I am an extraordinary urban, quixotic swashbuckler, dwelling iconoclastically in a hyper-supra-ultra-domain of turbulence - which might be called the Vagabond Vendetta. Upon the erotic, narcotic internecine Boulevards of Banality I move, with a schizoid stealth, to shun and abstain from the simulated invasion of the unholy, moral matrix of blah religion, and blah racism. I am a defrocked unrobed non-citizen, existing without the paraphernalia of pity shame or guilt. I am the extraordinary undisciplined, unorganized, unprecedented rogue ambassador of otherness. I am simultaneously nothing, and everything, and my humble abode is sometimes, located behind the virtual borders of the free state of Frestonia - otherwise known as the Republic of Frestonia.
The year now is 1982, and the Republic itself is celebrating its fifth anniversary, and its independence as a free state - Frestonians having declared themselves as independent entities, from the United Kingdom, in the year 1977 Anno Domini. Inside its gracious borders, and its anarchistic welcoming arms, I had found that I could momentarily, disappear from the doldrums and apathy of Kansas - and fall deeply into the melodramatic, and wonderful microcosm of Oz. Freston Road itself nestled ostentatiously, cosmetically and pretentiously, within the Royal London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Theoretically, the Frestonian Republic might be compared to Andorra, Liechtenstein or Monaco - but without the blah principality tag. I came upon its bizarre threshold, as I was drifting my way through the Boulevards of Banality. To be precise, I was brought to this particular hedonistic, and nihilistic neck of the urban woods by a fellow nomadic, and the strangest of pilgrims, whom I had met whilst negotiating my way through the streets of good old London Town. I had just happened to be sitting on a bench one day, within a close proximity to the Temple Tube Station, and this pacifist-legionnaire type character came along, like a sewer-spider and sat down beside me.
The bizarre insurgent, mutineer himself, Monsieur Roland Paris, was clad in an old fashion anthracite dress shirt, and dark slacks with a cherry bow tie. His dark Italian style Crombie over coat had seen better days, and his homemade, very greasy brown wig had, without doubt seen many better years. The eccentric, and yet genuinely distinguished ensemble was completed, and complimented, by his glinting silver waist belt, which tightly held up his oversized trousers. He truly had the air, and aura of a latent aristocratic being about him, and there was no doubting the absolute confidence that he held in himself, as he swaggered up to me and parked his considerable back side. I observed immediately that he had the delightful way, appearance and mannerisms, of the hefty Oliver Hardy, and his opening line to me was, “do you have a cigarette man”? As he asked for a smoke, he held out his hand in a gesture of friendship – but also, definitively as a concise and overt reminder, that he really did need a cigarette. His opening line, if you read between the lines, suggested that he had a precondition for the stimulant of nicotine that had, perhaps been with him before his egg was ever fertilized by a sperm, and that the nicotine gene was a celebrated, and honoured toxic member of his family DNA. I could not see clearly into his eyes - but if I could have, I am sure that I would have found them to be staring directly at my cigarettes. I put my own cigarette in my mouth, and shook his hand. I then gave him a Number Six with a box of Swan matches. He accepted both into his hands gracefully, like an elegant conjurer, nonchalantly performing a magic trick. Hardy then demonstrated another further touch of class by effortlessly, and smoothly throwing his acquired cancer stick straight into his mouth. His whole demeanour displayed the poetic etiquette, and finesse of a professional magician.
As the moments and days passed by I came by the knowledge, demonstrated in a vivid reality, that when Monsieur Roland Paris had a fired up, burning smoke in his mouth he transported himself, instantly to the persona of a paladin of the people – an incorrigible, recalcitrant, defiant rebel who was, perpetually located on the, triumphant front line of the storming of the Bastille. I also found out that Roland employed the, lewd fetish of sucking, extremely hard on his cigarettes. His overly enthusiastic sucking in of smoke, infused with its hit of nicotine juice, gave the lucid impression of an amateur pearl diver - a diver who was inhaling as much oxygen as humanly possible in the, judicious awareness that they would be submerged, deep underwater for the next four minutes. He smoked, literally like his life depended upon it, being my definitive point. Once his blood was fully charged with copious amounts of nicotine, which was three of my Number Six smokes down the road, he gave an exaggerated enormous, and pretentious sigh - a sigh which, somehow signified his utter disappointment, and disdain with the whole of humanity. He then looked at me as though he were measuring, with a super-hero’s x-ray vision, my depths of integrity and true dignity. After several moments, of animated consideration, he enthusiastically proceeded to produce a, huge leather bound manuscript from his, MacArthur clan tartan rucksack. His timing, and graceful movements again reminded me, uncannily of a performing Mr Oliver Hardy. He also looked at me with, exactly the same kind of effeminate disdain, and disappointment, that the actor had demonstrated to Stan Laurel.
