I'm at a wedding. I sit beside someone whose name I've solemnly sworn not to mention - Brenda Harvey - and we're cooing at the bride and ignoring the bridegroom, who's pond scum, when the bridegroom's old flame wiggles right past us, and the tacky cow is wearing a smirk and dazzling white. Trog bitch from hell! Only one person is allowed to flaunt white at a wedding and that's my bosom buddy, the bride.

So I'm raging, ready to tear that What She Wants mark-down from the slut's hump-back when Brenda shakes her head. "Don't give her the satisfaction," she advises. Brenda slips a compact from her handbag. "Anyhow, it's not that bad." My jaw hits the floor. "What could be worse?" Brenda snaps the compact shut. "Well darling, she could be wearing ... beige!"

I would scream, but, hey, we're in church.

Brenda, who's 16 stone and will wear Lycra if you let her - no one will - is in complete harmony with Nolan Miller, the thin man who raised shoulder pads to a tart form. Disproving Freud's theory that the mind suppresses unbearable memories, he still recalls his first day on Dynasty. "Do you know what Linda Evans was wearing? Beige! Beige dress, beige stockings, beige shoes. Beige isn't in good taste. It's nothing. Beige is blah."

Nolan knows. Beige is for saddies who find grey too exciting. Beige looks good on clay, straw and porridge, but on things that live and breathe and possibly want to get laid? Please. Ask yourself: if it doesn't work on gerbils, why the hell should it work for you? What does it ever match, except fake tans and certain teeth hailing from the Deep South, and only then if you've been chewing tobacco, playing the banjo and sleeping with your cousin since the age of eight?

Fact: beige is the colour people (well, I say people ...) most wear in Woody Allen movies, and not just the excuse-me-while-my-Prozac-kicks-in epics like Interiors, but even the nominally funny entries. Manhattan Murder Mystery actually ends with Allen and Diane Keaton heading towards the camera in matching beige outfits and this is the film Woody thought would make America love him again. Wearing beige? Of course. Beige, the mark of the simultaneously smug and insecure, the shade of self-satisfaction and playing it safe, of wannabe class and manic depression. The colour that wants to be intimidating but is actually timid, the colour that crawls for attention. Oh Woody, start shooting in black and white again.

Yes, I know. The trendoids are trying to make beige the colour for summer (again) when they really should be trying to make it illegal. One headline howls: "Here Come the Beigewatch Babes" (and there goes common sense). Repeat after me, in your best Ab Fab voice: "Beige is stripped of its nonentity and elevated to fashion's new sex symbol. Ultra-sheer silk chiffon the colour of flesh cut into fitted rubber corset jackets and calf-length skirts. There is even beige rubber - shimmering and glistening

Well, I read that and had to go fix myself a stiff man. Now, it's part of the fashion harpy's "job" to make us look ridiculous (and don't deny it - I saw you in the ra-ra skirt, boob tube and baseball cap on backwards), but this contravenes the terms of the Geneva Convention (besides, golden and stone are golden and stone, not beige, okay?). I mean, donning beige in an effort to appear nude. Get a life. Like the no-nipples-just-shaved- my-pubes look is ever about to be big in Blighty. I don't think so. Dolce and Gabbana can stitch maribou feathers on it, Vicky Martin can cut it to cling and Helmut Lang can make it see-through, but we can see through it already: it's still beige. I'll say it again: BEIGE.

Now, I'm sure you're lounging there thinking, "John, are there ever any circumstances when wearing beige is permissible?" You'll be stunned to know the answer is yes. Pay close attention.

You are receiving care in the community. No one expects you to be rational.

You are a soldier in the desert and must camouflage yourself against incoming attack. If this isn't excuse enough, tell people you're actually under orders to wear this crap.

You are Helen Keller.

Something else you should know about beige. It's the colour Caucasian corpses turn about an hour after death, as the blood cools and the pale, becoming pink of life, leaves for parts unknown. I know because I've watched too many friends turn exactly this hue as Mr Mortis came to call. Which is merely to point out that when gay men say they'd rather die than be seen in beige they are speaking no more than the truth. They mean it. So should you.

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