By popular demand, Dolores was asked to front the jazz band again last night but she decided not to revisit Cole Porter. Instead, she put together a Shirley Bassey/Dusty Springfield/Cher set and called it "The bleat goes on."
Being the supportive type, I decided to sit through the first set. As you might imagine, at this point my threshold of surprise is quite high. Still, the sight of Dolores in the low-rise, embroidered jeans she picked up in Catania gave me a bit of a jolt.
She'd painted a daisy and a peace symbol on either cheek and tied on a headband that looked familiar.
"It used to be your blue tie," she said. "Let's be honest, it was getting a bit tired. Think of this as its rebirth on a higher plane after a life of much merit through suffering. Kanzeon, praise to Buddha, yadda yadda. Hand me those platform wedgies."
Word of a second night of Dolores travels fast on a small ship and by the time I got to the Orpheus Room all the best seats were taken. I was trying to squeeze into a space behind one of the potted palms when the bar manager grabbed my arm and pulled me down front. "A seat for the gentleman," he said to one of the waiters.
"Very kind," I said.
"Is no problem, Mr. Van Hoofen."
The set was a bit late getting started as apparently Dolores ran into the swinging wife from Newcastle-on-Tyne in the powder room just before it was time to go on, and after they'd said hello to one another in several ways she had to re-paint both the daisy and the peace symbol.
It started innocuously enough. She came out and sang the theme from Goldfinger, and ended (quite creatively I thought) by tossing two handfuls of those gold coin condoms into the crowd. Then the bandleader joined her for "I Got Ewe, Babe" and she segued into "Half Breed." Applause, applause.
Just as I was getting comfortable, however, she purred "This one's for Dusty" and launched into "Son of a Preacher Man." I had sense of foreboding, which turned to panic when I realized she had strapped on her wireless microphone and was making a beeline for a distinguished gentleman in the front row, who when he's at work is referred to as the Anglican Bishop of Birmingham.
I'm not certain whether His Grace the Bishop had ever before been the recipient of a lap dance, and his reaction was rather difficult to gauge. That of his wife, alas, was not. Dolores had only just got his collar off with her teeth when suddenly there was a flash of Swarovski crystals as Mrs. Bishop of Birmingham had swung her evening purse and cracked our own dear chanteuse right on the noggin.
Dolores objected strongly to this and leapt off the lap of the Bishop and onto the head of his wife, where she clung, bellowing, as the frightened woman ran to and fro around the bandstand knocking over instruments and amplifiers and microphone stands. The Bishop attempted to calm the situation but only made matters worse when he grabbed for Dolores's legs and instead removed her pants and left her naked except for a hot pink Agent Provocateur sequin thong she claims was given to her as a souviens-moi by Christina Aguilera.
A few women in the crowd felt sympathetic to Mrs. Bishop and so were attempting to remove the sheep from her head, and got their fingers burned by the lit Gauloise she had manged to keep clamped between her teeth. Dolores's favorite waiters simultaneously leapt to her defense against Mrs. Bishop's cohort, suffering severe lacerations from ten sets of manicured nails.
And then Dolores's Gauloise dropped a hot ash into somebody's heavily sprayed bouffant Princess Margaret hairdo and before you could say "Veni creator spiritus" the fire sprinklers had gone off. People started screaming and running and slipping on the wet floor and the Bishop lost his reason and simply stood in the middle of it all madly reciting Psalm 18 at the top of his voice. I was worried about my camera getting wet, and so decided it might be so much nicer to sit out on deck.
I'm told it took simply hours for the security staff to get it all sorted out and everyone back to their cabins to cool down. Dolores is missing a sizeable patch of fleece over her left buttock and is, she says, considering starting a jihad against the Anglican Church.
Weather is beautiful. Wish you were here.