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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

The parents were over in London this weekend, and while here they treated me and He Who Only… to dinner in a Turkish restaurant around the corner from their hotel. This restaurant was chosen by my father, not for the food, not for the atmosphere, not for the fact that every table seemed to be smoking flavoured tobacco, but for the simple reason that every couple of hours or so, belly dancers would come out and jiggle at every table for about 10 minutes at a time.

I’ve read the claims that belly dancing is a celebration of femininity, a celebration of sensuality, a celebration of life: it’s not, at its heart, a deliberately or provocatively sexual performance. Hmm. These two ladies didn’t seem to have heard any of these claims, sticking as they did very closely to the “brothel” end of wiggling and shaking. And so it was that I found myself in a classic sitcom meet-the-parents situation, complete with mortified boyfriend, where a lady was standing at our table, wobbling all the bits she had to wobble, with a £50 note sticking out from her impressively massive cleavage. My dad, as my dad would, was taking photographs of the lady and those breasts with his camera phone. I too was transfixed by the quivering lady’s cleavage, as she repeatedly performed a trick I have never seen done before. She was able, through the sheer delight of it all according to the expression on her face,to move both of her breasts independent of each other. That is, side to side in opposite directions. My mind boggled at the same time as her boobies, and, noticing my mystification, she “explained” how it was done by shoving them closer to my nose and doing it again, but slower. I yelled “OH MY GOD” in my most Irish of accents, she laughed, flicked her hair back, and moved on to the next table, with about £150 worth of sterling sticking out of her bra.

So there our merry group was. My mother and I were giggling for all we were worth, Dad was waving his camera about, and, bless his heart, He Who Only… was sitting wishing the earth would swallow him whole. It’s the most British I’ve ever seen anyone at any point ever.


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