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Coffee House Culture House Daily

Competition: Write 50 Shades of something

22 February 2014

9:30 AM

22 February 2014

9:30 AM

Spectator literary competition No. 2838

The latest competition asked for profiles for an online dating website for well-known politicians, living or dead.

Gallic ladykiller François Hollande loomed large in the entry, as did Gorgeous George Galloway, Ann Widdecombe and Adolf Hitler. And while John Samson’s somewhat unlikely lothario Oliver Cromwell might appeal to those who like the masterful type — ‘That ye should seek matrimonial harmony by reading such vainglorious publications doth render thee unworthy of espousing this Puritan. Speak thus of me to thy more God-fearing sisters…’ — those seeking cosy nights in need look no further than Bill Greenwell’s Eric Pickles: ‘I do like to go out a lot, for instance to eat dinners, but am just as happy curled up on a sofa with some fresh meat pies, and a DVD, if you insist.’

Commiserations to unlucky losers Carolyn Thomas-Coxhead and Hugh King. The winners take £25 each. W.J. Webster pockets the bonus fiver.

W.J. Webster
Hi, my name is John. I’m from Yorkshire. We all know Yorkshiremen can be bluff and let me tell you straight out I’m 100 per cent bluff. I speak as I find and find as I speak. WICWIG as the young folk say. I am, yes, a man of mature age but I’m still in the prime of my condition. Folk say I’m built along the lines of Marvin Brando. As of now I don’t want to let on too much but the record shows I did it my way to come from humble upbringings to be a household celebrity. I’ve been sat in the highest offices in the land and if I say it as shouldn’t I’m damn sure I exume what they call the afrodiziac of power. But when you get to know me underneath I’m just a simple bloke looking to share some romantics with a gorgeous lady.

[Alt-Text]


Max Ross
Tall, vibrant, athletic Adonis — honest to a fault, who once occupied the highest seat of power but who unselfishly laid it aside to give a humbler mortal the chance to glow (if only for a few months), known the world over as a man of action and courage, an innovator par excellence, musically gifted, honoured and praised by millions of worshippers, a young Lochinvar incomparably talented in peace and unquestionably sincere and meticulously moral in war, a very Daniel in judgment, one whose counsel is sought by high and low across the globe, yet, despite these many impressive attributes, a self-effacing soul in search of a small cot wherein to rest his warrior frame in the arms of a woman who will, if that is humanly possible, lead him to greater accomplishments — seeks a young Aphrodite who will ever complement and compliment his charms.

P.C. Parrish
Ultimate grey man seeks young companion to lighten up his ashen Wednesdays through purely Platonic and gnomic intercourse (this time). Although certain acrobatics are precluded, my ‘carnival’ knowledge is second-to-none, being the only man to have run away from the circus to join a bank. The successful candidate receiving my vote of confidence will be vetted by She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed in a strictly non-sexual sense (unlike some parliamentarians) since three-line whipping has long been abandoned. Then share the gamut of human experience (oh yes!) from pottering to Pootering.
Enjoying back-to-basics experiences, you will ride a moped pillion, cone-spot and take a trip to see India — at Lords. Since a botched privatisation has derailed my PO Box, please reply to ‘The Laurels’, Brickfield Terrace, Holloway. No back-seat drivers, bastards or other rotten eggs need apply. Complete, infuriating anonymity guaranteed. Make no mistake: there are a not inconsiderable number of shades (perhaps fifty!)

Basil Ransome-Davies
Call me ‘Dick’, and let me make one thing perfectly clear: you will hear people badmouth politicians, but don’t tar us all with the same brush. I’m a straight-arrow guy, a native-born Californian of Quaker stock who has opted to dedicate his life to public service. Maybe I’m no Superman (just kidding!), but I believe in Truth, Justice and the American Way.
What I like: the Reader’s Digest, golf, my mother’s cooking, the NFL, defence of the Free World, and while I’m not the cocktail party type I can hold my own in conversation.
A pretty versatile range of interests, then. So what gets my goat? Beatniks, Communism and other unAmerican activities, perverts, people who buy success instead of working for it, political journalists, rock’n’roll. But principally Communism.
Now I’ve shared my heart, let me hear from you. I might just be The One.

Alan Millard
Welsh by birth in verse romantic,
Rhyming, I write.
Ageing fast I grow more frantic,
Craving delight!
Let me be your life’s insurance
Offering the reassurance
Of a Welshman’s firm endurance
All through the night.

Champion of the poor but wealthy,
Clever and bright,
From crib to grave I’ll keep you healthy,
Freely, I plight.
Try me, and our love will flower,
Never fade or wilt or sour,
Grow in ardour every hour,
All through the night.

Ralph Rochester
I bear a prophet’s name and, like the Roman in Virgil’s Aeniad, I myself have the gift of augury. My friends tell me I am not so much charming as fascinating. I have gimlet eyes that can enter into your very soul. I am tall, handsome and I sport the bristly brigadier’s moustache to which rank entitles me. My political career has been as variable as the shade by the quivering aspen made.
I seek a young lady of the Anglican persuasion, not for sex you understand but to converse on the subject of the world’s great poets and poetry and in as many as possible of the following languages: Russian, Urdu, Latin, Welsh, Portuguese and Hebrew. First and foremost, however, any respondent should be prepared to hold intimate mental and spiritual intercourse with me in the beautiful language of the ancient Greeks.

The next challenge sees me leaping shamelessly on to a recent literary bandwagon. You are invited to submit a short story of up to 150 words entitled Fifty Shades of [whatever you choose]. Please email entries to lucy@spectator.co.uk by midday on 5 March.

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


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