Thursday, June 15, 2006

All at Sea

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.

41 comments:

Anne said...

Since she has a patch of fleece missing anyway, now might be an opportune point to get a tattoo. Just a thought.

Habibi said...

10 sets of manicured nails?? I knew Dolores was unique but that IS something for a sheep:) I'm picturing small sequins on the tips-that's a lot of bling flying by!

Sarah said...

See....you write such that I can see the whole situation in my head!

Man, you can't take that gal anywhere.

Mel said...

My, is there ever such a thing as too much excitement?

And why do all Dolores's relatives and exes seem to be, shall we say, less well-drawn?

Anonymous said...

Dolores' relatives haven't been exposed to as much, therefore not as well-rounded. Enjoying your trip vicariously. Thanks for sharing. Necia

Elizabeth said...

Franklin, are you a fan of Barbara Pym by any chance? Something in your tales of life on a cruise ship with Dolores reminds me of her writing...

Barb said...

Bwahahahahaaaaahahahahaahaha *snort*
Thank you for the giggle, dear!! I needed a lift today, and this was perfect!

Longhorn Diva said...

I love you! I LOVE Dolores! And I LOVE THIS BLOG!!! Just sublime. Kuddos.

Lisa said...

Oh dear, what a night for our fibery friend.

All the Way With Knitting said...

Oh goodie a Jihad against the Anglican Church...funnily enough the American version seems much more liberal than our own ( unusual for American Chistians) so tell her the African branch is the most re-actionary start with them and St.Mary's Church Reading U.K is the mosy anti-gay of them all...just a tip .

All the Way With Knitting said...

Oh dear it's not mossy Dolores..it's "most" ..havn't had second coffee yet..best post so far methinks even Jeff just left for work chuckling and he doesn't laugh audibly often .

Romy said...

Franklin please write a book. This dolores reminds me of Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act.

mrs Nito said...

Dolores dear , please leave our beloved Vicar out his evening soirees make your little episode tame and we'd so miss him here at Cutting Sprout .

Joe said...

How can that kind of writing be imitated by amateurs and poseurs like the wolverinas?

amysue said...

Words fail me.

Well, I have some I guess: Thank you Franklin for making the past several days which have been pretty trying for personal reasons a little less bleak. Thank Dolores for me as well.

Aidan said...

To hell with a book -- yuu need to have a talk with Spielburg. I can see the movie trailer in my head..."Dolores Does the Dolomites: Around the World in 80 Ways".

I'm thinking Anna Nicole Smith for the voice of Dolores and Rob Morrow to play you, Yonkele dear.

I don't know if the world is ready for a Habit version of "It's My World & Welcome To It", but I certainly am!

Debbie said...

It's a wonder that ship isn't having to turn around and go back to port.

SamD said...

You spin a wonderful yarn...

and write so well too!

I just love The Panopticon in all its glory!

Aarlene said...

Pictures, man! Where are the PICTURES!
"Mr. Van Hoofen" !!

Rabbitch said...

You owe me a new keyboard. Bitch.

Mary Peed said...

*snort* Jeez! What a picture...

(note to self: Don't drink coffee while reading Yarn Harlot OR Panopticon. Coffee out the nose hurts.)

Aidan said...

Coffee doesn't hurt nearly as much as a handfull of cashews!

c said...

You didn't get ANY pictures? Not even one?

Kendra said...

Words can not adequately express how much I'm enjoying this. I guess I'll have to limit myself to: Thank you, Franklin. Thank you, Delores.

mrs Nito said...

We were thinking Benjamin Bratt and Stockyard Channing ( Nito "that's Stockard but I see where you are coming from")sorry Holly dear .

Geogrrl said...

Dolores is my favourite kind of female--a real broad--and I love hearing about her adventures.

Thanks for the laugh, Franklin. As Dolores' diarist/biographer/observer you should really collect her adventures into a book.

dianet said...

I'm having the best time, enjoying YOUR trip. Thanks for sending these postcards.

By the way, did you know the Minerva II has a webcam on their website? I think I saw Dolores in the hot tub with that Anglican Bishop the other day. Hard to say what they were doing from the angle, but...if he tells you last night was the first time they met, don't believe it. They looked pretty friendly to me. Not judging, mind you.

David said...

The bleat goes on?

Oh, Mr. van Hoofen, really.

AuntyNin said...

Dolores' adventures never cease to amaze me! This'un left me giggling helplessly, which always confuses "da boss".

Thanks again for the wonderful giggles you provide.

Childe said...

And what is going to happen at knitting camp -
Doesn't bear thinking about -

Ceallach said...

LOVE it!

We need a good jihad against the Anglicans, after all the Americans have had a jihad against them for a long time.

About time the Brits caught up with the Joneses!

Lynn in Tucson said...

No, no! Not Whoopi!

Watching Debbi Reynolds as Grace's mom on "Will & Grace" re-runs made me think she'd be PERFECT to interpret our fair Dolores!

Beth said...

If we only need a voice for Dolores, I vote for Bette Midler. CGI is the only way to go with her.

Though casting Franklin is a bit more troublesome. I'd go for Mandy Patinkin, but I think he's a bit too tall.....

amsans said...

OMG - I am at my desk at a very stuffy bank and can hardly contain myself while reading this blog! OMG - OMG - I'm choking back tears. Thanks Franklin!

moiraeknits said...

This is the best post so far. BWAH! I knew there was a reason I didn't use hair spray.

Vivienne said...

Franklin dear, I fear your right reverend gentleman may be an imposter. The See of Birmingham is currently vacant, its previous incumbent having been translated to York. Further investigations would be advised. Are there any Belgians with elaborate moustaches on board?

PuppyMomma said...

Franklin, I'm sorry to inform you but Delores has a new admirer, state-side. We HAVE to talk about this. He keeps pestering me for an introduction.

Anonymous said...

What Aidan said! Let the bleat go on. (OW!)

I have to say, though, Franklin, that I find your posts about your own experiences just as interesting. It isn't ALL about Dolores. ;-)
Sherri

Aidan said...

I don't know why I didn't see it before -- casting Franklin is easy...Vin Diesel!

mary e said...

What a lovely time I'm having reading about your trip... and Delores' adventures. Big mmmmwahs to you dear, for chronicaling everything for those who couldn't join you. And also really big mmmwahs to you for having to tolerate the "Mr. Van Hoofen" remark. (which I am certain you did with grace and dignity....)

Marg said...

Thank you so much for the smiles - the visuals are just too much! Maybe next time Dolores will honour John Lennon with 'Give Fleece a Chance'.......