Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Making Whoopi on the Cross.

Then there was that night, many years ago, when desperate for a job, I applied to Porky's Sex Shop to be a sales assistant. Mickey P, the manager at that time, said he'd give me a try-out and if I sold a lot of sex-junk in one night I'd be in like Flynn. He was a programming wiz and while he plugged away at his computer, creating gay chatrooms for Arabs and flogging advertising on a flood of porn sites he'd commandeered, I stumbled red-faced amidst the plastic vaginas and blow-up dolls trying to encourage the tight-arsed trickle of punters into buying the trashy porn and sex-toys.

I was so embarrassed approaching giggling midget Asian girls with giant rabbit-eared dildos and big-bellied, drooling Euro-gronks with flavoured condoms, I mumbled, perspired and tripped over myself and scared the would-be orgiasm-junkies off, not selling a thing, not even the rubber dildos on bargain-basement sale that were piled in a mountainous heap and threatened to overwhelm the shop. Micky P, busy capturing gronks from various sordid chat-rooms into his own cyberspace domain without them quite realizing they'd been shanghaied, them buying shit they didn't want, was furious I hadn't made a buck here in the real world and refused to pay me for my hours of tongue-tied toil. He placated my annoyance with the offer of one of the cheap dildos on sale which I grudging swept up as I stomped out of the dump, shoving the noxious rubber dick deep into my pocket in an attempt to hide it.

I wandered up to the big traffic intersection and noticed a crowd of rubber-neckers corralled behind a roped-off walkway that led to the foyer of the Kings Cross Hotel. They were making such a loud hubbub I couldn't resist pushing my way to the front of the mob and stretching my neck out with the best of them. "What's going on?" I asked a young gay guy clutching onto the velvet rope. He turned and frowned at the sight of my craggy face then snipped through his nostrils, "Oh, some movie star is coming. They want to turn this part of the strip into Sydney's own 'Walkway of Fame', it's so exciting!"

He then promptly turned his back on me. The crowd pushed and shoved, threshed about and hullaballooed, craning necks and popping eyeballs. Fucking hell, it would have to be a resurrected Marilyn Monroe to get this kind of attention! I got squeezed up against the young gay guy and he must've felt the dildo in my pocket poke into his butt for he suddenly straightened up as if he'd had a kundalini rush, then glancing down at the inordinately large bulge in my pants, while the crowd heaved and swayed, he surreptitiously reached behind him and groped the hardened phallus, in the crush of bodies unable to divine it's artificial nature. In the meantime Security Guards on the roadway beat back the marauding crowd while a black limousine pulled into the kerb.

As the collective hysteria raged to a furor, the limousine's doors silently , slowly opened and two body-guards the size of Summo wrestlers leaped forth, reached into the back and dragged forth a diminutive figure, a little black woman with a vast pile of dreadlocks swaying from her head like Medusa's snakes. Whoopi Goldberg in the flesh, delivered like a sacrificial victim beneath the redlight of Kings Cross. Grinning in bewilderment, she was manhandled up the pathway, burly arms gripping her fiercely, hurtled along so that her feet barely touched the ground, the mob howling for her attention, grubby hands reaching out to grab a piece of her, the security guards thumping anyone who got close. The charismatic comic was heaved down the walkway and then flung to the ground just inside the foyer of the hotel where a block of wet cement was waiting for her. As she pressed her hands into the gray sludge she smiled into my face and quipped, "This sure aint Grauman's Chinese Theatre but what the heck!" While she carried on writing her name under the hand-prints the gay boy in front of me kept feeling me up, gripping my false proboscis with such fervor, massaging and tugging at it that bit by bit it slid up my trousers to finally pop out of the pocket and flop upon the ground.

The silly poof had at first a look of profound shock upon his mug, as if he'd amputated my pride and joy in his enthusiasm, but then contempt quickly took over as he espied the rubber object getting trampled under foot and sneering at me as if I'd planned the whole subterfuge to
get his attention, put his nose in the air and grappled his way through the crowd, never to look back. I grabbed up the loathsome tool to fling it after him but then another creative idea hit me. Dear Whoopi carried on, doing what was required of her celebrity, wet cement dripping all over her, she was heaved back to her feet and once more manhandled through the screaming crowd, dodging the outstretched claws trying to tear her to pieces and finally thrown into the safety of the limmo to make her escape.

While the whole crowd concentrated on her departure, security guards and hotel staff all rushing towards the limmo to beat back the baying mob, I saw my chance at a bit of mischief, for I was feeling despondent, unloved and unremarkable. I was standing very near the hotel entrance, right over the wet cement pavement and I realised I could still leave my mark, like some crazed fag Zorro and swiftly, in the blink of an eye, I slapped down the rubber dildo, right between the hand-prints, and then snuck it back into my pocket as I rushed away, nobody seeing a thing, Whoopi's hands looking as if they were reaching for dick, an apt symbolic artwork for the entrance to the Cross, if ever there was one.

As I stumbled back up the Cross I pondered long upon the nature of fame and celebrity, I suppose the money and kudos was what made it all worthwhile, but all that grappling and wrestling, not being able to walk under one's own steam, to not be free to do ordinary things like go to the shops or have privacy with a lover, every move and fart watched and commented upon, hmmmmm. Maybe there's something to be said for anonymity. I sighed with longing for something I'll never know, to be adored by the multitudes, special, like the best meal on a restaurant's menu, to be eaten alive, 7 Academy Awards wouldn't be enough, forget it! And so I disappeared into the night, the huge neon Coke-sign illuminating me with a red glow as if I were a fallen angel on the lam from hell.

If you enjoyed this story please go to the WEB address above and consider buying my book of tales about growing up anarcho-queer, rock and roll punter and mystic adventurer in Australia and India of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.