My friend Trixie and I once took a class at church where we met a middle-aged man who was a nice guy yet obviously did one drug too many back in the seventies.
One Sunday when I had stayed home, sick, Trixie called to check on me that afternoon. “Guess who I saw at church this morning.”
“Um … God?” I said.
“Well, I suppose He was there, but I meant a person–not the Supreme Ruler of the Universe.”
“I give. Tell me.”
“You remember Seventies Guy? Well, he came to church today wearing a Superman costume.”
I tapped the receiver of the phone. “Did you say a Superman costume?”
““Yeah, blue tights, red underwear, boots, and cape.”
““Why would he wear a Superman costume to church?”
““Well, after the service, I asked him that, and he said he was looking through his closet that morning and just felt like he wanted to wear something different today. That’s when he saw the Superman costume at the far end.”
I let the details settle in. “You know, I have to respect that. That’s cool.”
““I know,” Trixie said. “I wish I had the guts to just wear a Wonder Woman costume to church on a random day in April.”
Ever since then, whenever I feel stale in some area of my life, I ask myself, How could I bring a little Superman into this? I haven’t donned a cape yet, but it’s helped me to bring a freshness into the choices I’ve made.
How could you bring a little Superman into a stale corner of your own life?
Since Bananarama is coming to the Hard Rock Café in Atlanta on Sunday for Pinktober, I thought I would compile the top ten funniest Bananarama stories that I remember them sharing in interviews over the years:
01. The idea for the name Bananarama came from a love of Roxy Music’s “Pyjamarama” and the fact that their first single, a cover of Black Blood’s “Aie a Mwana,” was sung in Swahili, so they tried to think of something tropical, arriving at bananas. “If we had known we were going to last 3o years,” Keren Woodward said, “we would have chosen something less embarrassing.”
02. When Keren and Sara Dallin, childhood friends, first moved to London, they shared a room at the Y.W.C.A. Keren worked in the Accounting Department at the B.B.C. because she tested well in math, while Sara attended London Fashion College, where she met Siobhan. Eventually, Keren and Sara were kicked out of the Y.W.C.A. for keeping late hours, because they liked to stay out late at the clubs.
03. The girls were friends with Paul Cook, the former drummer for the Sex Pistols. He let them live in the room above his rehearsal studio
04. Terry Hall of Fun Boy Three saw Bananarama’s picture in The Face (magazine) and liked their thrift store style, so he rang them up to meet them. Hall was terribly shy and Bananarama was terribly shy, so they all stared at their moccasins and barely said anything. Eventually, the managed to record a cover of “Ain’t What You Do (It’s the Way That You Do It)” and it was Bananarama’s first big hit.
05. After the success of “Ain’t What You Do (It’s the Way That You Do It),” Fun Boy Three backed Bananarama on their cover of the Velvette’s “Really Saying Something.” While performing the song on German T.V., they were goofing around and accidentally knocked the set down.
06.Siobhan Fahey once asked for a light for her cigarette. Sarah got distracted while lighting the cigarette and accidentally set Siobhan’s hair on fire.
07. After Bananarama had a hit with “Robert De Niro’s Waiting,” the actor rang them up at the flat they shared and asked them out for a drink. They were so nervous that they got horribly drunk before they went to meet him.
08. Keren lives with Andrew Ridgeley from Wham! on a farm in Cornwall. George Michael sometimes flies out in his helicopter to visit them. In a radio interview, Keren shared that George had recently given her son Tom a lift back to London in his helicopter. This was shortly after one of George’s automobile mishaps, so Keren added, “For the record, he wasn’t driving the helicopter. I’m not mad, you know.”
09. While on the Here & Now Tour, a disco ball fell from the ceiling, narrowly missing Boy George during a rehearsal. He joked that Bananarama was trying to kill him.
10. When Sara’s daughter, Alice, was younger, she didn’t believe that her mother had once been in Britain’s most successful girl group and had had more hits than the Spice Girls.
11. Keren and Sara were once at a pub when Sara asked what George Michael was up to these days. Keren said, “I know his alarm code, let’s go let ourselves into his house and find out.” When they got inside they found George Michael in his pajamas with little trains on them. He said, “Oh, it’s you lot.”
Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, and Kathy Burke parodied Bananarama for their 1988 Christmas special. Bananarama enjoyed it so much, they joined forces for a cover of the Beatles’ “Help!” for Comic Relief the following year.
Lananeeneenoonoo’s Parody of Bananarama
“Help!” — Bananarama with Lananaeeeenoonoo
Tracey Ullman’s Spoof of “Shy Boy” on Three of a Kind
If the gang of nuns on Harleys had not run my car off the road, I wouldn’t have thought twice about the hole in my underwear. (I suspect that they weren’t actually nuns because it was the Saturday before Halloween, and most of them were sporting facial hair.)
As I waited for my pulse to quit racing, I imagined my body lying beside my overturned Miata, an EMT cutting my bloodied jeans off with Jaws of Life, before recoiling in horror from the sight of my briefs. My mother appeared. “I thought I had brought you up better than this.” She shook her head in skivvy shame. “Looks like it’s going to be a closed casket funeral.”
I shook my head and came back to my senses. Surely, if others would judge my undergarments–whole or holey–upon my death, what would the style say about me?
Overwhelmed, I called my best friends to help me sort out the BVD business. Fey Ray is a wispy reed of a man with a flair for fabulous, and Testosterone Tom is brawny, with grease under his fingernails and beer pumping through his veins.
