Friday, October 20, 2006

Fleeced!

Send me a postcard,
drop me a line stating point of view.

Indicate precisely what you mean to say,
yours sincerely wasting away.
Give me your answer,
fill in a form,

mine forever more.
Will you still need me,
will you still feed me,
when I'm sixty four?

When Paul ‘Dunkin’ McCartney jotted down this prophetic verse between acid drops as a youthful mop top, he may not have expected it would serve as a profoundly true-to-life script for his twilight years. ‘Serve’ being the operative word this week as the Daily Mail yesterday published what purports to be a leaked deposition from lawyers for the estranged Lady Heather ‘Macbeth’ Mills McCartney.

Never has the banner across Dunkin’s website proclaiming ‘Make Poverty History’ been so poignant. Although, when he designed his homepage, he perhaps wasn’t staring down his own impending impoverishment. What a hardship it must be to contemplate even the meagrest chipping away of an estimated £825m nest egg. How would one eat? Apparently the cooking rota at Dunkin’ mansions was never formally agreed anyway. This is thought to have been a major cause of the marital breakdown. The deposition insists that sixty-four year old retro hubby Dunkin’ insisted on his bacon butties being prepared nightly by Lady M’s own perfumed hand.

Plainly, Dunkin was spoiled by all those years with Linda and an endless supply of her lovingly microwaved ready meals. What a golden time that must have been with Tex Mex refried bean enchiladas, soy toad in the hole and flame grilled lentil burgers to choose from. If I had that much money I’d have Jamie Oliver make my tea every night. In fact, I’d have a team of Jamie Olivers – a different one for every day of the week. I guess the composer of Penny Lane must know a thing or two about thrift that I don’t.

Remarkably, as the custodians of this prodigious fortune and with such an obvious need for a battalion of carers, the McCartneys Mark II don’t seem to have hired anyone to do anything around the house. In fact, they seem to be living in some kind of hovel in the middle of a forest somewhere, perhaps a yurt. Following recent surgery on her amputated leg, Lady M is reduced to crawling around this yurt like an extra from Freaks. What happened to her crutches? Have they been thrown on the fire in an effort to stave off hypothermia or perhaps borrowed by little Beatrice Milly’s nursery for its seasonal production of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol?

Lady M ‘often needs to go to the bathroom during the night, when her prosthetic limb is not fitted and so has to crawl on her hands and knees. This causes calluses and scrapes on her knees. She asked the petitioner [Dunkin’] if she could buy an antique bedpan to keep under the bed and use at night if necessary (whilst he was asleep) so as to avoid her having to struggle’, intones the deposition.

An ‘antique bedpan’? Why yes – an exquisite example was to be auctioned at Sotheby’s that very week. Previously owned by Elizabeth I and kept beneath the bed she secretly shared with her beloved Essex (that would be the Earl of Essex rather than the county cricket team of the same name), what could have been more perfect? It was bound to be a snip with a reserve price of £550,000. But no, cruel Dunkin’ apparently ‘objected vociferously, saying that it would be like being in "an old woman’s home”’. Technically that’s true as Elizabeth I would be nearly 500 years old if she were alive today. It may not have occurred to Lady M that she might have made do with a recycled yoghurt container in the interim. I mean if it was that or crawling to the little girls’ room on your hands and knees … I guess it is not in the nature of a celeb to compromise.

We need no reminders that when a celeb sneezes, the world contracts pneumonia, so potent is their effect on the mortal masses. High profile dating agent and former Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan revealed in the Mail that it was he who struck the fatal match.

‘I remember the moment well. It was Macca's first real public appearance since the death of his wife, Linda, and he turned up an hour late after agonising all morning whether to come or not. 'This is not easy for me,' he whispered tearfully in my ear…I genuinely felt for him. But Paul perked up enormously when a feisty buxom lady called Heather Mills marched on stage… I introduced her to Paul after the show, and before I knew it they'd fallen in love’, confessed a distraught Piers in the Daily Mail today.

So there you have the essence of it in a FabergĂ© egg. Celebs are born with a different internal clock (not to mention moral compass). Nothing to do with time constrains them. In fact, I am working on a theory that celebs reject the very concept of numbers which is why none of them seem to comprehend the obscenity of either their wealth or demands. I’ll work on that some more. Something tells me the evidence base will be wide. Meanwhile we’ll all have a lot of fun seeing how much of that £825m gets hoovered up in lawyer’s fees. Dunkin’ may live to regret all that penny pinching. No more lonely nights? Betfair has decent odds.

Cartoon from www.leonardcohenforum.com

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