Erotic Towers lunch today with a motorcar dealer, a retired senior army officer and a literary agent, was held on the outskirts of London SW10. Did I tell you Erotic Towers has moved from Olympia? No? Well, it has.
We covered a variety of old chestnuts, from why we needed to invent God (something about humanity’s inability to comprehend death) to why Tony Blair should be convicted of war crimes. All of us thought that bringing Bush & Blair to trial was a good idea, morally speaking, although impracticable – but you never know, Tony, you just never know.
Some wished to know what I was doing about the 50 SoG phenomenon and why I hadn’t yet published an erotic blockbuster. I replied that I was doing my best, under the circumstances, which may not have been the answer that they were seeking, but seemed to stave off any further awkward questions. We had lamb stew with mashed potatoes and a choice of chocolate or plum tart with zabaglione ice-cream. Those not on driving duty drank lots of red wine. Then it was time for the guests to go and to face the road rage in our darkening street caused by the Chelsea supporters going to their match and mud-spattered Chelsea Tractor drivers returning from their weekends in the country.
It would seem that my precocious literary protégé, Eliza Gray of 50 is the New Black blog, has lost her way in penning her erotic chef d’oeuvre. I had told her that writing the first chapter was a bit like getting over Becher’s Brook in the Grand National. Misinterpreting this advice, not only has she changed advisory horses, she’s created an unhappy connection between steeplechasing and bestiality. Now she’s blogging about a discussion with her friend Franny (a woman who chuckles) about being licked by Alsatians (the canine variety). Also, far worse, IMHO, about cottaging and dirty grey Aertex underpants. One of Elmore Leonard’s writing rules is “Don’t show your manuscript to anyone outside the business until you are satisfied with it.” This holds true for talking about it, too. Time for a bit of a Christian-&-Ana-type encounter with the editorial equivalent of a flogger? I’m looking forward to it.
And finally a sloe-eyed beauty (and another of our four readers) called Ingrid Stone has been in touch about her blog: Letters of a Dissatisfied Woman (no, stand down Henry, it’s not about that sort of dissatisfaction). She’s fed up with being told about how to enlarge her male member. She’s not happy about the way Tesco’s Party Pearlised Balloons explode. Belloc’s George (The Boy who Played with Dangerous Toys) is called to mind. She written to ask Philip Clarke, the supermarket’s Group Chief Executive, if Tesco’s prophylactics are any better than their balloons. Ingrid wants to tell us how to complain.
Like Elmore Leonard, she has rules: thoughtfully, she’s compiled a list of these.