The Temp

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
Given that I actually sit underneath a picture of the girl, I should have recognised her as a supermodel. But of course, I didn't. This is partly because I still cherish a naive belief that there must actually be people in the world whose looks don't rely on the skills of lighting engineeers

I'm not good with faces at the best of times. My friends are always spotting celebrities, at parties, but I never see them. Plus, our TV broke down three months ago and no one wants to get down to Barry's Boxes, where we could pick up a second-hand one for thirty quid, so my exposure to celebrity is currently virtually nil.

We had a visitation from Kharis Foxx today. Kharis stares from every magazine cover, every report of the catwalk shows, every colour supplement round-up of where the rich have been getting their free drinks this week. She's the one with the geometric fringe, geometric cheekbones and a touch of something oriental about the eyes. On covers she looks like a pedigree cat; pampered, elegant and classy. Kharis is this agency's current milch cow, never getting out of bed for less than Claudia Schiffer.

Given that I actually sit underneath a picture of the girl, I should have recognised her. But of course, I didn't. This is partly because I still cherish a naive belief that there must actually be people in the world whose looks don't rely on the skills of lighting engineeers.

So it's going on lunchtime, when this creature in a leather jacket covered in coloured cut-outs of pussy-cats marches in through the door. The first thing I notice about her is that, although she indeed has fantastic cheekbones, they and the pouty mouth are the product of a jaw whose horse-like teeth God has seen fit to place entirely in the front half. The second thing is that she has been blessed with lungs like bellows and one of those Welsh fishwife accents - Swansea, I think - that could demolish buildings.

"Allo!" she shrieks. "I wunt to see Bee-Bee!" "Have you got an appointment?" She fills her lungs, which takes about five minutes. "You're new round 'eeyurrr," she says. "Where's Monique?" "She's on holiday". "Well," she cries, "Ay don't need an appointment!" she yells. "Ay'm Kharis Foxx!". Yeah, right, I'm about to say, and I'm Naomi Campbell, when I glance at the bookers' appointment log and see "Kharis 12pm". I call through, and Bibi is there in seconds.

"Kharis!" she screams. "Daahling! Mwaah! Mwaah!" they air-kiss copiously. "You won't believe it," says Kharis, "But she -" she thumbs the air in my direction, "- didn't know who I am". "Oh, daahling," says Bibi, throwing a you're-dead look at me, "She's gone at the end of the week."

"Well," cries Kharis, "Don't let her do the same to Zakk. He's coming in to collect me. You know," she says to me through the teeth, "Who Zakk is, don't you? My boyfriend. A pop star." "Okay," I say, "Shall I send him through when he arrives?" "Of course, silly girl," says Bibi, and the two of them vanish, to howls of delight.

Right, I think: keep an eye out for a pop star. I send through two photographers from the style magazines, looking for some heroin chic for a fashion shoot consisting of string bags and crimplene, guide a couple of 14-year-olds to Kim's desk, send a man in a suit over to the sofas to wait for Bibi and fight off three girls from Bromley. Half an hour after Kharis's arrival, a pop star turns up. I can tell he's a pop star because he's wearing black leather jacket and trousers, three dangly silver earrings, a bar through his eyebrow, and dark glasses indoors. "Looking for Kharis?" I say. "Yeah," he says. I send him in.

Ten minutes later, Kharis reappears. "No sign of Zakk?" "Err, yes. Hasn't he found you? I sent him through." "No," says Kharis. Looks over her shoulder. "No. Where is he? Barry? Have you seen Zakk?" Pop star appears, shaking his head. "No, Kharis. Mind you, I was concentrating on your accounts." "He said he'd be here half an hour ago. Are you sure you haven't seen him?" "What does he look like?" "Look like?" Kharis's harpie shriek begins to rise. "Look like? One of the most famous people in the country, that's all..."

At which point, man in suit lays down his copy of The Face. "There you are. I thought I heard your voice."

Comments