Ryde carnival queens’ float, with a man taking part.
THE VIEW FROM HERE A FABULOUS row has erupted after Ryde carnival queens’ float was disqualified in its intended category at Cowes and Ventnor parades because it had, oo-er, men on it.
Ryde Carnival Association chairman Claire Kay said the float "was built as a tribute to Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee with the yeomen protecting the crown and our carnival queens".
So many queens, so much turmoil. As always in the Island’s carnival season, there are more queens about than you’ll see at a gay pride rally and now with the added ingredient of the kind of venom frequently associated with those waspish friends of Dorothy.
After her lovely yeomen had been treated so disdainfully by other carnival authorities, Claire Kay described the decision as "blatant sexual discrimination" and reminded everyone of a Ryde queens’ float in the 90s which won first prize at all the carnivals: and featured "a young man dressed in lederhosen with our queens".
Now there’s an image not easy to dismiss from our minds. Where is that young man now, I wonder? There are not enough lederhosen about these days, in my opinion, and it would cheer us all up if he could reprise his performance.
But back to 2012 and this excellent carnival ding-dong. Lynn Hammond, chairman of Cowes Carnival Association, said: "No offence was meant but there is an unwritten rule men should not be on the queens’ float."
That’s rich, coming from a woman who describes herself as a "chairman". More gender confusion to add to the spat.
However, it was Ventnor Carnival’s fantastically grumpy secretary, Jane Goodlet, who really threw the toys out of her pram. She said of Claire Kay: "We are just disgusted she has decided to air her dirty washing in public."
Dirty washing! On the Diamond Jubilee float! Oh, this is too glorious for words.
If only Her Majesty, in whose honour this has all taking been designed, could be told about this drama. It would quite take her mind off her grandson’s antics in Las Vegas.
Who knows what will happen next? Ryde’s illuminated carnival takes place tomorrow (Saturday) and I am hoping for a really stunning climax to this story.
I see yeomen with halberts at the ready, I hear raucous cheers and catcalls, I see bossy carnival officials tearing up copies of the Sex Discrimination Act, I see sateened queens breaking down in sobs.
But best of all, I see dirty washing, rows and rows of it, strung between all the queens’ floats in a display that would make those gay pride rallies look positively coy.
Have you heard the one about the actress and the boring little man?
With so many controversial stories around in our papers just now, it is hard to know which one to choose first when we put our own twopennyworth in.Prince Harry? Oh, forget it. A 27-year-old man takes his clothes off. So what? He wasn’t mugging old ladies or pinching the church steeple fund. Next, please.
GCSE results cause multiple hysteria and mental breakdown among kids and their teachers.
This really is megabore stuff. You just weren’t good enough, any of you. Get over it. How many of you can spell "desiccated"? There you are. Point proven.
Let’s move on to Julian Assange. Ah, now this is more interesting. At the time of writing he’s in the Ecuadorian embassy. Why he wants to be holed up there (it’s not even the ambassador’s residence, just a functional office) instead of in one of Sweden’s delightful prisons, which by all accounts are the height of luxury, is beyond me.
Oh, he’s scared he might be sent to America? Well, what a wimp. All cocky when he’s leaking other people’s secrets but gibbering like a baby when the authorities want some information out of him.
But it’s the allegations in Sweden which are most intriguing. One of them involves having sex with a woman while she was asleep. Yes, I know rape is very serious but if the woman snoozed on through proceedings, this charge also throws up one very satisfying possibility. Wouldn’t it be great to discover the horrible Mr Assange, as well being a wimp and contrary to what he would have us believe, is not the lover he thinks himself to be?
It reminds me of the story of the grand actress who was being pestered by a boring little man at a party.
"I’m going to ravish you," he said. "I’m going to make love to you for hours on end and then I’m going to do it all over again."
The actress drew herself up to her statuesque finest. "If you do," she said, "and if ever I find out about it, I shall be extremely angry."