Monday, July 26, 2004

A night at the opera

I've been stalked. A man followed me around Glasgow, and into a gay bar. Being me, I brought him a drink. After I'd made sure he was pretty.

Turns out his name's Andrew, and he's had a pretty bad month. He has a great job (casting opera singers) and was in Glasgow to cast something obscure in Italian. And to catch up with his gay dad.

"He's only just come out... and it's really awkward. He's sixty, he's a fine figure of a man... and he's very charismatic. I think the real problem is... he's better at being gay than I am.

"I was chatting away to a friend tonight - someone I've fancied for years. And I was telling him all about my dad, describing how he looks and suddenly my friend's eyes go wide and I realise he's slept with him.

"It gets worse. I came in here a couple of weeks ago, and it was karaoke night. Suddenly my dad turned up, blacked up as Aretha Franklin and stole the show.

"When he came up to London last, he entered an amateur strip night. It was bad enough seeing his gaydar profile - but when you're dad's swinging his bits around in front of a cheering crowd... And he went home with the winner.

"It's such a change. He was a Brigadier in the Army. Strict military upbringing. Now he's moving onto a houseboat in Amsterdam with Holland's top female impersonator. His boyfriend is younger than I am. It's all wrong. Mum's fine about it - but there I was at the Royal Albert Hall with Edward and Sophie, and Edward says 'And how is your dear father, the Brigadier?'"

We talked about other things - about casting, about politics and about his efforts to help a friend of his get cast more in opera. "I've put her on diets, I've introduced her to my personal trainer. But it doesn't work - she tells me she's convinced her voice comes from her figure. It's not true. She just likes cakes."

He was taking a rest for it all - off to help his mother for a few days by working on one of her North Sea fishing boats.

But we found time for a walk through pissed Glasgow on a Saturday night. And no, it wasn't over until I made his fat lady sing.

No comments: