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Some like it hotter!

12 Jun

Louis-3

We start to speed up and Marilyn jiggles and wiggles in a most un-angelic way. I realise that we’re heading over in the direction of Spitalfields Market, my old stomping ground when I was a kid. And a cunning plan pops into my head. I must admit it’s a bit on the naughty side and I’m assuming that where I am is some sort of heaven so it might get me tossed off Planet Koski to wander infinity for all time. But it’s worth it.

‘Hold up, Darling,’ I say, grabbing Marilyn’s hand. ‘Where are we going?’

Marilyn pouts. I can see she’s trying to decide whether to tell me or not. ‘Oo…’

‘Listen, love,’ I say. ‘These streets may have sparkly pavements but I’m assuming that we’re still in some sort of Bethnal Green. In which case I know the place like the back of my hand. Boo-be-doo?’

Marilyn sighs. ‘We need to get to Sandy Lane. The Synagogue.’

‘Why? You Jewish?’

‘No. Or at least I don’t think so. I’m supposed to take you there. But I can’t tell you why.’ Her bottom lip starts to tremble, along with other parts of her.

‘Calm down, Darling,’ I say. ‘I know a short cut to Sandy Lane. This way.’

Marilyn starts to say something but I don’t give her a chance.

* * *

I can’t remember how many times I’ve run down these streets but, quelle surpreez, never with an angel that looks like a screen goddess on my arm. Chops and veg nicked from Spitalfields Market, yes. Bags of hooky perfume I was flogging until rudely surprised by Old Bill, yes. You get the picture. So, I know where there’s a nice, quiet little alleyway that comes to a dead end. Perfect for a kneetrembler. Because I will never forgive myself if I don’t at least try it on with Marilyn.

‘Not far now,’ I say, leading Marilyn by the hand until we’re at the entrance to the alleyway. ‘This opens on to Sandy Lane, right by the Synagogue.’

As we walk down the alleyway, I let go of Marilyn’s hand and slow down a little. I notice that her dress has changed. She was wearing the white one from The Seven Year Itch but now it’s the sparkly number from ‘Some like it hot!’ I say out loud.

Marilyn turns and looks at me. She raises one eyebrow, stands with her hands on those mouthwatering hips. I walk towards her, trying not to think of John F Kennedy, Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando and all the others who’ve done what I plan on doing. In my mind, I’m about to try it on with Marilyn Monroe, angel or not, ghost or not. (Although what she’d be doing on Planet Koski I do not know, unless she’s a distant relative. Which would be…Stop it, Louie! Concentrate.)

And then, of course, it dawns on Marilyn what I’m about to do. Or at least attempt. As I advance with what I hope is a seductive look on my boat, Marilyn steps backwards until she’s almost got that heavenly derriere pressed against the wall.

It all goes very quiet, as if the houses overlooking the alleyway know what I’m about to do. For a split second, I wonder if leaping on Marilyn is a terrible mistake. But life’s too short and I’m dead anyway. So The Lip makes his move.

 Watch the electric skies for the fourth thrilling episode of Hasta La Planet Koski!

Illustrated by the Mighty Mighty CemmoPlanet Koski logo

Cousin Charlie’s heaven scent

14 May

Lip blog 2

The talking lift lands with a slight splat, wobbles a bit, and Marilyn says ‘Welcome to Planet Koski, Louie.’

‘What do I do now?’ I say.

‘Step outside and find out, boo-boo-be-doo.’

I ease myself up out of the purple armchair, which gives my Arris one last squeeze and gulp down as much of the delicious drink as I can. The lift door makes a gloopy noise as it slides open. Halfway through, I turn and say ‘Thank you for the ride. It was lurvely. Will I see you again?’

‘I’m right here,’ the voice says, now coming from outside the lift. I turn and standing in front of me is the spitting image of Marilyn Monroe, wearing the familiar white dress from Some Like It Hot and she’s not the only thing that looks familiar.

* * *

I appear to be back outside the bagel shop on Brick Lane where I had my fateful encounter with that bacon bagel. I peer in through the window and it’s empty, as usual. No sign of me writhing around on the floor in agony.  I look back at Marilyn. She puts her finger to her lips, takes my arm.

We start to stroll down Brick Lane, as if we had all the time in the galaxy, I peer over my shoulder. I don’t see angel wings on Marilyn, only the bum that launched a thousand fantasies. She squeezes my arm and giggles.

‘Where are we going?’ I say.

‘You’ll find out soon enough,’ Marilyn says.

I begin to notice something about the streets we walk through. They’re so familiar to me I could navigate them blindfold. But they’re different. This isn’t the dirty, smelly old Bethnal Green I know and love.

Everything sparkles and shimmers, like when you see heat rising off the road on a hot day, even though it feels like spring and the air is champagne-sweet. The rows of houses and blocks of flats glow as if they’re alive. The street looks like it’s paved with diamonds. I nudge when Marilyn isn’t looking. It’s soft.

