Talent in a Previous Life

Because It's Never Just About the Music

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Slash! Aah-Aaaah! 

Wow! Last week's tale of dirty dealings with Harry McFly and Shaggy was so hot that this week we've had to go to the other extreme with this little erotic exposition that we like to call A Touch of Frost...

It's the 16th of July in the year 2000 and the nation is in turmoil. Everyone had had such high hopes for the new Millennium but now, in the cold - actually warm, but don't spoil the flow - light of summer, only disappointment reigned. Where were the monorails? What happened to all our food being available in pill form? The expected roll out of 3D holographic TV sets failed to materialise and in every wardrobe throughout the land a silversuit hangs, moth eaten and dejected, still awaiting it's moment in the spotlight. In a small shabby council flat, somewhere in Liverpool, it's about to get a lot more disappointing for one young lady...

"Mam! Mam!", shouts a girl's voice, "They're about to start doing the chart!"

"OK, Jenny, calm down, I'm coming", comes a voice from the kitchen, "I'm just pouring you a glass of orange juice"

"Thanks Mam!", said Jenny Frost, for it was she, who was sitting in the living room, cuddling a cushion and listening eagerly as Mark Goodier began the important job of telling the nation exactly what they'd bought that week. As her mum came through, sat down next to her and handed her a glass of orange flavoured Hooch, Jenny smiled, and clutched her hand. "We're gonna be number one this week, I can feel it!", she squealed.

Jenny's mum had already seen the midweeks and was less convinced. She knew that, despite Precious being selected to represent Britain in Eurovision, the public never really took to their brand of girl pop and that the number 6 position for Swear It Again in 1999 was likely to be the peak of their career. Being a mum, though, and therefore being duty, morally and, indeed, legally bound to offer support to her kids and not shatter any of their dreams no matter now futile they may be, she didn't tell her this, but instead squeezed her daughter's hand and said "We'll see hon, it's all down to Mark Goodier now, but no matter where it goes I'll be proud of you".

Jenny clapped her hands excitedly as the Hooch began to go to her head and Mark began to get closer to the top position. Unfortunately though, he was still miles away from it when he made the announcement Jenny was waiting for; "And it's a brand new entry for Precious at...", he paused, Jenny leaned closer to the speaker, desperate to hear the position, seemingly unable to work out that because he'd just played the song at number 28 she must be at number 27. Her mum grimaced, preparing for a flood of tears and the need to give a reassuring hug. The lodger swore under his breath unaware that a phone-call later on that evening would be life changing, but as he will play no further part in this tale, we too will remain ignorant of that event. Mark Goodier, having paused for just long enough to let those events unfold, unleashed his bombshell, "27, with It's Gonna Be My Way".

There was silence. The only sound that could be heard was that of a clock ticking, Mark having decided that 3 minutes of dead air was preferable to playing the Precious track. Suddenly, Jenny let out a cry, the information about her chart placing having finally managed to make it's way from her inner ear to her brain. "MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM!", she sobbed, "It's not fair!".

"There, there", said the mother, in a mothering kind of way, "It's OK"

"But I wanted to be a popstar!", she cried.

"And you were, maybe the next single will do better, what's it called? New Beginning?"

"Yeah, Mam, that's right, but it's rubbish!", she said as tears streaked her cheeks, "It's got number 50 written all over it. Look!". She brandished a promo copy of said single and it did indeed have the phrase "Number 50 with a Bullet" scrawled all over the cover in black marker pen. "It's no good Mam! I'm a failure", and this sent her off into fresh paroxysms of sobs.

"Well, it's not so bad, it's not like your life is over. I'm sure Uncle Bobby will still be able to get you a job at the local Asda, that'd be fun, wouldn't it? You'd get to work on the tills and they give you your own uniform and everything. You'd like that, wouldn't you?"

Judging by the anguished wails that came from Jenny's side of the sofa, however, it seemed very definite that she wouldn't.

