I hate to say "I told you so", readers, but my prediction about the death of a third celebrity came true yesterday.
The tragic trio. The morgue-bound megastars. The decomposing denizens of planet fame, each one now grotesquely swollen with the gases of putrification. But that’s not how we want to remember them, is it readers.
It’s difficult to say which one shone the brightest, really. Sure, Jackson may have won a few Grammy awards, and Fawcett may have been the poster girl of choice for a generation of adolescent boys (not to mention the fact that Lee Majors immortalised her in the lyrics to the theme tune of The Fall Guy: “I’m not the sort to kiss and tell, but I’ve been seen with Farah”). But we can’t discount Mollie Sugden. She, after all, gave us Mrs Slocombe.
Are You Being Served, the Croft and Lloyd sitcom from the 1970s, was popular around the world. Even among Native Americans – and I know that for a fact because one told me once. He said: “What the hell’s going on with Mr Humphries?” I blurted out that: “I didn’t even know you could get television in a Teepee,” which I realise now was probably the wrong thing to say. This was 1997, after all. He didn’t live in a Teepee, he lived on a ‘Reservation’ a special place created by the US Government for gambling, alcoholism, social deprivation and Native Americans.
Anyway AYBS featured Sugden as the frustrated spinster Mrs Slocombe forever making reference to her own genitals through a series of clever double-meaning jokes where she always seemed to be looking for her pussy (cat). She was often known to ask people whether they had seen her pussy, whereupon all the other cast members would stand stock still, creating a space for the production team to add on the canned laughter afterwards.
Other versions of this gag that appeared in the show included:
“There were three fourteen year-old schoolboys jabbing at my pussy with twigs last night in the street. I was too scared to tell them to stop. They can be so intimidating at that age.”
“This heatwave’s a real trial. My pussy’s shed so much hair on the rug that I’ve filled up the vacuum cleaner three times.”
“It looks like someone had a busy night. When I woke up and saw my pussy this morning it was covered in filth and smelled of motor oil.”
“When I go on holiday, wherever it is I go, there’s a woman called Julie who comes and strokes my pussy for an hour every two days. And it only costs a tenner a visit. She seems very trustworthy, which is what you want.”
“Once my friend Andrew brought his dog round to my house. To start with the dog growled at my pussy but after a while he curled up on the floor and licked my pussy affectionately. It was so cute that Andrew and I took a series of photographs. We sent them to Hallmark thinking it would make a nice poster, or greetings card. But we never heard back.”
“My pussy makes the most dreadful, blood-curdling noise during sex. It screams like it’s being tortured.”
“I used to live with a man who was allergic to my pussy. Whenever my pussy was anywhere near him he’d sneeze repeatedly. I thought this was hilarious, so I’d often stick my pussy right in front of his face while he was watching television. One time he had an asthma attack and we had to go to A&E. The doctors said I'd been acting irresponsibly.”
“When I was a child my pussy needed an operation and it had to be shaved. Unfortunately it got clipper rash, and that became infected. It looked disgusting and I was a bit squeamish about touching it. So my mum had to rub cream into it twice a day for a week until the infection cleared up. She grumbled about having to do this and said I ought to be responsible for my own pussy.”
“My pussy got cystitis so I took it to the vets and the vet said I had to put it on prescription cat food that costs £27 a bag for the rest of its life. £27!! That’s more expensive even than Iams. For the rest of its life!! Bloody thing’s only three and a half. It’s not worth it. Might as well get the self-centred little shit put down. Who ever heard of a cat getting cystitis anyway!”
It was Mrs Slocombe’s long-running misfortune to be sexually obsessed with gap-toothed old queen Mr Humphries. While Pauline Fowler, the actress who played tasty bit of stuff Miss Brahms, whose job it was to reveal her stocking tops once or twice an episode (something that was once a staple of British sitcom but now seems to have disappeared, more’s the pity), once claimed that Mr Humphries was just a nice man who was good to his mother and not gay, I think we all knew that he was gay. I mean, I’m a nice man who is good to his mother, and I’m not gay. But it would be fine if I was. It’s fine if anyone is. It’s downright helpful if you happen to be playing a character like Mr Humphries.
Anyway, readers, I’ve got to be getting along. I’m going up to Scotland for a few days to visit some friends. We’re staying in the middle of nowhere, so I don’t think there’ll be an internet connection. You’ll have to look after yourselves for a short while, ok?
But I’ll be thinking of you.
Och Aye d'Newsdesk
Over and out.