cries & whispers

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cries & whispers

2 Oh dear, I'm persona non grata at the office now. All manner of odd folk have been calling up about last week's musings on pubic hair, from cinephiles who want to know when they can see the film Kama Sutra (not until July, darlings), to oddbods who just want to talk about furry bits, and one chap who, because I glancingly mentioned poets and Buddhists, thinks I am obviously referring to him, and turns the rest of my column into numerological code with the assistance of the Hastings telephone directory. Alas, no merkin-wranglers, so my theory (about pubic wigs safeguarding the modesty of top actresses in sex scenes) remains unproven ...

My excitable Wardour Street friend, clearly counting down the empty days to Cannes, rings up with an offer to liberate my inner porn star - or at least find out what she's called. Apparently, to reveal your nom- de-porn you take the name of the first pet you ever had, and add it to your mother's maiden name. He assures me that a quick round of this game in his office revealed the red-hot dream cast of Jaws Manley (goldfish), Honey More (Golden Labrador), Ginger Swallow (pussycat) and Wobbles Bryant (unidentified). Readers, feel free to write in with your own findings, but be quick - I feel a long holiday coming on.

Wobbles Bryant may well be the name of your inner performance poet instead. I mean, look at this bunch: Jean "Binta" Breeze, Joolz, Lemn Sissay, Henry Normal, all of whom are gigging in the Purcell Room on 23 May - along with Nigel Planer. Has our Nige created a spoof rap poet along the lines of his luvvie send-up, Nicholas Craig? ("Craig" wrote I, an Actor, and held masterclasses, encouraging the audience to squeal: "Wasn't Dame Judi maaarvellous?"). It turns out Planer's serious. He even has a booklet of verse out, Unlike the Buddha (pounds 3 inc p&p, send cheque payable to Jackson's Arm, PO Box 74, Lincoln LN1 1QG). The title poem pokes fun at designer Buddhists and concludes: "It's not worth worrying what the sufis and saddhus did / ... I want to be there for my kid." Heart-in-the- right-place stuff. I've just realised I've said Buddhists and poets in the same piece again. Damn, damn, damn!

Here's a sweet little anecdote that shows the nicer side of the brothers Gallagher. Sitting on the Tube one afternoon (Dillie normally wouldn't be seen dead on public transport, but it was an emergency, okay?) I was dimly aware of a mousy young woman, studying the Tube map with an anxious air. Just fell off the turnip wagon, obviously. Then she groped in her bag and proceeded to flick through a couple of photo-albums. "Dreary shots of Tenerife and Tracy's 21st, I'll be bound," I sniffed, my eyes edging sideways nonetheless. But jings! What's this? A smiling Gallagher brother in every shot, doing homely things like shifting furniture, sitting in the bath, dossing around, having cups of tea - and an off-duty Patsy, too, minus make-up. Ms Mouse actually appeared in the pix, often in the company of Paul, the charmingly roly-poly elder bro. I looked suspiciously at her for signs of swank, but no, she was delightfully un-self-conscious. I alighted strangely cheered by this glimpse into home life chez Gallagher.