There was animated conversation, in Mandarin, and some laughter in Great Secret Miss, when I visited the other day. When it subsided I asked Amy to explain. She was initially reluctant, but gave in, knowing my interest in gossip and particularly gossip from that temple of dreams.
A man, white, English, in his forties, new to Great Secret Miss, had asked one of the girls to assist him on his way, in one of the back rooms. This was not unusual. She showed him into the room and went to prepare the kefir. When she returned his clothing was in disarray, although not removed, and he made it clear that the release that he required was not only that of sleep and benevolent dreams but, intermediately, sexual.
This again was not unusual. Some of the girls were prepared to assist, for an honorarium; others were not and took the view that it was a matter entirely in the hands of the client. There was a woman, a regular, who was unable to achieve the release of dreams without an energetic working over first. She just couldn’t nod off. As I say, some of the girls helped her and others left her to her own devices while busying themselves with the preparation of the kefir, but in either event it was a noisy affair and except at busy times the girls tended to keep the rooms to each side empty for fear of frightening the inexperienced.
Not Dame Jenni ™ Murray?
No, she doesn’t need to.
Anyway, on this occasion the girl returned and the client indicated his groin. He had, as I say, pulled his trousers and pants down over his thighs. The girl paused, which angered the man. He grabbed her wrist roughly.
The reason for pausing, the girl explained to Amy later, was not reluctance in principle – she was one of those who were prepared to assist in that way – so much as a momentary failure to establish what exactly she was expected to do.
(Before we deal with the unsavoury details I should perhaps address another point, and it relates to my description of Amy’s assistants as ‘girls’. Dame Jenni ™ Murray, stopping me bodily in the corridor of the film company for that purpose, is not the only one to take me to task.
They are not ‘girls’, they are women, she said. You wouldn’t say that if it was a man. You wouldn’t call them ‘boys’.
No one is more implacably opposed to gender bias than I am, and I would say two things in my defence.
One is that if they were male I would indeed call them boys.
The second is that in earlier posts I did call them ‘women’ and they objected. I never suspected that they followed this blog (Amy doesn’t always) but they clearly do and they came to me in a delegation.
We are not ‘women’, they said, we are Amy’s girls.
WordPress has an exciting function called ‘Edit’ and at their urging I used it.)
Anyway, we must return to Amy’s girl, the client and his groin.
The problem, as explained by the girl to Amy, was that it was extremely small.
Like Sainsbury’s mushroom.
I was momentarily intrigued that she had referred to Sainsbury’s rather than, say, Loon Fung supermarket in Gerrard Street. I suppose that it is because Sainsbury’s sells those little white button mushrooms whereas those at Loon Fung tend to be funkier, more interesting and, well, bigger.
It was so small, Amy’s girl as reported to me by Amy said, that I couldn’t see what I could feasibly do with it. It was flaccid, too.
The girl was there, incidentally, part of our group and nodding as Amy related her story to me.
Anyway, the man apparently seized her wrist roughly again, which resolved that immediate question. She rummaged about a bit and that seemed to give satisfaction. Indeed, after some minutes of this he took a bottle from his pocket, unstoppered it and put it solemnly to his nose.
He gave every sign of extreme enthusiasm, short of tumescence. If it was like a Sainsbury’s mushroom it was not in its perky raw form, as encountered on the shelf in the salad section; more parboiled. He continued to issue loud instructions to the girl, grabbing and manhandling her. She administered the kefir much more perfunctorily than was normal and escaped.
He mustn’t come back, Amy said. No one bullies my girls.
They’d taken a photograph of him to encourage him not to return, in case of any disagreement. They were giggling over it and they showed it to me.
Shame, they said.
But I wondered. Out of male fellow feeling I didn’t inspect the photographed button mushroom but I did look at his face. He had the chilling expression of the celebrity paedophile (‘I’m King Jimmy’), the disdain of the self-regarding cocksman as seen in the pages of Heat magazine. I suspected that he was beyond shame.
But out of male fellow feeling I wasn’t.
Out the back door. Photo in pocket. Trousers failed. Fell, unfortunately, on face.
When Amy was riled, even Mr Lee’s stakeholders could not be more ruthless.