“I am writing a book on the French Revolution, do you understand me”! It was not intended as a literal question, in fact, it was an absolute declaration of war – a declaration which observed that everyone else, on the planet was a capitalist ponce. The profound announcement also, devoutly inferred that the political novel, which he brandished like Excalibur, would be the book that saved, the whole of humankind from being crucified by the capitalist system. Thus far, I felt that I had the front row seats at a, parodying pantomime of Les Misérables - with the part of the, passionate Jean Valjean being played by someone who had, literally been possessed by the executant Oliver Hardy. Was I entertained, yes I was entertained. The accent of Monsieur Roland Paris was that of an Etonian freshman, touched amusingly, and charmingly with the subtle French lilt of a native from Montreal. However, the way in which he articulated his words were always, and still accompanied by the camp mannerisms, and eloquent traits of the brilliant humourist Hardy. In fact, his likeness in so many ways, to the rotund cosmic genius were extraordinary.
His manuscript was now right in my face, and being waved around with the devoutness of an obsessed, and pretentious Jehovah’s Witness.
“I am actually talking about the people citizen, the suffering proletariat, and the obnoxious fucking bourgeoisie citizen, do you understand, do you concur”? The itinerant Marxist grasped his, literary magnum opus in his hands like Jacques Mesrine – a Robin Hood rogue of the people, holding a Beretta 93R automatic machine pistol - who was just about to hold up a city bank. I began to pray that Roland would put Excalibur back in its rock as I was, rapidly becoming petrified, at the idea that I might have to listen to a, soap-box diatribe on how Roland Paris, and of course Madame Guillotine were behind the barricades, right at this very moment in time, fighting for the emancipation of the people of London. Yes, he was hilarious - but the very thought of being force-fed, every syntax and syllable, from his liberating lexicon, made me want to literally chew off my face. So, I informed my chimerical knew friend that, due to my blood sugar level being very low, it was an absolute imperative that I eat, or I would suffer a black out. The preacher-legionnaire-pacifist’s theatrical, and avid gesticulations, with the world’s best seller, took a momentary pause, as he measured my prayers in his visionary mind.
“This is not a problem”! It seemed that my innovative, brand new comrade had, instantly discovered another way to show off his, revolutionary prowess. The gospel, according to Roland Paris was returned to the bright tartan rucksack, and the potential philosophical harangue, at least for the moment, was subsequently sidestepped. “Follow moi”, he instructed!
Our brief ambulation to the, prestigious watering hole of Mr Paris’s choice, was accompanied by the Monsieur singing his own, colourful libretto to the music of Peter Sarstedt’s popular hit, Where Do You Go To My Lovely. The performance, and bizarre alternative version was, crudely amplified to a level which would, intentionally disturb the peace. The alternative version was also delivered by an, animated psychopathic ventriloquist - who also had one of his hands wrapped around my neck to, ludicrously pretend that the words were being expressed from my mouth.
“You talk like Marlene Dietrich, And you dance like Zizi Jeanmaire, Your clothes are all made by Balmain, and there’s shit piss and puke in your hair, Yes there are. You go to the embassy parties, where you talk in Russian and Greek, And the young men who move in your circles, stick their big cocks in your cheeks, So you choke, when you speak, Yes they do. I’ve seen all your qualifications, You got from the Sorbonne, And the painting you stole from Picasso, Makes me want to fuck you when you are on, And watch your blood roll down your thighs, Yes it does.”
After walking and performing for about ten minutes we entered an, extremely posh restaurant located on a side street just off The Strand. Once seated in the chic bistro, Roland Paris assumed the ludicrously profound, and arrogant look of a foppish, frowning, eccentric millionaire. The subterfuge, clearly worked as the staff of the restaurant scurried about us like bees around a honeycomb. As the waiter offered myself the menu the millionaire, aggressively gestured to me that money was not a problem, and that my own money was no good. I was in fact, several times, very loudly informed, that I should go ahead and choose whatever I desired. I was very hungry and I, enthusiastically jumped at the chance to fill my guts, and replenish my thirst.
