Saturday, 22 May 2010

Result? Two Happy Gays

Imagine heading over to Oxford Street for a spot of late night shopping, popping into Selfridges to get a pair of new underwear and being confronted by twenty five next-to-naked men. That’s exactly what happened to a poor un-expecting middle aged, slightly homophobic, man Thursday night. You see, Lee and I had been given VIP entrance to a Selfridges swimwear fashion show/party by the people I was doing work experience for. We tagged along with them in a small group, all dressed very casually. We arrived at the back of Selfridges, walked past a large queue of smartly dressed people in very expensive clothing and went inside. We found ourselves in a converted in door car park complete with lighting, cat walk and male butlers who’s ‘outfits’ (Speedos, jock straps or tight boxers) left little to the imagination – I was not complaining, my imagination was more than willing to have an evening off. We were handed complimentary champagne and stood around gossiping, watching the cast of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and an entourage of even more next to naked men parading up and down the cat walk. Both mine and Lee’s eyes were fixated on the ‘fashion’ for the duration of the show. The group we were with didn’t seem at all phased by it, this was pretty run of the mill for them. Thinking back now, I can’t remember what a single pair of those pants looked like – oh well.

After they finished parading up and down they pulled out plastic whistles, blew them repeatedly and led us through a series of corridors. Lee and I got wedged between three of the models – we didn’t complain. The whistles got annoying very quickly, but like my imagination, my ears could have the evening off as well – I needed my eyes, that was it.

We eventually busted out of a tiny fire door in the back of the Selfridges underwear department, - Thirty practically naked men, four hundred smartly dressed gay men, a handful of ‘fag-hags’ and a bunch of Priscilla drag queens – the few unexpecting shoppers were terrified. They vacated the area quickly. All of them, except for the aforementioned slightly homophobic middle aged man. He got caught up in the middle of it all, he was not best pleased. He started shouting to his wife several aisles away who was in hysterics laughing. “Where did all these gays come from! I’m surrounded by gays!” he shouted to her. Although I did overhear him use a derogatory comment towards us as he left, he seemed to be able to see it from the funny side. We were given a few cocktails and then mingled in the shop. A free tanning booth was set up – Well I say tanning booth. It was a man and a woman grabbing random party goers, stripping them down to their underwear, pushing them against a large piece of card and spraying them down – Tanning booth, sexual assault. Tomay-toe, tomah-toe.

Towards the end of the night we ended up in a rabble of people trying to get to something. It must have been good, we had no idea what we were now queuing for, but we figured it’d be worth waiting for. After about 20 minutes we managed to get to the front where I had some personalised sandals made for free, we found out after they normally cost £35 – not bad. Lee went after me but was told they were closing – gutted.

So, to sum up – free alcohol, free sandals, free goody bag (which was a bit rubbish –but still free!) and naked men. Result? Two happy gays.

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