Yesterday’s blog was about the current Save Soho! campaign.
This blog’s occasional Canadian correspondent Anna Smith used to work in Soho.
Last night, she told me in an e-mail:
“I enjoyed the song about Soho. The Gargoyle/Nell Gwynn club at 69 Dean Street is where I met nearly all the people who befriended me in London. It was the first place I went to look for work and I got hired immediately and then found spots in the surrounding clubs.
“In Canada we mostly worked at clubs for one week at a time but in Soho, at most clubs, we did one show at a set time and then basically the job went on forever. It seemed like some of the Gargoyle girls had been there for decades! Some seemed to have done the same show for years.
“I spent so many years being a pretend nurse that, to this day, I refer to nurses as ‘real nurses’. I remember one exhausted looking woman dressed like a French maid who looked so bored, clomping in platform heels clockwise and then counter clockwise. She could barely be bothered to lift her feather duster. The men did not usually applaud, being busy with their rain coats.”
Anna now lives in Vancouver, somewhere I increasingly think of as a hotbed of oddities.
“Last week on the bus,” she told me, “I saw an octegenarian lady start punching a young man who had offered her a seat on the bus. She was wearing a long pink plaid skirt, an emerald green beret and carrying a nice cloth New York Public Library bag. People on the bus, including me, comforted the skinny, shaken young man and assured him he had done nothing wrong.
“Meanwhile, adult education is developing at a good pace here. At a meeting last night I learned that local sex workers have been training the Vancouver Police Department as well as selected urology nurses – not in the same room though.
“We also learned about the situation in Arizona, where we were told there is apparently a new law to prevent ‘self rape’.
“Everybody looked confused and asked what that meant.
“A woman explained it is what morbidly Christian Arizona calls masturbation. She said the first person charged under the new law was a teenage boy whose mother called the police when she caught him wanking. The boy was 15 when it happened on 15th November this year and is now in jail facing a three to thirteen year sentence.”
Anna looked further into the boy facing prison for self-rape, which turned up in a National Report online.
She found that “if you Google ‘Paul Horner’ there are links to that name associated with Banksy and the same name has been used in other hoaxes.”
Sadly, too, a Queerty website report that, in the US, the Stop Masturbation Now organisation – which claims to be dedicated to “educating the world about the dangers of self-rape” and which has an extensive website – has begun marketing an anti-masturbation cross for your self-loved one at the bargain price of $199… is an elaborate joke.
But it is good to know that well-planned and backgrounded cunning stunts are alive and well in the Colonies.