“Two bottles of La Mission Haut-Brion from you vintage cellar garçon”. Hardy’s announcement was made to all the waiters in the restaurant, and everyone else in The Strand who did not have their heads shoved, all the way up the huge anus of a, significantly extra-large Sumo Wrestler. The aristocratic, Monsieur Roland Paris sneered around the, London bistro as though he suspected his wife to be, at that very moment in time, having sex simultaneously with the Harlem Globe Trotters, and a Springbok fifteen. He then slammed his bulging wallet down on the table in disgust, and of course to seriously further amplify, and demonstrate his total feelings of revulsion, repulsion and utter contempt, for the restaurant cliental who were all, without question, in our raging legionnaire-comedian’s estimation, capitalist and Bourgeoisie customers. When his food was delivered to the table he blew an, enormous raspberry, and gave the two fingers salute to the whole room. “Viva La France”, he belched with enhanced and exaggerated decibels! A panoptic illustration of the scene, set by the Monsieur’s frolicking antics, and indeed the reception it received, perhaps might be compared to that of a manic, evangelical schizoid, who was waltzing about through, and amidst a sea of Buddhist mannequins.
Our terrific dinner, chosen from the Grand Cuisine menu, was a bucket of fresh Louisiana King Oysters, and juicy Fresh Crab Claws, and it was washed down with several bottles of vintage red wine. My new friend ate like a frustrated, starving cannibal, who had just been unleashed into a, cryogenic mortuary. During his meal, and much to the chagrin of the bistro’s clientele, the rebel without a pause, randomly added further very loud, and sarcastic, alternative verses from Peter Sarstedt’s classic song.
“When the snow falls you’re found in St. Moritz, With the others of the jet-set, And you’re vagina’s a roulette wheel, And you let the whole casino get your lips wet, Yes you do. Your name is heard in high places, You know the Aga Khan, He sent you a racehorse for Christmas, And you use its huge cock just for fun, For a laugh ha-ha-ha. I remember the back streets of Naples, Two children begging in rags, One touched with the burning ambition, To board a millionaires-yacht and get shagged, by the crew, Yes you do, Yes you do!”
After completing his desert of Kouign Amann and Macarons, wiping his face with the table cloth, and complaining facetiously, and vociferously, about the pseudo impressionist art on the bistro walls, Oliver Hardy, the revolutionary became a professional, and boisterous passer of flatulence. After thoroughly convincing himself that he had, fully polluted the air supply at restaurant, and ruined the atmosphere with his mephitic, olid gut gas, Roland Paris then proceeded to pick up his wallet and throw it, directly into the face of the hovering and already, extremely nervous manager of the establishment. As he chucked his wallet at the manager, with great force, it exploded into the air unleashing a plethora of, semi-naked page-three girl cuttings from the celebrated Sun newspaper. Roland then screamed out the word “merde” several times - as though he was in fact, the illustrious emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, considering the French defeat, or retreat, at the Battle of Waterloo. The French revolutionary then got hastily up to his feet, and ran out of the bistro with the belief that a rabid leper, who was determined to make angry love with him, was in his pursuit. His getaway was accompanied by his raucous, and repetitive football like chanting of the words, “you fucking parasites”, and preceded by a few loud Roadrunner beep beeps. I was pissing myself laughing as I ran after him, and not angry in the slightest at the lack of a heads up, or indeed a nod or a wink, that his bulging wallet had been full of tabloid nudes, and not the usual and required pound sterling. During his animated evacuation, he moved with a surprising agility, and with the grace of a very oversized human space hopper, he also bludgeoned out some of the, restaurant cliental on his way - which I am sure he perceived as a celebrated bonus, and a true shout out for revolution. I confess that in this moment, I felt that I had potentially found the, carbon antidote to the tedium of boredom, and that entertainment truly did still exist.
When we, finally stopped running the comic genius turned to me, and said that it was not funny at all, and that it was not an amusing event in itself, that he had just perpetrated, and that everyone had the right to eat. His face was so serious, and righteously indignant, that my appendix nearly torpedoed out through my guts, and into the Thames. Following this enjoyable, spectacularly histrionic, and entertaining introduction - Monsieur Roland Paris took me to Frestonia so that I might, under his Spartan instruction, renounce citizenship and, too refrain from sleep walking into the tragic, and despicable realms of capitalism.