Thursday, 18 June 2015

Stop The Gossip

I dislike gossip. I think because I dislike the effect that it has on its often innocent victims.

I pride myself that I simply won’t be drawn into pre-emptive, derogatory remarks about colleagues, friends or even complete strangers.  I prefer to understand people by how they treat me and not listen to the poison that some delight in passing on. I would be very hurt if it were to happen to me. I have a big, tender and generous heart. My philosophy in life is firstly not to listen to the nasties and secondly if some, ‘well-meaning- holder-of-a- big-wooden-spoon’ attempts to damage another’s reputation in my earshot, I will not acquiesce and I will certainly not pass on the information to others.
Perhaps because my parents both served during WW2, Mum making aircraft and Dad in India, the idea was instilled that ‘Loose lips costs ships.’ Gossip during the war cost lives. Gossip and misinformation can be a very dangerous thing even now. I have signed the Official Secrets Act at least three times and have been entrusted with many secrets in my workplace.
The Freedom of Information Act has turned us into a nation of truth seekers. We no longer have to suffer the indignity of being denied access to the truth and judging by the amount of lies, corruption and crime that has been secreted away in the filing cabinets of those who sought to protect perpetrators’, this is a long-overdue change in British Law.
Naturally, we may never discover who kidnapped Shergar, or the real location of Lord Lucan, but if people who try to damage children are not sleeping at night, people who cover-up wrong-doing during a football stadium disaster and newspaper hackers have to be named and punished, then we are really beginning to call a halt to much of the nastiness in British society.
During a recent poetry assignation, I was very pleased to uncover the truth about the lives of several celebrity visitors to The Imperial Hotel in Blackpool.  I have a shared history with the hotel: my Dad was Head Cocktail Bartender during the 1950s and I had a little insider information about one or two guests. A lot more research helped me to call a halt to an urban myth that grew from the sensationalised circumstances surrounding her death and also helped to discredit the gossips who painted her in stereotypical fashion.

Jayne Mansfield Slept Here 

Platinum blonde and buxom,
the beaming Broadway babe,
bomb-shelled into Hollywood
aboard “The Wayward Bus”.
Typecast by the studios,
in a string of dumbed-down roles,
Jayne was exploited willingly,
despite her intellect, her violin and arts degree.
“Promises, Promises” was an overnight sensation
naked on the screen, she was a total revelation
leaving absolutely nothing to the imagination,
and she became a Playboy centre- fold
wearing only staples and a smile.
When she came to Blackpool
she lit the Golden Mile.
At the Imperial she made a splash,
bouncing down the stairs
in a flash of brash bikini,
turning heads and steaming glasses
of the afternoon tea set,
jaws all dropping at the thought
of Mrs Mansfield getting wet,
swimming in the hotel pool;
and when she left her Royal suite,
bartenders rolled between her sheets,
so they could boast, or so it’s said,
they’d been in the lady’s bed!
Jayne died at thirty-five
on the road to New Orleans,
two children by her side,
her beloved Chihuahuas
tucked in for the ride.
Black and white stills
scream in a technicolour dream,
brutally exposing her final scene.
So the legend mangled into urban myth,
but we can reveal that both alive or dead,
Hollywood star, Jayne Mansfield
always kept her head.
Thanks for reading. Adele



Steve Rowland said...

A great poem, Adele. Thank you. Jayne Mansfield hoped she'd be giving violin recitals in England - poor girl, Working Men's Clubs must have been something of a culture shock for her!