When I first heard whispers about ’50 shades of Grey’ I naturally assumed it was a discussion about Farrow and Ball paint charts. Then the realisation dawned. Farrow and Ball only have 50 shades of off white. Even they can only manage about 10 different greys.
So what was this thing of which so many people spoke. It turned out it was fan-fic homage to Stephanie Meyer’s ‘Twilight’ saga (another thing I didn’t get) with Edward becoming Christian Grey, a young billionaire with some unhealthy sexual predilections and your woman (can’t remember her name) being transposed into Ana, a serious, dorky University student who falls for Chris’s dubious charms/furry handcuffs/bondage gear. Oh arse! Why didn’t I think of it.
I’m not a lover of fan-fic, described on Wikipedia in this manner; ‘Fan fiction … is defined by being both related to its subject's canonical fictional universe and simultaneously existing outside the canon of that universe. Sorry? In plain English? I think I can put it a little more clearly. You take a book you like, you change the title and the characters, you re-hash it a bit and you stick it on a fan-fic website. Which is just what the author of ’50 Shades of Mouse’s Back’, E L James, did, becoming in the process, the 38th best selling author of all times, apparently. Mind you, Wikipedia also says ‘Works of fan fiction are rarely commissioned or authorized by the original work's owner, creator, or publisher; also, they are almost never professionally published.’ They might want to change that now.
And all this at a time when our other doyenne of literary ‘bonkbusters’, Jilly Cooper, commented in an article in The Daily Telegraph on 24th June that erotic fiction has had it’s day as ‘women have lost their libido’. However, in a u-turn that would make a coalition government’s collective eyes water, the very next day she declared herself ‘delighted’ that ’50 Shades of Elephant’s Breath’ has reignited our love of bonkbusters, even if it hadn’t reignited our libidos – although sex shops claim it has led to a rise in …… sales.
I’ve read the first few pages of it and was struck that it was not just a homage to the Twilight series but also borrowed heavily from Anne Rice, The Thomas Crowne Affair, the Bridget Jones diaries, Last Tango in Paris, Pretty Woman…. It is fan-fic on a major scale. But in the end, I didn’t read on. Even E L James admits it’s not well-written so I don’t need to say so and it’s so clearly written by a middle-aged English woman trying to be a young American college student. Holy cow!
But not one to miss out on an opportunity, I thought I’d turn my own hand to a bit of ’50 Shades of Lamp Room Grey’ fan-fic. What do you think?
‘I stand in front of the giant edifice that was the headquarters of Mizzle Holdings International Ltd Plc. It rises like a giant erection in front of me, all mirrors and glass and shiny stuff. I adjust my bunny-girl outfit, straightening my ears and giving my tail a little jhuzh (how the hell do you spell that word?).
I walk into the glass-atriumed lobby and strut up to the vast marble reception desk, my six inch tarts trotters clicking on the tiled floor. Behind it, a young blonde woman sits in full bondage gear with a gag chained across her mouth. Golly, I wish I’d worn some rubber. I look down at myself, realising my dress is all wrong. Holy Moley, I am such a naïve college student. How did I ever think I would fit in here?
‘I’m here to see Mr Mizzle. Tatiana Wrought-Iron.’ I turn and wiggle my bunny tail at her.
‘Mmmffff, mmmffff’ she said, exasperated.
‘I’m really sorry but I just didn’t get that.’
I lean over and remove the gag from her mouth.
‘Wow, thanks. I’ll tell him you’re here.’
She put the gag back in and dialed an extension, nodded and pointed to an elevator.
Jiminy Cricket! I take the gag out again.
I walk over to the elevators, past two security guards who stand casually flicking riding crops. One takes a quick flick as I walked past, catching me on my behind. I wink, wiggle my tail and walk on. A man in brown uniform and a dominating manner slides into the lift beside me. I love a man in uniform. Back in the backwoods hick town where I come from, I had a long, steamy affair with Emmet, the postman.
The elevator whooshes me at warp speed up towards the penthouse office of Chriz Mizzle, MD, CEO and BDSM of Mizzle Enterprises and all-round poster boy for 20 something billionairedom. I don’t actually know what he does, in fact, I didn’t really care. I’m just here to ask him some searching questions on behalf of my college newspaper.
At around floor 16, a strong, muscular hand reaches out and presses the ‘elevator stop’ button. The man in uniform pushes me roughly up against the wall of the elevator, exploring my mouth with his tongue. I feel a tingling, you know, down there, but realise it was just this god-damned outfit giving me the mother of all camel toes. I knew I should have got a larger size.
I push him away, breathing heavily. I can feel his erection press into my belly. I look down, but realised it was just a handheld PDA.
‘So, you work for Mr Mizzle then?’ I ask as he chews at my neck.
He gets out at floor 17, leaving me alone and unsatisfied in the elevator, with just the faint tingle of the security guard’s whip on my bottie. The elevator continues its ascent to the top floor, the doors sliding open silently as we reach our destination.
I walk out into another gloriously shiny office with floor to ceiling windows looking out over the Canning Town flyover. Wow!
A stunning blonde woman is chained to the wall with pink, furry handcuffs.
‘Tatiana Wrought-Iron for Mr Mizzle.’
‘I’ll let him know you are here,’ she says straining against her chains to reach her desk phone. She cant quite make it. Undeterred, she reaches out with her long, slender leg, kicks off her stiletto and deftly picks up the phone with her toes. Grabbing the chains that bind her, she swings the other foot off the floor and taps in a number on the keypad of the phone. Holy Moley, this girl is an athlete!
‘Tatiana Wrought-Iron for Mr Mizzle,’ she yells in the general direction of the telephone handset, still grasped between her toes.
Turning as best she could towards me she asks if she can take my ears.
‘Yes please,’ I say, moving closer so she can reach them, ‘but if you don’t mind, I’ll keep my tail.’
A few seconds later, the large double doors at the far end open and a small Chinese man comes out, elegantly dressed in a studded pvc bodysuit, complete with hood.
Holy crap, I think, I really am in the wrong clothes.
He holds the door open for me. ‘Nice tail,’ he says, winking at me, or at least I think he is winking, in fact, I’m not even sure he’s Chinese.
Holding myself erect, I sashay into the offices of Chriz Mizzle, the richest young billionare sado-masochist in the known world. I put out my hand.
‘Tatiana Wrought-Iron. I expect you want to spank me.’
So what do you think? Look out for my next fan-fic offerings; Lady Chatterleys’ Loofah about a woman who develops some rather unseemly bathroom habits, Last Tango in Chigwell (complete with real olive oil spread) and ‘LOL, eat ya’, about a vampire with a penchant for pre-pubescent girls and texting.
And for those truly bored with it all, try '50 Sheds of Grey' on Facebook.