Friday, 17 April 2015

My Harold Covington Moment

I can’t remember the exact date, but I was fifty years old at the time, and having reached that age, an age I thought I would never live to see, I was feeling more than a twinge of regret at the inevitability of dying without issue.

I was in Central London not far from Cambridge Circus, and it was a sunny evening. Coming towards me was a tall, young, bearded man, blond or blondish, and handsome. Something about him caught my eye, and I thought if I’d had a son, he would probably be about his age, and impressive physical specimen that he was, I would have been proud to call him mine. Then something unthinkable happened. He was walking with another man of about the same age, this man was clean shaven, and they were talking. Then, to my utter horror, as they were right on top of me, the bearded man put his arm around his companion’s waist. I couldn’t believe it, and as they passed me I turned to look back to ensure I wasn’t daydreaming. Sadly it was not a daydream but a nightmare; they were actually walking off like lovers.

At that point, I thought of Wicked Harold, a man who is nowhere near as wicked as his myriad enemies believe, nor as wicked as he likes to make out, as I know from personal experience. Harold has never been shy about ranting against queers. While I’ve never been able to take lesbianism seriously, there are few things that disgust me as much as male homosexuality. Suddenly I was glad to be both fifty years old and childless, because if this man had indeed been my son, I would have died of shame.

Friday, 3 April 2015

A Degree Of Separation

You really begin to feel your age when you are separated by one degree of separation from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Almost. When Samuel J. Seymour was knee high to a grasshopper. his godmother took him to the theatre, and while there, on April 14, 1863, John Wilkes Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln in the head. The President died the following morning. On February 9, 1956, Mr Seymour appeared on the American Quiz show I’ve Got A Secret wherein one of the panel guessed correctly what was his secret, namely that he was the last living witness to the Lincoln assassination.

Seymour J. Seymour died April 12, 1956, and less than four months later I was born, so in theory I could almost have met him, though sometimes, when my back is at its worst, I feel like I actually met Lincoln.

Having said that, I have a closer connection to Adolf Hitler, having shaken the hand of a man who had shaken the hand of a man who had actually shaken hands with the F├╝hrer. That is probably not something to boast about, so I will say that my connection to royalty is a lot closer, having been in the same room as both Charles and the tragic Diana, although not at the same time.