Wednesday, 2 July 2014
Roberta Swipe: an appreciation...
by Lucy Ellmann...
"No WAY mistah!"
"Aw - come ON"
"NO! *AND STOP SENDING ME FAN LETTERS!!!!!*"
That's pretty much how it goes with me and Roberta - sorry, with Roberta and *I*. I take it as a perverse proof of integrity - a kind of badge or honour, if you like - that I receive crazed fan mail from one source and one source only: M(r)s Roberta Aloysius Tinkerbell(e) Swipe. I mean, I wouldn't MIND. I really could live with it in fact. If only there weren't so many. In fact, there would be a sense of acievement in having plumbed the depths - or, depending on your VIEWPOINT - scaled the heights of obscurity. Were it not for the smell. I like perfume. Wear it myself, indeed. I like SOME perfumes an AWFUL lot, if truth be told. On a woman, perfume is NICE. But used subtly. Not quite so OVERPOWERINGLY as certain admirers of mine seem to like dispensing - DISPENSING? POURING the stuff on more like, to paper. And then there's the CONTENT...
I received my first letter from Roberta Swipe in about 1990. It seemed fairly harmless at the time - so much so that....and I need hardly tell you that this if one of THE most regretable things I've ever done...IN MY LIFE - I even sent her a reply. On nice purple paper, no less. With a photograph enclosed. Of me. And that seemed to do the trick; appeared to satiate the star-struck scribe. But then, one day almost 15 years later to the day, another envelope landed on the welcome mat of my then-publisher, bearing a familiar hand.