Then, out of nowhere, I see my cousin Charlie coming down the street. Last time I saw this particular ice-cream, he was chasing me down Hanbury Street with menaces. I’d sold him a bottle of gen-u-wine Chanel No. 5 a chemist mate of mine had knocked up in his shed. I wasn’t to know what it would do to Charlie’s bird.

‘Ooh my gawd,’ I say to Marilyn. ‘Here comes trouble. Get ready to do the off.’

* * *

‘All right Lou?’ Charlie says. ‘You made it then. About time.’

I’m so amazed that Charlie doesn’t land one on me, I’m speechless. All I can do is nod. Luckily Marilyn saves the day ‘Can’t stop, Charles,’ she says, ‘I’m taking Louie to meet the you-know-whos. Boo-boo-be-doo.’

Charlie gives Marilyn a look which passes in a flash. ‘Good luck with that,’ he says as he strolls off down the street.

‘Who are the you-know-whos?’ I say. ‘Boo-be-bleedin’-doo.’

‘Now now, Louie,’ Marilyn says. ‘You’ll find out soon enough.’ And with that she picks up the pace a bit. When I try to slow down a little, I realise she’s actually pulling me along.

And then I remember.  Cousin Charlie’s been dead for forty years.

Watch the electric skies for the third thrilling episode of Hasta La Planet Koski!

Illustrated by the Mighty Mighty Cemmo

Planet Koski logo

Blame it on the bagel!

30 Apr

Blog 1

So I’m lying on the floor of the bagel shop choking on a bacon bagel. Out of nowhere, the ceiling opens and I’m looking up at the sky over Bethnal Green. There’s a flash of light. A lift made of glass drops out of the sky and lands next to me with a swoosh. When the lift wobbles a little I realise that what I thought was glass is really some sort of clear membrane pulsing with different-coloured lights. The door slides open with a plop.

From inside, a woman’s voice says ‘Going up, Mr. Koski?’

I step out of my body, which is now still, eyes wide open, and step into the lift. There’s no sign of a woman inside but there is a purple armchair in one corner. Beside this is a small round table, also purple. On the table is a tall glass filled with a liquid that sparkles and constantly changes colour.

‘Sit down, Mr. Koski,’ the voice purrs. ‘Enjoy the ride.’

I settle down into the chair, which feels as if it’s alive and adjusts to fit my body. The drink tastes like a promise come true. I look out the window as we start to rise.

‘I’m dead then am I?’ I say.

The voice giggles. ‘Not exactly, Mr. Koski. Not yet.’

* * *

In no time at all we’re high above the earth. We orbit the planet and I think about how beautiful it is. Strangely, though, I don’t feel sad at leaving it all behind. I’m not sure how I feel. I’ve never been dead before.

I sip from my glass which, of course, stays full and listen to the voice as it sings to itself. She’s singing my favourite ‘Quando, Quando, Quando’ and, after a bit, I realise she sounds exactly like Marilyn Monroe.

‘Am I going to heaven?’ I ask.

‘It depends, Mr. Koski,’ the lift says.

‘On what?’

‘I’m not at liberty to disclose that at this time, Mr. Koski. But don’t worry. We never make mistakes. Please, sit back and enjoy the ride. Boo-boo-be-doo.’

We finish my farewell orbit of the earth and shoot off into space. In no time at all we’ve left the moon behind us and are heading deeper into the galaxy. And, as we pass by shooting stars, through shining constellations and over the surface of planets I had no idea existed, I never spill my drink.

* * *

After a bit, to be honest, I get a little bored with the wonders unfolding outside and the drink that never runs out, delicious though it is. I start looking round the lift. There’s a panel of buttons beside the lift door I could have sworn weren’t there last time I looked. I haul myself out of my purple chair, which doesn’t want to let me go and take a closer look at the buttons, now pulsing a pinky-blue colour. I start at the bottom.

Planet Adler…Planet Blum…Planet Cohen…The list goes on and on until I see Planet Koski. This must be me, I think. When I press the button for Planet Koski the lift stops and wobbles a little. I hear the giggle, followed by ‘Boo-boo-be-doo’. The lift begins to descend in the direction of a pinprick of light far off in the distance.

Watch the electric skies for the second thrilling episode of Hasta La Planet Koski!

Illustrated by the Mighty Mighty CemmoPlanet Koski logo

The Reunion is on!

28 Apr

Click on the link to see Louie and his playmates in all their glory photographed for the Mallorca Daily Bulletin, folks.

And watch this space for more news about the great Reunion on October 8!

Louie in MDB

Buy one and stop me – an author on Mallorca

22 Apr

It’s been all go-go-go for me on The Rock these past few days. I’ve been hurtling round the island – well, Magaluf, Palmanova and a little bit of Palma – in the Hastamobile looking for a venue for what the in-crowd are already calling The Reunion of the Century.

On October 8, in a high-class joint somewhere near you, I’ll be hosting a celebration of  my golden days in the sun with legendary faces from the Majorca party scene of the last 50 years. And you’re all invited. So watch this space, folks.

With the reps

The new breed

As anyone who’s read my book Hasta La Flip-Flops! knows, there’s an art to enticing people into bars and nightclubs or on boat trips. I learned from the best and, a couple of weeks ago, I was honoured to be able to pass on my wisdom to a whole new generation of bright young things making a great life for themselves in the sun just like I did.

