair there forthwith, that I might demonstrate the feat which has tickled your fancy.”

When the ringmaster asked if he could join us I told him to fuck off.

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