My first ever blog so I’d better introduce myself and tell you a bit about me, because I’ve promised Russ I’ll write a monthly blog about a subject I know, I’ve known Russ and June for years, since their Saxon days, so here goes.
I’m MalagaJack, the only open gay man to frequent theALBERTinn. I was raised locally and my parents impressed strict religious values upon me from an early age, values and beliefs that were corroborated by other people involved in my upbringing and I have to say I had a wonderful childhood.
Things changed for me after I reached puberty, I felt different. I remember my best friend asking me which pop singer I fancied most, Sandy Shaw or Petula Clark. I don’t know why but I said Sandy Shaw but in my mind I fancied Adam Faith. I then had ten years of denial leading to gradual acceptance before I came out to the world at 27. Once the realisation took over I was actually shocked because of its simplicity and obviousness.
My biggest worries throughout my denial years were my parents and my christian beliefs. My parents were killed in a car crash when I was 25 so I was saved the agony of telling them but I would go through that agony to have them back any day. So I just had the prospect of spending the rest of eternity in Hell to come to terms with.
It was a straight guy who changed my life forever, the landlord of my local pub at that time, Russ Green. I heard him say to the local priest, who was impressing us all at the bar with his theological knowledge… “Father, there’s only one reason you’re a Christian and it’s because you were born into a Christian family in Ireland. If you’d been born in Bombay, India you’d be a Hindu and if you’d been born in Istanbul you’d be a Muslim. It’s that simple. Invisible friends are for children not for free thinking intelligent adults. One more word about religion and you’re barred,” barked Russ. It was like someone had switched a light on in my head.
I’ve mentioned my agnostic enlightenment of religion to explain the background into the title of my first blog… How To Ruin A Dinner Party.
It’s several years ago when me and my fella, Glyn, threw a private dinner party for a few friends. We invited Jono and Janis Palethorpe, pictured here pushing their way through reporters as they leave Bow Street Magistrates Court, after both giving evidence at the trial of Neil and Christine Hamilton. John is the accountant for our upmarket Mens Fashion boutique and we mistakenly thought that by befriending them he would reduce his fees but it didn’t work.
Similarly we invited Alan Thearle and his partner Emma Romano, who supply Chesterfield football shirts for our boutique. Alan bank-rolls Emma’s fashion house GuestList and their photo, right, is courtesy of Cosmopolitan. Emma, known as Blodders to the Royal Family, a close confident of Princess Diana back then, promised us that our expensive bash would get a mention in the Celeb mag, Hello, but that didn’t happen either.
The final guest was a friend of Glyn called Jeremy who brought along a mystery friend who turned out to be a famous singer, a very famous singer indeed. His name can’t be published for reasons I’m not sure about but no one else ever mentions his sexuality so I’d better not either (If I was allowed to coin a phrase for it I’d call it The Jimmy Savile Syndrome). It is difficult to guess which side of the fence he sits because although he was with Jeremy he mentioned a relationship he once had with a female tennis player and took much delight from informing us the he was watching when she was licked by Billy Jean King. He knew Emma and whilst he was on one of his many visits to our toilet, Emma mentioned that the Royals called him Miss Celest because he always turned the conversation towards religion.
Sure enough, we’d not even got to the main course before our mystery guest mentioned just how strong a role religion plays in his every day life. Glyn asked him how he felt about recent scientific discoveries that contradict many religious teachings especially Creationists who believe that the Earth was created only 6000 years ago. He quickly rebuffed my Glyn with the statement… “There is someone or something out there that is far, far bigger than science.” Unfortunately I feel very protective towards Glyn, who’s often ridiculed for having long hair, so I jumped in and asked our mystery guest… “Well tell me please, in the unlikely event of you getting a chicken bone stuck in your throat and God forbid (or in his case God willing) you begin to choke, shall we administer the heimlich-maneuver or pray for you?”
The next twenty minutes was very quiet but, considering we were eating the most delicious Moroccan Chicken Tagine, you would expect it to be quiet. Before I had chance to serve the dessert, Jeremy and his mystery guest politely made an excuse and departed.
In an attempt to defuse an embarrassing moment, Jono Palethorpe asked Glyn how his beloved Chesterfield football team had performed earlier in the day and Glyn began crying uncontrollably. I slapped Jono across the face for making my Glyn cry and in a flash Janis landed a kick right between my legs. Alan Thearle said… “If there’s no more Dom Perignon left, we’ll get going” and he and Blodders got up and followed the Palethorpes out of the door.
The time was 9.50pm.
All my Glyn said was… “Can I put my shorts back on now?”