27 July 2006

Close That Door... I'm Feeling A Draft

The Time: 1485
The Place: Portovenere, Italy
The Reason: Beauty for Beauty's Sake

After a rather strenuous party season in Venezia, I had retired to the lovely little seaside village of Portovenere to recharge my batteries before charging off to Rome to settle the hash of a certain Pontiff.

One morning whilst sipping my espresso al fresco by the quayside, one of my dear old friends Sandro Botticelli strolled by. We exchanged pleasantries, whereupon he remarked that the morning light in my eyes had given him a marvelous idea. It seems he'd recently been commissioned by Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici to create a little gift for one of his current paramours... don't ask me which one as I could never keep all of Larry' gaggle of slappers straight in my head, they came and went so quickly, if you'll pardon my French.

Anyway, Sandy had that look in his eye which meant "Hang on, Shirley old girl... let me run and get my palette"... which he proceeded to do.

Posing for Sandy was never a chore, really... but I did wish the little chippie with the pink cloak was a bit quicker with it. Those Zephyrs weren't half freezing my bum after the first half hour.

15 Minutes And Counting...

From the bits that I can clearly recall, the '60s were, indeed, Swinging.

I happened to be in San Francisco in the Haight-Ashbury district, attending a happening at the pied-a-terre of my good friend Gracie Slick, when a startlingly white-haired bloke by the name of Andy sidled up to me.

"In the future", he intoned, "everyone will be famous for 15 minutes."

"Really?", I replied, rather non-plussed. "In that case, you'd better hope that my fame clock has a snooze button."

As I would not actually invent the snooze button for another 8 years, poor Andy looked back at me rather owlishly.

Nonetheless, it was only a matter of moments before he snapped a candid of me with his little Kodak and proceeded to tell me of his plans for a canvas featuring me in varying day-glo color combinations. Maybe it had something to do with the "Electric Kool-Aid", but I blearily agreed. I only wish that I hadn't had a tennis ball clutched daintily in my mouth when that damned flash bulb went off.

25 July 2006

I Hate Snakes

It has to be said. Stephen Spielberg is a horse's patoot. I worked with a bullwhip champion for months to perfect my form. I learned how to fly a plane. I was even able to stomach Karen Allen in my presence for 5 or 6 minutes at a time before being forced to chew grass for some much needed relief.

Did he care? Not bloody likely.

3 days into principal photography I was unceremoniously dumped in favor of some actor named Harry or Harvey or something.

Stephen... that "I hate snakes" line was mine. Thief.

Houston... We Have A Poo

While I shall be the first to admit that I love to travel, even I was a bit taken aback when NASA first approached me to take part in the Shuttle program. As a "Payload Specialist", I would be responsible for conducting zero-gee experiments on behalf of Ralston-Purina, who were busy researching the possibility of LEO (Low Earth Orbit, for you non-technical types) kibble manufacturing.

Always willing to face a challenge, especially if my efforts resulted in higher-quality comestibles for orbiting canine-kind, I quickly agreed.

The mission was thrilling, to be sure. However, one small quibble: to the gentlemen responsible for designing my pressure suit - please do a bit more indepth research into female plumbing before forcing another hapless bitch into one of your torture ensembles. And, while I'm not completely opposed to orange, I really feel a more flattering shade of green would have brought out the undertones in my hair.

23 July 2006

I Cannot Tell A Lie

The less said about this episode, the better. I will tell you, however, that wooden dentures were the least of the poor man's worries.

18 July 2006

Actually, We Were Rather Amused

Yes, it was probably wrong of me... but if you were in my position, I think you'd have done the same.

While performing "shuttle diplomacy" between Downing Street and The Continent, it was my great good fortune to make the acquaintance of HRM Queen Victoria. "Vic" and I became fast friends... so much so that, against my better judgement, I agreed to a rather outlandish caper that Vic dreamed up after hitting the sherry a bit more heavily than normal.

Many of her coterie had exclaimed more than once that, except for my much more refined fashion sense, Vic and I could have been separated at birth. Perhaps with a crow-bar, I thought.

