Tag Archives: Elvis

Loving Elvis for Elvis

Elvis Presley and Rufus revealed to me something magnificent last week.

If you can spare 3 full minutes to listen to this with your eyes closed, the rest of this post might have more meaning:

I was in the Hammersmith branch of ‘Tiger’, seeing to some functional gift buying (and it doesn’t get much more functional than prevaricating over decorative paper napkins in an urban mall shop in February)…

…when Elvis came piping in over the store sound-system, with non-functional things on his mind.

‘FFS,’ I thought crassly but accurately, in an expressive sense. ‘I spend 90% of my life trying to side-step the yawning chasm of my existential angst and now I can’t buy a bloody napkin without being pushed in.’

Back home, mission accomplished, I returned voluntarily to hand-wringing and put Elvis on the Youtube duke box.

As I revisited cavernous rooms of rank sentimentalism, I came to realise that Rufus had stopped re-purposing a tissue box as a receptacle for matchbox toys in order to listen to the ‘mugats’ and was being held quite in its thrall.

Moments later, reaching up, he said, ‘Ugg’ (a request for an embrace, not an outdoor slipper boot); I happily complied and we sort of square-danced around the study to The King.

Lo and behold, ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ was no longer the background to the ‘stories’ of my life- the soundtrack to my emotional movie.

It was the song as Rufus was hearing it, in his childish way: pure; beautiful; without narrative. It was moving him to soft kisses which, for a child, is Love.

So I listened to it one more time- without the noise of my histories, my projections, my over-packed hormonal baggage- as if Elvis was just singing it, rather than singing it with the express intention of messing with my equilibrium.

Try it. It’s amazing. It’s a liberation.

Now imagine doing this with every thing.

Imagine engaging with your day in a way that minimizes major themes and maximizes minute experiences as they are unfolding; imagine frying an egg for breakfast and not shell-covered disillusionment; imagine eating lunch without the memory of your mistakes or the judgment of your fear; imagine receiving, not creating people; imagine creating yourself in the act of being.

Imagine loving Elvis for Elvis.

It may not work all the time.

But when it did, you’d be humming a Louis Armstrong song instead.

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Filed under Mumbo Life, Mumbo Obsessions, Mumbojumbosheepism, Musical Mumbo, Uncategorized

Kate and Wills

William and Kate tied the knot yesterday and we thanked their national-bank-holiday arses for it.

Because Kate’s pleas for a quickie Elvis wedding in Vegas fell on deaf ears (God bless Wills, but he can be so bloody traditional) Westminster Abbey it was, where it seemed as if it was always meant to be.

But it was a long 10 years ago they first met- the tabloids didn’t dub her ‘Waity Katie’ for nothing (spelt, by the way, with an ‘ai’- something she wished she’d discovered sooner).

It happened completely by accident, the pair having enrolled on exactly the same course at the University of we-all-marry-each-other St. Andrews.

Wills had heard that all the fit, dizzy girls study History of Art and Kate had heard that Wills had heard that all the fit, dizzy girls study History of Art.

When they were introduced at Fresher’s week, it was fondness at first sight but the music was loud and neither of them had any idea who the other was.

After their first date over a deep-fried mars-bar, each sought the company of others…


Kate called her sister.

 ‘Good fun?’ asked Pip.

 ‘Um, he’s really into history.’

‘Good hair?’

‘He can’t remember.’

‘Good shag?’

‘Well, I think he was groping for my coat of arms.’

‘Good family?’

‘Dysfunctional. Unpopular. Power-hungry. Attention-seeking. German.’

 Pip was losing faith. ‘Does he like pets?’


‘Not all bad then,’ she concluded. ‘Passable surname?’

‘Wales,’ said Kate. ‘I’d be Mrs. Willy Wales.’

That night, Kate went back to her digs and Googled her date.

When she finally stopped punching the air, all she could think to do was reach for her phone, to send Pip the following text message:

‘OMG. I’d be, like, the FUCKING QUEEN!!!!!’

The next day, both girls went for professional blow-dries.


Meanwhile, on the other side of Fife, Wills was confiding too.

‘I say, thanks for taking the night orf,’ he said to his bodyguard.

‘Good legs?’ enquired his aide.


 ‘Is she worldly, like you?’

‘No. She didn’t do a gap yar.’

‘Did she put out?’

‘Emphatically, no. She’s from Berkshire.’

‘Tell me more, tell me more, like does she have a car?’

‘Ya, Fiat Punto,’ replied Wills, possibly not getting the reference.

That night, the young Royal thumbed through a copy of Debrett’s Who’s Who and the 2001 British Airways Staff Yearbook.

Michael Middleton was only in one of them.

‘OMG,’ he yelled through the adjoining door. ‘She’s as common as muck! She’s not even honorable!’

‘Wahay!’ shouted his aide, possibly not getting the point.


But love conquered all and the couple met in the Middleton.

When William told the Queen of his engagement, she had only kind words:

‘Given that she’s not a whore like your late mother or a gold-digger or a bore, like your aunts, I approve,’ she sort of said.

When Kate told her parents they both wet themselves- Carole because she knew she would deer stalk into a comfortable dotage, Michael because he feared his ISA would not have matured enough to fund his daughter’s nuptials.

‘Don’t be a silly sausage, Daddy,’ his daughter reassured him. ‘The nation will pay.’

 Pillow talk soon turned to the wedding arrangements.

Kate lost on John Lewis holding the gift list but drew the line at having Candle in the Wind as the first dance.

Guests were another matter. ‘To be honest, I don’t give a shit if the Syrian ambassador is there or not,’ exploded Kate.

‘Well, one could do without your pissed uncle doing his flight exit routine as well,’ replied Wills.

But compromises were reached because if there’s one thing Widdleton knows, it’s not to let private passions interfere with civic duty and for that we thank them.

And for uniting the nation in Marxist sentiment; for knocking Peter Andre off the front of Hello; for rescuing Jenny Bond from Cash in the Attic.

But above all, for reassuring us that within the bosom of the British Establishment, beats the heart of the American Dream.


Filed under London Mumbo, Mumbo Life