While Jenny made a fist of pure emotion to disguise her head of shattered dreams, Mark Goodier was not allowing all this drama to distract him from the job at hand. Indeed, it seemed he was getting through the top 40 in record time, having counted down all the records between 26 and 11 in the time it took for Jenny and her mum to have that brief conversation. By the time Jenny had refocused her attention on the radio, Mark was cheerfully announcing, with little regard to her feelings, that Atomic Kitten had just achieved their third top ten hit with the mighty I Want Your Love, which just set her off again.

"Look Mam! They're successful, why couldn't I have joined them instead of being seduced by the bright lights of Eurovision? I could have been a star instead of that thick girl with the big boobs, what's she got that I haven't?"

"The only difference is that she's got bigger breasts", her mum mumbled under her breath.

"What was that?", asked Jenny, suspiciously.

"I mean...", she sighed, perhaps honesty was the best policy after all, "I just think that maybe you're not really cut out for the girl band life."

"Why not?!", shouted Jenny, "It's all I've ever dreamed off, I didn't skive off school to practice dance routines and learn how to give inane answers in interviews for nothing, you know!"

"Yes but, honey.. and I'm only saying this because I love you, it's just that your voice is a bit rubbish and you're not exactly the prettiest girl in the world. No amount of make-up is going to hide your blokish chin."

"But, Mam..." began Jenny.

"No buts, young lady. The sooner you accept you look like a half-way convincing transvestite the better, now come on, get your coat on and we'll go and ask Uncle Bobby about that job. Let's strike while the iron's hot."

"No mam!", said Jenny, defiant. "I will get my coat, but I'm not going to Uncle Bobby's. Not now, not ever. I'm going to go out and I'm gonna be a star and I'll show you. I'll have a massive career singing mid-tempo ballads and everyone will, if not love me, then at least vaguely torelate my presence, so there!" and with that, she grabbed her jacket and stormed out of the house, slamming the door behind her, and going to the only place where she knew she'd get help and support.

"Uncle Bobby, I've left home, can I sleep here?"

* * * * *

It was now December and Jenny was standing outside of the offices of Atomic Kitten's record company. Precious' last single had, as predicted, failed to make the top 40, and any promise of having a long term career with them had died at the same time, but Jenny wasn't about to give up hope, she had the blind optimism of only the truly stupid. She had an inability to comprehend what was going on in front of her nose and a complete refusal to accept the facts, but, more than that, she also had a plan. She'd heard rumours that Kerry was wanting out of the band due to pregnancy and she was going to take over. No-one said it was a good plan, but it was hers, and she was goint to see it through, which was why she now found herself shivering outside an anonymous office on an industrial estate in Liverpool, trying to work out what her next move should be.

Despite the fact it was winter, and therefore pretty chilly, Jenny was shivering a lot more than any other Liverpudlian resident. This was because, even though the wind was whistling and the snow was swirling, Jenny was dressed in a denim microskirt and a pink strappy croptop and was leaving little to the imagination. There was method in her madness though, and it wasn't just that she had a back-up plan of forming the world's first all Smurf girl band - which, to be fair, she did - but after the argument with her mother she'd taken a long hard look at herself in the mirror and was forced to admit that, yes, her features were a bit mannish and there was only so much she could do with creative use of hairspray. Realising that this would ultimately be a bit of a problem in joining a young, sexy, attractive girlband or, slightly more relevantly, Atomic Kitten, she decided that she needed to make sure that people would be unlikely to ever be looking at her face, hence the outfit.

Suddenly, her phone beeped, it was a text message from the Smash Hits Pop News service: "Kerry has left Atomic Kitten, replacement to be announced shortly". As the five pound that she was charged for each message was debited from her bank account, Jenny smiled, it was action stations. Sure enough, a pregnant blonde girl left the building with a glow that was either that of the traditional pregnant woman or was caused by the burning anger of being sacked from a girl band for the crime of having got yourself up the duff. No matter, though, this was Jenny's moment, and she barged through the doors and went up to the security guard.

