Did the link not go to my sex tape? Tut tut! Oh well, maybe it’s just as well. You never know what the repercussions might have been. But since I do wish to boost the numbers visiting my site, perhaps I should dust off a memory or two. So here is my Madonna story.
What’s this got to do with older books? some of you might, perfectly legitimately, enquire. My answer? You shouldn’t judge a book by its covers. And while you’re mulling over that gnomic statement, I will carry on.
I was quietly having a drink one evening in a pub in Central, Hong Kong. It was The Jockey, if I remember rightly – a pub of no distinction whatsoever, except that it was convenient for the ferry that I had to catch to get back to the island I lived on. I used to work evenings but between leaving work and catching the ferry there was an awkward hour to fill, which I generally spent at the Jockey reading a book over a pint because at that time of the evening – 9.30 onwards – it was pleasantly ‘dead’.
On the evening in question I was the only person in this quite large bar, quietly sipping my lager, when, at around ten, the door swung open and in marched a crowd of suits, escorting, if that’s the word, a young woman with what can only be described as a blond afro, wearing a glittering sunset blue ankle length dress. Collectively they cased the joint. Then the young lady marched across the pub and sat herself down on a stool at the small circular table less than ten foot from my own, directly facing me. The suits – fifteen or more – stood behind her like the tail feathers of a peacock in mourning.
So there I was sipping my lager, reading my book and looking forward to getting on a ferry and there she was sitting ten feet away from me, staring at me. When I looked over all the men collectively smiled at me encouragingly, invitingly. It was clear to me that there was a joke a-foot and that I was the butt of it. I recognised one of the suits as a man in the film trade but who this blonde was I had no idea.
Anyway, the situation was intolerable – I was unaccustomed to being ogled by someone I took to be a superstar (what could I say to her? Sorry, I didn’t catch the name? Madonna? Shake of the head. And what do you do Madonna?) – so I supped up my drink, folded my book away, ran my fingers through my golden locks, stood up, swirled the strap of my bag over my shoulder and headed for the door. I was half-way there when I heard her say, slowly, with her strong American accent, so that the words hovered in the air, mocking me: “Oh dear, I think we’ve scared him off!”
Was it coincidence but Madonna and Sean Penn were in Hong Kong making the film Shanghai Express – and it was known that they were having marital tiffs. Looking back, as I do from time to time, it is with enormous relief that I had the good sense to skedaddle. I am sure if Madonna, if indeed that’s who it was – who else could it have been? – could see me now she too would heave a sense of relief. Did I really once fancy that…? She would think. Let us leave the utterance there unfinished. Time is cruel.