Sunday, 3 April 2011

Décadence Mandchoue

The memoir of Sir Edmund Trelawney Backhouse, 2nd Bt. (Backhouse /bækˈʌs/, which is appropriate) will be published this week, and a cracking good read it looks, even if it is a load of old cobblers.

I wouldn't be so sure though. Reading the review I was reminded of my own time in China; if I published a memoir of life in Guangzhou in the mid-noughties no-one would believe it. I could tell of the divorcée who invited me to move in and offered to sweeten the deal by installing a concubine or two. The girlfriend who came over one night with her 17 year old, uninitiated, eager cousin. The unspeakably depraved practices of Mystic Meg from Hiroshima. The policewoman who, upon discovering the effects of black resin on the male member, ensured that there was always a ready supply on the bedside table. The millionaire's daughter who drove me to a nightclub with one hand on the wheel of the Merc and the other not, at every traffic light her head bobbing down for a quick...

As I say, no-one would believe me, dismissing it as the fantasies of an early-middle-aged wanker in the desert. Perhaps I'll publish it as fiction. It's lucky I got out when I did though: men who've been in China too long often have a glassy-eyed, vacant look and trembling hands.

The indefatigable LC, who has been in China for eight of the last ten years, but scorns such Bacchanalia, recently sent me this essay from one of his undergraduate students ("a stunner, not that it's relevant, Simon"), which will give you some idea of the temptations:

My Treasured Underwear
Actually, there are many things I treasure in my life, but at school I value my underwear most. Since I prefer underwear which has colourful or lovely cartoon images printed on it, my chosen underwear can represent my favour and mood.
Just before spring, I value my underwear as my second most loved treasure. Once it starts raining outside, the sun prefers to stay behind the dark cloudy sky instead of coming out to dry my wet underwear. My lovely, poor underwear never dries in time, so I have no alternative but to wear whichever underwear I will choose for my favour and mood.
Oh my dear underwear, ignoring that you are so wet that I shouldn't wear you, I still love you. I love you for your pink colour - light and dark pink, candy pink and cherry red. I love you for the lovely lace which decorates your legs and top. I love you for your images of Sponge Bob Square Pants, cats, doggies, bunnies and Winnie the Pooh. And I love you for decorating my life in a way that other people can't see or feel. That's excepting the X-man, of course, who with his x-ray specs can see anything, including my lovely treasured underwear.

There you have it. I shall finish with a little verse of my own, not overburdened with literary merit perhaps, but an accurate portrait of a Guangzhou day:

In the morning Su, who stroked me sweetly
Afternoon Lu, who yelled out 'Please beat me'
And that night was Zita, puffs and tumbles
Won't be long before somebody grumbles.

17 comments:

Sonia Rumzi said...

That was a good laugh this morning. Excellent.

Anonymous said...

Pretty interesting site you've got here. Thanks for it. I like such themes and anything that is connected to this matter. I definitely want to read more soon. Julia Hakkinen

Simon M Hunter said...

Thanks both. Glad you enjoyed it.

MeltonM said...

When in China, according to that map, you should have certain natural advantages.

My underwear comes from Value at Tesco, and is chosen to reflect my usual mood, which is black.

Bydaderisms said...

I had a pair of knickers once which had a gold charm-like "C" ornamentation to the front which occasioned the wisecrack "I don't need directions". Turned out he needed it in the singular though.

Simon M Hunter said...

Thank you both for sharing your intimates

MeltonM said...

Your turn. Thong or posing pouch?

Simon M Hunter said...

Haven't I been intimate enough? Lurid purple polyester boxers decorated with black serpents and thorns. But don't tell anyone.

LC said...

You guys! She was only trying to cheer me out of my black Tesco mood! Wish I'd never shared this with you, Simon!

Simon M Hunter said...

No use crying now; your notoriety is assured. I predict an imminent human flesh search engine.

LC said...

Notoriety? As the recipient of a writing assignment? Or as the clown who shared it with you?

I do believe they'd have more fun hunting you down. And they'll find a way...

Simon M Hunter said...

Yes! Gentle poet hounded by outraged netizens. Millions of 'Disgusted of Dalian' posts to this blog. The glory! Pity Blogger is censored in China.

I should point out that I did say I would publish, giving you the chance to veto...

LC said...

With your last comment you have punctured my "hurt persona". Yes, I know.

Rarareen said...

Hello LC,

I must say I was shocked by your submission (be more assertive, ha), so much so that I vowed never again to wear panties lest they become the catalyst for a bad thought. R

LC said...

That has of course been a popular suggestion for the young girl, Rarareen:
"Just leave off the underwear next time, please! I'd prefer not to spend the class wondering which particular pair you might have chosen today and how that choice correlates with your present mood."

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say your Blog is in my rss you got a way with words.. Cheers,

Simon M Hunter said...

You're welcome, Anon. Thanks for the compliment.