One year. 100 articles. So we're having a Reader's Party. Come along to Upsidecrown.
4 June 2001
At weekends I am the Supersoaker. With my twenty-foot garden hose I pursue male celebrities and demand retribution. Please find attached a summary of my progress thus far:
Paul Hogan - I expected to find him in crocodile skin and hoped for a certain amount of chafing on contact. I was disappointed to find that he was wearing tennis shorts when I bumped into him. Still, wet whites afforded a suitable modicum of humiliation.
Burt Bacharach - I wanted to see if he really could walk on by when faced with my aquatic barrage. He did. Arsehole.
Ernest Borgnine - a great cameo and character actor deserves to be centre stage for once. Hosed him down on stage in the middle of Death of a Salesman. He was ungrateful.
Hose too far
BA Baracus - apparently my low shot to the fuselage is his reason for not getting on a plane, fool.
Mark Hammell - whom I espied driving down the freeway on a Monday morning fifteen years ago. The only water source I could find was a fire hydrant which rendered the hose extraordinarily powerful. Mr Hammell was driven off the road by my vengeful snake. I believe you can still see the scars. Must be more careful next time.
This time. My hose is due to point at the British actor John Nettles, who immortalised the Jersey Bureau des Etrangers detective Jim Bergerac in the eponymous 1980s series. Bergerac was a shock in tan leather and white trainers, a reformed alcoholic with a maverick approach and an eye for the ladies. He did wonders for the Channel Islands Tourist Board and revived the libido of countless menopausal British and Australian women.
Where is he now? I know exactly where he is, but I'm not telling you. You might break my cover in your desire to see the master water terrorist at work. Since the end of Bergerac, Nettles has enjoyed a spell at the Royal Shakespeare Company and can now be seen, lamentably fatter, in another detective series, Midsomer Murders. Nevertheless, his craggy Cornish overtan still wows the ladies of the daytime.
Let me tell you how it's going to be: Mr Nettles will be in the barber's, in the process of receiving his now shorter hairstyle. Once a good layer of discarded hair has accumulated on his shoulders I will burst into the shop, having first gained temporary licence to fix my hose to the sink in the florist's next door. There will be no time for pleading or bargaining. I have no room for compassion in my work. Mr Baracus tried that and didn't get very far. I will aim for the shoulders first - there are few things more irritating or more difficult to shift than wet hair clippings. From the head area I will proceed downwards towards the torso, pinching the mouth of the hose to ensure maximum coverage and vexation - I am aware that a light sprinkling is much more torturous than a full-on blast.
Mr Nettles will be surprised. After reasoning with him, however, he will acknowledge that his soaking has been fully deserved. He will see that the course of his career - his meteoric rise to sexual divinity and stardom and his subsequent foray into serious acting and obesity - leaves no other avenue open but atonement through hose. And he will join me in my quest to bring celebrities to their senses through the application of a reviving draught to both face and body. He will, I hope, see that soaking is the only antidote to the self-inflation of celebrity status, a very real cold shower to the delusions of power of the semi-famous. I have a list of female "celebrities" for Mr Nettles to drench at a suitable juncture. It includes Martine McCutcheon, Sheena Easton, Barbara Taylor Bradford and Jackie Collins, McCutcheon as a matter of urgency.
Then they will pay. If I can get time off from the vet's.