"So what?" you may ask. "I myself think of tits no less than 329 times a day." Yeah, ok, fair enough. You and a bunch of my friends. But bear with me. This is noteworthy for several reasons. I do not recall ever, in the last forty-some years, greeting the day with thoughts of tits. Oh, I can appreciate a nice rack when I see one. I'm gay, not blind. But I spend just slightly more time mulling them over (even in passing thoughts) than I do thinking about which kosher wine I'll serve with breakfast, what's in this month's issue of Cat Fancy, or whether this is the weekend I'll finally crochet a cover for my oven.
To clarify: I do none of that.
|Bardot and her, um, raccoon eyes|
They were being talked about in my mind in the gravelly, booze-worn voice of British actor Michael Gambon. Though Gambon is known to younger generations as Professor Dumbledor in the Harry Potter movies, his roles as dangerous, dastardly men are what stick in my mind. Albert Spica, for instance, in The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover or Eddie Temple in Layer Cake. The voice, though I could not make out particular words, had a distinctly lascivious tone. Not wholly unexpected, given that these were, after all, tits being talked about, but the voice was overbearing, boorish. I pictured him pawing at me while explaining something...something that clutched at the edges of my memory, then slipped away. This had to do with dinner. I was sure of it. Did Bardot, perhaps, pen a cookbook? And it wasn't jugs, or hooters, or headlights; it was...
My eyes snapped open. I had it! In my best Michael Gambon voice, I barked out "...roast chicken like Bridget Bardot’s tits." A muffled hrrmpf came from the other side of the bed. Not everyone was awake yet.
The phrase that had been haunting me was from A.A. Gill's essay Tour De Gall in last April's Vanity Fair. The piece is so good, so anchored in my memory, that it seemed to have had me wondering whether I'd switched teams in my sleep. In it, Gill wrote about the Paris restaurant L’Ami Louis, frequented by titans of state and screen and which he excoriates, in devilish detail, as the Worst Restaurant in the World. I like the passage below dealing with the recommendation best in the Michael Gambon voice. Try that bit in Michael Caine's if you like, but not soft, velvet Old Michael Caine: Young Michael Caine, all loud and nasal and vaguely threatening.
In all my years as a restaurant critic I have learned that there is a certain type of florid, blowsy, patrician Brit who will sidle up and bellow, with a fruity bluster, that if I ever happen to find myself in Paris (as if Paris were a cul-de-sac on a shortcut to somewhere else) there is this little place he knows, proper French, none of your nouvelle nonsense, bloody fantastic foie gras, and roast chicken like Bridget Bardot’s tits, and that I should go. But, they add, don’t bloody write about it.If you missed it the first time around, read Gill's essay. L’Ami Louis may or may not be the worst restaurant in the world, but Tour De Gall is the most enjoyable restaurant review I've read in a long time.
And if you still can't quite place Gambon, here he is as Albert Spica in Peter Greenaway's The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover. Not entirely Safe for Work, but, then, you're sitting there reading about tits, so either you're not at work or you suffer from the delusion that nobody knows what you're doing on company time. That's Helen Mirren with the hair and a very young Tim Roth at the table.