Airbrushed For Change
Stacia BriggsI had that David Cameron at the end of my desk, once. There I was, dutifully banging away at my keyboard with another red-hot news exclusive for the good citizens of Norwich ('Lipstick v Lipgloss: The Truth') last autumn when suddenly I realised I had company.Stacia Briggs
I had that David Cameron at the end of my desk, once.
There I was, dutifully banging away at my keyboard with another red-hot news exclusive for the good citizens of Norwich ('Lipstick v Lipgloss: The Truth') last autumn when suddenly I realised I had company.
At the time, I was seated within spitting distance - not that I ever tried - of the editor's office and David Cameron was waiting at the end of my desk while his people spoke to our people about something or other that seemed very pressing.
"Working on anything good?" he said.
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I could have asked him the same question, but instead decided to be winningly enigmatic - a good journalist doesn't reveal a story before it's gone to print otherwise no one would buy the paper.
"This and that," I said. Looking back, it was quite a meaningful and special moment.
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Before he left, I noticed that he was, actually, quite handsome in a posh, shooting-at-the-weekend, villa-in-the-South-of-France, Aston-Martin-on-the-drive, Hunter-wellies-in-the-vestibule, Horse-and-Hound-ruddy-complexion kind of way.
To put it short, if I HAD to with a Tory, he'd be a close second after Michael Portillo, the former shadow chancellor for the exchequer who is a now-not-so-secret crush of mine (on this note, I urge you to visit the biography on his website at michaelportillo.co.uk - not only do you get a Daniel O'Donnell style picture showing him wistfully embracing the countryside in a Barber jacket, but in the background there's also the kind of soothing music they play in dental surgeries to stop you having panic attacks).
So it was against this backdrop of having seen the man himself at close quarters that I considered the accusation that Cameron's new election posters have been airbrushed to make him look younger and tauter than a cast member from Hollyoaks.
In the poster, Cameron's face is so smooth that it looks as if Tory HQ has removed a plastic capsule from inside a Kinder Egg, drawn on hair and a face and then photographed it for posterity.
His hair looks suspiciously thick, his nose looks decidedly slimmer, his lips are fuller and he's wearing enough foundation to build an entire housing estate on.
Also, his face is now 10ft tall - that's definitely fakery: when I met him, his head was nowhere near that big, even though he was being plagued by several of my female colleagues who were desperate to have their picture taken with him (no, really).
He looks like an eerie waxwork or a tame sex doll for the terminally unadventurous - like Father Dougal from Father Ted kicked through Dracula before landing in a spray-tanning booth turned up to 11.
It's a spectacular own-goal from the Conservatives: when your leader is regularly criticised as being a slick PR man, all fa�ade and no substance, it's probably not the best idea to present an image of him looking faker than a �4 banknote.
And the wording is ill-chosen, too - "We can't go on like this - I'll cut the deficit, not the NHS".
It sounds as if Cameron is ending a one-sided relationship or making a late-night call to the Samaritans; additionally, it hammers home the message that he's the only Conservative we've ever heard of - be honest, even if you were held up at gunpoint, could you name more than two members of the shadow cabinet? (deduct 3,000 points if you said 'Margaret Thatcher' or 'Tori Spelling').
Equally, choosing the NHS as a target is surely a bit rich (like most Tories) when six months ago we watched MEP Daniel Hannan on American television cheerfully slamming the organisation like Simon Cowell judging a 300lb ballerina on Britain's Got Talent.
Hannan got a rap over the knuckles from Cameron for slating the NHS, but he kept his job despite doing the equivalent of flashing the Queen on a state visit to Saudi Arabia.
I'm also unconvinced that someone who can casually spend �500k plastering 650 10ft posters of himself across the country is the best-placed to cut any kind of deficit, unless the deficit in question is a woeful lack of billboard posters of David Cameron.
Perhaps I'm just jealous: when I have my photograph taken (see above) I invariably end up looking as if someone malicious has manipulated my picture to make me look even more like an embittered crone than I do in real life.
I can't go on like this: clearly, I need to employ David Cameron's Photoshop team.
X Doesn't Mark the G-Spot
Like Bigfoot, the Abominable Snowman or the Loch Ness Monster, scientists have finally proven that the G-Spot doesn't exist.
This is welcome news to anyone for whom searching for the elusive spot has always been, for want of a better phrase, a wild stab in the dark.
Scientists working at King's College in London have revealed there is no evidence to support the existence of the G-Spot which was 'discovered' by German gynaecologist Dr Ernst Grafenberg decades ago.
I always thought a woman's 'seat of pleasure' was a chair positioned in front of the EastEnders omnibus, but according to Dr Grafenberg, it was a nerve-packed area that packed a sexual punch second to none.
Unsurprisingly, the search for the G-Spot has been similar to that for the Holy Grail, Noah's Ark or the key to the shed which was last seen in 1993 near the broken umbrella in the hall: time-consuming, dull and ultimately pointless.
Personally, I find it hard to get too upset at the G-Spot's demise, because you can't miss what you never had, or that no one ever found or, indeed, bothered to look for with any degree of enthusiasm.
In my experience, the men I have encountered find it hard enough to find a bottle of bleach in a supermarket: their chances of finding a minute spot of questionable existence without benefit of large signs, helpful assistants and a tannoy system is negligible, at best.
Sex Addiction - Sounds Like A Bit Too Much Hard Work
It's a passion-filled column this week - Michael Portillo, the G-Spot and now good old Tiger Woods, who has reportedly checked into an exclusive clinic in order to seek help for his sex addiction.
'Sex addiction' sounds quite dangerous and thrilling - a bit like an early album from Prince before he changed his name to a symbol - when in reality, I expect it's a bit of a bind, especially if the urge strikes when you're somewhere really inappropriate like an undertakers or in the middle of a carol service.
Is it, I wonder, simply a PR re-branding exercise for people we used to call 'perverts' - a bit like when Marathons changed their name to Snickers, but a bit sweatier - or is it what happens when you're rich and well-known enough to entice a partner to join you as opposed to sitting in your darkened bedroom practicing the Biblical art of onanism?
Being addicted to drugs or alcohol is a little bit more clear-cut: we all know what happens to people if they indulge too much in illicit substances, but I doubt you'll find many sex addicts feasting from the bins outside supermarkets and sleeping in car parks - or if you do, they'll be rubbish sex addicts that never get any sex.
At the sex clinic where Tiger Woods is said to be receiving treatment, he can look forward to "one-to-one sessions on shame reduction", art (no life drawing sessions allowed), exercise and yoga in addition to a toe-curling "Disclosure Day" where he will be expected to fill his wife in - not like that - on every single one of his extra-marital encounters.
I expect the shame reduction tutorials may be useful for the morning after that particular night before.
Hopefully, Tiger Woods will take himself in hand and beat this thing. Actually, if he'd stuck to that in the first place, he wouldn't be staring down the barrel of an expensive divorce - you live and learn.
�Stacia Briggs will be away next week at a shame reduction refresher course and will return on February 8.