Nonetheless, Vic had grown weary of the toadying, the fawning and the... how to put this delicately... backside-snogging that were part and parcel of reigning over the Empire. "Shirl," she breathed at me rather fragrantly, "'ow I long to just nip out to the shops, do a bit o' browsin', then come 'ome to a nice fry-up and a pint."

Well, who could resist such a touching dream?

Which is how I found myself dressed as you see me in the photo.

It was quite the kerfuffle when her various ministers, handlers and hangers-on found out about our "switcheroo". And that Mr. Brown... he was quite the handful, I can honestly report. But that's another story.

Absinthe Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

Ah, Paris!

It was 1889. Or was it '90? No matter. There I was, figuratively and literally soaking up Paris Café Society, hobnobbing with ex-pat Brits and the occasional well-brought-up American (very occasional, those) when a rather unassuming-looking gentleman asked in halting yet charmingly mangled English, if he could, perhaps, paint my portrait.

As I had not exactly fallen off the turnip truck the previous Saturday, I knew exactly where that sort of proposition could lead: Yours Truly, draped in a couple of metres of diaphanous fabric in a grotty little garrett in le Marais, waiting for the paint to dry and the other shoe to drop, as it were.

But, much to my surprise, Monsieur Degas was all business.


Viva La Revolucion

The Time: 1959
The Place: Havana, Cuba
The Reason: Social Justice

Having traveled to Havana disguised as a Philadelphia debutante of questionable lineage, I found myself one night in the Casino where who should I meet but a young, scruffy revolutionary named Fidel. After plying me with many a Cuba Libre, the fiery-eyed socialist outlined for me his vision of a Cuba released from the shackles of the Oligarchy.

"Oh, no," I thought, "but where will I shop?"

But La Revolucion could not be stopped, even at the expense of readily available strappy Italian sling-backs.

And so, I became Shirley Le Feu, spiritual leader of a glorious march toward freedom for The People. Or, as I became known, simply...


10 July 2006

Kiefer Is A Plonker

There I was, visiting LA on one of my many missions when who should I meet while lunching at La Scala but a certain Fox executive who shall remain nameless (but I still think of you fondly, Sheldon). Long story short - the network was putting together a new series - and would I be interested.


After shooting the pilot, it was decided that Fox viewers wanted a series lead who could speak. I ask you.

No sour grapes intended, but, really... the poor boy always sounds as if he's recovering from a nasty cold. And nevermind speak, can he even sit, that's what I'd like to know.

In Mufti

Lest you think that I spend all my time in one of my various, eye-popping disguises in pursuit of international criminal figures and trying to avoid the paparazzi who, you should pardon the expression, dog my every step, I felt I should share with you one of the rare pictures of me "in mufti".

Pictured with me is Sharon, affectionately known as "Shazza", one of my permanent staff of 3 here at the country estate in Connecticut. Shazza is a dear, dear woman - although her tendency to refer to me as "Shirley-Whirley-Woo-Woo" can become a bit wearing on ones nerves. All is forgiven, however, when she appears in the morning to brew my first cuppa. I simply can't face the day until I've downed my first bowl of tea.

I shall introduce you to the other members of my staff as time permits.

Must run, my dears... Janet Reno is on the phone yet again - I simply cannot make that poor woman understand that as she is no longer the Attorney General, she really mustn't ring me up every time she finds another terrorist in her begonias.

Over There

The Time: 1942.
The Place: U. S. of A.
The Reason: Raising the morale of our Boys.

America was at war on 2 fronts. Lacking opposable thumbs, I thought to myself, "Shirley - you can't throw a grenade, you can't man an ak-ak gun... what can you do to help the war effort?"

I finally found a way one afternoon whilst trying on swimming costumes at Filene's. Catching a glimpse of my backside in the changing room mirror, I thought to myself "Right. Let's at least give the boys a reason to come back home."

And the pin-up seen 'round the world was born.

09 July 2006

Welcome to my world... please wipe your feet.

I would like to thank all of you, my adoring fans, for stopping by my little corner of the World Wide Web. "But, Shirley... why a blog?" I hear you ask.

Silly humans.

It is through this forum that I hope to share with you, my unenlightened two-legged poppets, the vision, the wisdom, and the truly awe-inspiring me-ness that is...

Shirley Le Feu - Mistress of Disguise.