Thursday, 18 June 2009


In all the excitement of weekend-break season, I have had no time at all to reflect on my excursion by Thames river boat (on which I pretended I was, by turns, Melanie Griffith in Working Girl and a high-ranking, fierce-but-fair river-cop in a bland midweek TV drama almost certainly called River Cops only I think that is actually a real TV programe, who can run incredibly fast and is some kind of martial arts supremo but also gets seasick – oh! see how she is vulnerable!) to see Britney Spears at the O2 arena.

Let's gloss over the Spears Management Team's cavalier approach to Britney's personal safety, as she is lowered into the arena from a great height.

(It's probably impossible to get Britney any kind of insurance these days – ticking, as she must, the box on the application form marked 'Would people refer to you as a loose cannon?' – so her People have clearly decided that any kind of workplace-related accident may as well be played for maximum drama. Yes, let's put her in tiny sparkly hotpants and trap her in a flimsy, glittering cage high, high up in the rafters – what a Powerful Metaphor For Her Own Life. (Britney's Circus tour is full of Powerful Metaphors For Her Own Life. It should totally be on the GCSE syllabus.)

Let's turn away from the sinister Circus theme, with its dwarf ringmaster (I think he was a dwarf, we were sitting pretty far back, etc etc) and its illusionist who sawed Britney into pieces (hasn't she suffered enough? etc etc. And also: Oh look, another PMFHOL).

Instead, let's talk about snacks. It's one of the all-time great subjects.

I love a gimmick, anyone will tell you that, so I was way excited by the idea of popcorn in a Britney-branded carton. In the years to come, when Britney wins some kind of Nobel prize for, like, Doing A Bunch Of Totally Awesome Stuff, my adopted Vietnamese children will be able to pawn this highly collectable piece of merchandise to fund their university education.

However, by the time I'd found my way to the stand, the conventional, remotely edible flavours of Britney popcorn were long gone. The only options left were salty (I don't think so), Toffee Apple and Toffee Banana. What would you do, readers? With stocks disappearing before my very eyes like sand through one of those timer things that has sand running through it, I rushed headlong into toffee banana. My clammy logic was that I far prefer an artificial banana flavour to the flavour of an actual banana (mmm, delicious banana milkshakes and banana Toffos and foam bananas). 'Keep one hand under the bottom,' the vendor said to me as I walked off with my carton. I did for about five minutes until I forgot, because Britney was descending from the ceiling in a glittery cage. Me and my companion, Ms D, fell into the conventional popcorn feeding pattern of hand-carton-hand-mouth-hand-carton-hand-mouth, like popcorn-eating, Britney-watching automatons.

Five minutes later I became aware that I could no longer feel my tongue. I can tell you that toffee banana popcorn is the sweetest thing on this earth. It is more saccharine than all of Britney's ballads put together, and I'm including I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman in that. Pretty soon, the Britney popcorn was languishing forgotten under our seats while Ms D and I asked each other 'Is this one Womanizer?' every time Britney broke into another vocodered synth-bot anthem, which was pretty much every song.

Poor lonely toffee banana popcorn in need of someone to love it. Just like Britney. PMFHOLs are truly everywhere when you think about it.

I kept the carton though. I don't know what that says about Britney.


Anonymous said...

PMFHOL? pissing myself on the floor howling out loud?

Anonymous said...

Fellow anonymous, this troubled me too until I re-read the first paragraph.

PMFHOL = Powerful Metaphor For Her Own Life.

F A said...

I stand both humbled and indebted FA (Fellow Anonymous). I should have heeded years of teachers' advice to go back and read the text. Thank you!

Miss Jones said...

Aww, look at you Anons playing nicely together. It warms my heart. x