"Hi", she said in a sultry voice, "I need to go to the meeting where they decide who the new Atomic Kitten will be." She ran a finger down his shirt. "I could make it worth your while." She purred.

"OK, it's up the stairs, second door on your left. Have fun", said the guard as he stepped aside to let her pass.

"Oh, ummm, OK", said Jenny, surprised, "Don't you want to have sex with me first?"

"No, not really", came the cheerful reply, "You look a bit too mannish for my liking and I'm worried about what equipment might be in your knickers. You just go right ahead. Good luck!". He doffed his cap as Jenny went up the stairs, muttering to herself, with only occasional words audible such as "supposedly erotic", "all bloody set-up so far" and "I may be a fictional recreation, but I still want to get my end away", which is, admittedly, clearly audible full sentences, rather than muttering, but what are you going to do?

At the door of the meeting room stood another security guard. He was taller, more muscled, more imposing and carried a dubiously shaped weapon in his hand which seemed to have been more likely to have been purchased from Ann Summers, rather than a more traditional truncheon emporium. Now this, thought Jenny, alongside most of the readership, had better lead to some action, as she whipped her top off and made similar pleadings to before about being allowed in and what she might do in return.

The guard looked her up and down, she was still blue from the cold. "You know what, I've always wanted to shag a Smurf. I'll do it if you promise to call me Gargamel."

Jenny shrugged, she didn't seem to have much choice. "Sure, Gargamel", she agreed and followed him to his office where he removed his uniform and pulled on a pair of bright red boots and a purple tunic.

"Shall we have some pseudo smurf sex then?", he asked.

She looked at her watch, "OK, but make it quick, I don't want them making their decision without me."

They had some pseudo smurf sex.

"Oh, Smurfette", said 'Gargamel'

"Oh, Gargamel", said 'Smurfette'

They finished up and Jenny quickly dressed and moved towards the office.

"Don't you want your knickers?", said the guard, noticing them discarded on a lampshade.

"No need", said Jenny, as she tugged her skirt down, before having a second thought and hiking it back up again. "How do I look?"

"Like a little slut", said the guard.

"Perfect!" smiled Jenny, "Now let me into that meeting."

"Certainly." The guard led her back to the room and opened the door. "Hey guys", he said to the threesome in the room, "Got a slapper here who'd like to try out for the band, is that OK?"

"Sure", said a male voice from within. "Send her in".

Jenny entered the room, sitting around an oval table where three people who quite usefully all introduced themselves, one at a time.

"Hi! I'm Liz McClarnon, I'm in the band", said one.

"Hi! I'm Natasha Hamilton, I'm in the band, as well", said another.

"And Hi! I'm Andy McCluskey from OMD, the Liverpool-based synthisizer band who had numerous international hits, including Maid of Orleans, which was Germany's biggest seller in 1982"

"Hi everyone!", Jenny smiled at them, "I'm Jenny Frost, I wanna join the band"

Andy looked her up and down. "Well, I dunno, I've heard your work in Precious and I wasn't that impressed, so I'm tempted to say no.". Jenny looked downcast. "On the other hand,", he continued, "you are wearing a very short skirt, so... you're in! On one condition..."

"What's that", said Jenny, nervously.

"That you'll be happy singing dull, mid-tempo ballads and only ever being tolerated, rather than being loved.", said Andy, solemnly.

"That's my dream!" gasped Jenny.

"Then you're on board, then.", said Andy, "Hooray! Welcome to the band. Now, how about we celebrate by me doing all of you right now, slowly, on this table?"

"Sure!", said the girls, enthusiastically.

Andy did all of them right then, slowly, on the table.

"Oooh", went Jenny.

"Aaah", went Natasha.

"Eee", went Liz

"Oh, Andy", sighed Jenny, "You can have my hole again"

"You know what", said Andy, mid-thrust, "That's just given me an idea..."

The End