Pandora

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The Independent Culture
THE LATEST accessory for young people going extreme on urban dance floors? A pheromone-enriched tissue-wipe that, when smeared across wrist or neck, supposedly increases sexual allure. Xcite is offered in 12-packs at pounds 14.95, but most niteries Pandora's visited are so smelly that there are only two chances of picking up on a delicate pheromone scent. Fat and Slim. And Slim's out of town.

LIFE'N'DEATH - Dr Avro Nikula, a Finnish obstetrician, was holding a newborn baby upside down when it kicked him in the right temple, triggering a fatal haemorrhage.

JAMIE OLIVER, (pictured) the naked chef, wore a smart off-white suit, open necked-shirt and scruffy loafers for Penguin's launch of his TV-tied- in book at Philip Owens's ICA cafe this week. Paul Smith, the fashion designer and retail star, mingled with a youngish foodie crowd that included the River Cafe's Rose Gray, Carlton TV's Robert Smith (raving about his latest find: a nudist restaurant), various Ready Steady Cookies and random Penguin suits. The off-menu dish of the day was Juliette Norton, Oliver's willowy (and previously unseen) betrothed. Enquiring minds wonder: who does the cooking in their kitchen?

THE FASTEST-growing sector of the English language, say lexicographers at the new Concise Oxford Dictionary, is the pharmaceutical sector: a disproportionate 4 per cent of its first-time entries this year identify new lifestyle drugs.

THE LATEST Tory newsletter heading for a square filing cabinet near you contends: "A gain of just 15 seats by centre-right parties could give control of the European Parliament to the Conservatives and," it continues... "their allies". Any Tommaso, Riccardo or Benito can tell you who these specious "allies" are.

DEJA SCREW... after leaving Slough Comp in 1961 Jonathan Aitken served time as an assistant to a housemaster in HM Borstal, Hollesley Bay, Suffolk. While there he says he "learnt how to start a car without any keys." Coming soon: JA on roll-up snouts, pumping iron, adventures with bunk beds - and building a model of Winchester Cathedral from matchsticks. Perhaps while enjoying HM's hospitality Aitken could contact John Profumo for a crash course in doing the right thing.

TODAY'S SLANGUAGE guide illuminates the murky lexicon of convicts. Peter Biter: safe-blower. Rule 43: the segregation order separating certain convicts from the general population for their own safety. Set the Thames on fire: a lucrative blag. An off: a fight. Walk my slack: watch my back. Cell spin: cell search. Going to a gin and jag: going to a job in a yuppie zone. Lonesome pine: a loner with peculiar ideas. In for tom: inside for a jewellery-related offence. If you can't do the time, don't do the crime - self-explanatory.

PETER STRINGFELLOW, the Sheffield-born night-club owner, roue and stalwart blue party supporter, is going postal about a midtown Manhattan lap-dancing boite opening this week under the name "Stringfellow's of New York". Stringy is abandoning his yacht, currently moored off Mallorca, to fly to London, where he'll instruct lawyers. "I own the name Stringfellow's and I have plans for using it in the US. I'm not going to stand for anybody else using my name. This is going too far. Bollocks!" he said.

WHODATHUNKIT? Some sharks can survive for a year without feeding.

WINNER OF Pandora's coveted Saucer of Milk this lap is Gjestlista (Swedish, pronounced yes-list-ah), a young woman who gets paid to compile the guest lists wielded by "clipboard nazis" at night-clubs. Gjestlista: "What's the difference between piranhas and sharks?" Pandora: "What?" Gjestlista: "None - they're all in my address book." Miaow!

Contact Pandora by e-mail: pandora@ independent.co.uk

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