““There is an entire world of boxer briefs, bikinis, thongs, and jockstraps awaiting you!” Ray whipped open an International Male catalog, revealing a veritable National Geographic Guide to jockey shorts. “What about this?” Ray pointed at a leopard-skin G-string.
““I was thinking a more ‘upstanding citizen’ style,” I said. “Not ‘Son of Tarzan’.”
““You’re probably wanting something that covers more, right?”
““What about this mesh bikini?” Ray said. “It allows the boys to breathe.”
““If I’m dead, do the boys really need oxygen?” I glanced at some longer boxer briefs with tummy-flattening technology. “What about these?” I asked, pointing at the picture.
““Absolutely not!” Ray hissed. “Unless you want to be mistaken for a Mormon missionary.”
I rubbed my temples. “When did underwear become so complicated? I thought it was just a choice between boxers and briefs.”
““I don’t believe in underwear,” Tom said. “I go commando.”
““Really?” Ray asked. “Doesn’t that chafe?”
I visualized myself lying beside my car again, my jeans torn off, and the family jewels exposed to the world. I immediately blushed.
““You drive a convertible, dude,” Tom said. “If you’re in a wreck, you’ll probably be decapitated, so no one’s going to notice whether you’re wearing panties or not.”
Tom’s words gave me pause. I found myself struck by the fact that I’d rather lose my head than die in a pair of holey undies. It put my quest in a new perspective. Even though my jockeys may have a hole in them, at least they’re clean–and that should count for something.
Fashion designer Calvin Klein and fast food restauranteur Kentucky Fried Chicken will launch a new fragrance on Valentine’s Day–KFC1.
The fragrance is rumored to contain pheromones that active parts of the brain that correspond to sex and comfort food.
Test subjects responded favorably after using the product.
““A few spritzes behind my ears and on my wrists, and I suddenly felt like I could conquer the corporate world and attend a Sunday picnic at the same time,” Randal Wallace, 32, an investment banker.
““I was hanging out at a bar with my girlfriends, and slipped into the ladies’ room to put some KFC1 on,” said Corky Dawes, 38, an art gallery owner. “After I came out, men kept coming up to me and saying things like, ‘I want to make love to you next to a mountain of mashed potatoes with brown gravy.’ It was oddly titillating.”
““I walked down the street and men, women, and animals would stare at me with their mouths watering,” said Tomeka Davis, 27, a business analyst for a major public transportation company. “I just thought to myself, Mm-hmm, that’s right, I’m finger lickin’ good!”
The product has already attracted controversy after Calvin Klein & Kentucky Fried Chicken unveiled their advertising for KFC1 in Times Square, which includes black-and-white images of emaciated chickens in distressed denim that resemble runaway heroin addicts than a two-piece meal.
““I was disgusted by it,” said Taz Morrison, 41, an animal activist. “It made me vomit onto a a guy dressed as a hot dog who was passing out flyers.”
““It actually made me aware of just how sexy food can be,” said Jessica Coulter, 21, an art student. “I’d never seen a chicken with tattoos and body piercings before. It made me wonder, if I ran into a rooster in a club or bar, would I go with him? I’ve also started having these hen fantasies.”
The fragrance, marketed to both men and women, will be available in two varieties: Original Recipe and Extra Crispy.
Would you wear KFC1 if it actually made you irresistible to men and/or women?
More and more workplaces are moving away from professional dress to business casual, but how casual is too casual. Ever wonder what you wear may be communicating to co-workers? Or how it can create hazards at the office? Business consultant Ginger, Fincher gives examples of ten outfits to avoid and why:
01. French Maid Costume — Never mind the skimpy skirt and fishnet hose, accessorizing with a feather duster can bring all sorts of allergens into the office. Plus, co-workers may expect you to clean up after them.
02. Ninja Duds — As chic as ninja wear is, it can cause some commotion for drivers delivering to nervous receptionists.
03. Native American Headdress — If the Indians had won the war against white settlers, perhaps Native American fashion would send a different message at the negotiation table. Moreover, a feathered headdress can be downright dangerous next to the papershredder.
04. Self-Expressing Nursing Bra — Although it may be convenient for your bra to express your milk throughout the work day, when you lean across the conference table for a handout, you don’t want to accidentally shot the boss in the eye with milk.
05. Kilt — Although nothing says fall fashion like plaid, forgetting that you’re not wearing underwear and crossing your legs during a meeting can lead to revealing too much personal information and a potential lawsuit.
06.Burqa — Like ninja clothing, a burqa worn, say during an interview, can be unsettling. Interviewees rely on feedback from facial expression, eye contact, and body language to indicate how they’re doing the interview process. For all they know, you could be making faces at them or snoozing.
07. Chainmail — Chivalry may not be dead, but chainmail causes problems for lawyers who must contend with courthouse metal detectors. Also, paperclips snag on chainmail like you wouldn’t believe.
08. Toga — Nothing brings summer to mind like a toga, but that’s also when facilities management turns up the air conditioning. Don’t be caught shivering in your toga next to your space heater in July, because the loose material can easily catch on fire. Plus, the white material shows everything: toner, coffee, blood, food, etc.
09. Loincloth — The breechcloth has become popular among competitive younger male executives who take pride in their bodies, but it only takes catching the loose flap on the corner of a desk to make the whole world your proctologist and reveal any hidden difficiencies.
10. Hoop Skirt — Not only can hoop skirts present problems when trying to sit comfortably in an office chair, they also can create literal roadblocks in the narrow passageways of cubicle farms. Damn it, Scarlet, leave the hoop skirt at home!