Let’s hope that, whatever Magaluf and Palmanova become, there’s always room for go-getting youngsters to find a way to have a ball, make some money and learn the skills that will help them make it in life. Sayeth The Lip!

Creative juices flow again

When I’m on The Rock I always find time to sit down with my ghostie David. He lives a quiet life – especially now he’s in hiding from Senora Banana and Senor Grande. But I managed to entice him out to a paella the size of a football pitch and we talked about my next big idea. He loved it. So it’s all systems go, playmates! Keep watching this space.

Louie and Hughy

Buy one and stop me

I’ve never understood this idea that authors like me should be publicity-shy, reclusive types. I love meeting people and I’ve always got a couple of copies of Hasta La Flip-Flops! tucked away in my straw bag. So, if you see a strikingly handsome, distinguished-looking gentleman of a certain age wearing an Hasta La Flip-Flops! cap stop me and buy a signed copy of my book.

Otherwise I’ll just keeping walking and who knows where I’ll end up.

Brought your Kindle on holiday with you? Download Hasta La Flip-Flops! here nah.

Back on the Rock!

6 Apr

As anyone who knows me will tell you, I come alive again when I’m back on the Rock, as I call Mallorca. In a couple of days, I’ll be back on the island after a winter away. Although I can’t wait, I always get a tiny bit nostalgic as I remember the old days in El Arenal, Gomila and Magaluf.

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This year, I’ll be continuing to teach my young buddy Hugh Carville how to be a legendary DJ like I was. I call him my apprentice – he loves it. I’ll be appearing at a fine karaoke joint near you, singing my signature tune ‘Quando Quando, Quando’ to my growing cult following. I’ll be perfecting the Lip’s signature brand of sit-down comedy. It’s born out of necessity. I’ve broken more ribs than a family of ten Yanks at an all you can eat Florida rib-joint.

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There’s only one fly in the ointment. I keep getting text messages from David my ghostie, asking when I’m going to arrive as he needs the Lip’s sweet talking skills to extricate him from the clutches of the Brazilian missus of Senor Grande of El Arenal.

Don’t worry, folks. David’s not in any danger. It’s just that Senor El Grande lent him a penthouse apartment on the strip at El Arenal while David was writing Grande’s memoirs. Seems Grande’s much younger Brazilian wife, Carmen Banana, took a shine to David and took to visiting at all sorts of odd hours. She demanded he start teaching her yoga and creative writing. David refused but Senora Banana threatened to go to Grande and tell him David had tried it on with her. Now, anyone who knows David will tell you that he’s hardly the Casanova type but Grande don’t know that.

So, the Lip has to have a sit-down with Carmen Banana and ever so gently put her straight – or bent – about David. I think I’ll tell her he’s a closet trannie. Well, David’s always telling me to think creative.

And, by the time I do see David, that paella he owes me is going to be the size of a swimming pool. Which reminds me of the story of the Portals Vells Paella Plate Wars. Read the hilarious story in my book Hasta La Flip-Flops!

 

The Lip Returneth!

24 Mar

Can you believe it’s been five years since I last posted anything here? Five years! I could tell you I had a chronic case of writer’s (cell) block. I could say I won the pools again and have been basking in the sun in Florida ever since. I could announce that I became engaged to a wonderful woman I met on The Morning Show with Eamonn and Ruth who fell in love with yours truly and whisked me off to her private love island off the coast of Ibiza.

But, friends, I would be telling porkies. And the truth is even better.

Since I first published Hasta La Flip-Flops! it’s been read by hundreds of people who’ve just loved it. I’ve been interviewed for a documentary about Magaluf and talked about the book on the radio. Hasta La Flip-Flops! has found its way into the hands of several big name production companies. Comedians famous the length and breadth of Bethnal Green and actors who could pick any part they wanted have all begged me for the privilege of immortalising The Lip onscreen. Some of these have been women. I wouldn’t have believed Oscar-winning actresses could stoop so low. Sadly, on my brief’s instructions, The Lip’s lips are sealed.

I have not been idle, chums.

The truth is writing the posts was what I was not paying my ghostie, David, to do. Five years ago I gave him strict instructions, a stack of McDonalds free cheeseburger coupons, a crate of alcohol-free Guinness  and 200 books to sell. More than enough, I thought. I bet Adele’s ghostie doesn’t get paid that well.

Imagine my astonishment when I discovered that David had been headhunted to write the memoirs of a Senor Grande who ruled over a 1970s criminal empire that stretched from Arenal to Can Pastilla. David must have done something to put the ice-cream’s hooter out of joint because I’ve not heard from the ungrateful cabrón ever since.

So, from now on, I shall be writing the posts myself. Not so difficult as I’ve just started work on the follow-up to Hasta La Flip-Flops! and the old fingers are playing the keyboard like I was Liberace.

Buy Hasta la Flip-Flops! now

If you’re one of the few people left in the world who don’t have a copy of the book or would like it to be the first thing your unborn child reads, buy it here.

The ride continues, folks.