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Your Feet's Too Big

There's good posture, and there's presence. Anna has both, especially the latter. And eyes. Eyes that don't so much look as inhale. Rather like the old Superman comics: Aside - With my X-ray vision, I can see that he's carrying a ray-gun in his haversack. It turns out (since you have no option but to talk to her) that her father was in the KGB and doesn't know she's in Dubai. Which says a lot for intelligence. And that she was an aspiring ballet dancer with a wodge of potential until, sadly, her feet grew too big. Well, they're not huge, but, looking down, her story is certainly believable. Still, you might think there would be some happy medium between stardom and the Para. Maybe some modern dance troupe with progressive attitudes towards feet? Apparently not. So it's good to know that the Paranormal is there, rather like a donkey sanctuary, for ballerinas in free-fall.

Square Pegging

Regular readers will know that Paraglider is allergic to 5-star hotels, so it was with some reluctance that he agreed to accompany a friend to Scowlit's night club in the Elephant Towers. The place was busy. So busy you could almost believe some people go there intentionally. Noisy too, with MTV masquerading as entertainment. What seems to unite the Scowlit crowd is the belief that they are good-looking and extremely fashionable. Paraglider is not qualified to comment on the second of these and too polite to dwell on the first. Certainly it's the only place in town where Russian ladies distribute business cards. Helga would be affronted.

Without Prejudice

Paraglider was still musing on how long it had taken the ants (near the cash point) to rebuild their walkway after the last sandstorm, as he stepped from the sunshine into Paranormal, then sharp left into Chalky's, darkness and temporary blindness. For the unwary, this is a dangerous two minutes and it's best not to speak till the eyes recover. From somewhere on the left - Me, I come from the US, Doll. Pennsylvania. Ever heard of it? Clearly a Broadcaster. From somewhere closer - Hello, what you name? From straight ahead - Sir? (a welcome voice). - Pint of Stella, please. And as the fog lifts, the Broadcaster is seen to be wearing shorts and hiking boots with socks, and has started shouting about camel toes. Beam me up, Scottie.

At Close of Play

The Sweepers are among the last to arrive and are the surest sign that it's time to leave. All cheekbones, lipstick and hollow eyes, they take up positions vacated by successful younger Chickens. They watch us, and wait. Gentlemen - are we old? They don't mind. Are we ugly? Good. Are we fat, shabby and ill-shaven? Better still. Are we all of these things, and drunk besides? Champion - we will be swept up within minutes. Or, are we so drunk that even the Sweepers have become lovely to our eyes? Gentlemen - we are lost, wallet and soul.
Meanwhile, we should be adding the sugar to the cranberry juice, stirring it till dissolved, then pouring it all into our bubbling must. The job's done now, apart from waiting, and topping up with water when it calms down, usually after two weeks.

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