Get your clothes on Winslet, I'm a married man
Ah, Kate, how do we love you? It's a well-known fact that Berkshire-born actress Kate Winslet has got her baps out in every single film she has worked on, including the ones where the script stipulated that she remain fully clothed, the filthy slattern. But that's what you get when you come from a part of Reading where nudity is virtually obligatory in her part of town. They've even built a block of flats in her honour down the Oxford Road, with a removable roof.
In fact, on the cusp of fame, she was a well-known face in the *cough* lively *cough* west of Reading, where sane men know not to walk and the knocking shop on the Oxford Road hasn't even bothered to disguise itself as a respectable establishment. It was clear that La Winslet was going to be a huge, huge star despite her habits of swearing like a trooper and smoking like a chimney.
Well, I didn't know, did I?
I had an absolutely valid 100 per cent cast-iron excuse for going down that end of Reading that Thursday evening.
I was buying pornography.
A young man's got needs, and the Oxford Road has a number of newsagents with impressive top shelves catering for just about every pecadillo and perversion known to humankind. All strictly legal, you understand. And this month's Big and Fruity, the magazine for greengrocer fetishists and lovers of root vegetables had just come out.
Me, I was after a copy of Fiesta and this week's Auto Trader. Honest.
I always went to the same shop, a) because of the astounding selection and b) it was right next to a side street which was good for a quick getaway should the worst come to the worst and people started looking at you in a funny way in the midst of your jazz purchase.
Scene set? Good. The trouser itch activatedand wearing my best flasher mac, I headed for the Oxford Road to make a small purchase. The coast clear, I dived into Mr Khan's emporium of fags, booze and smut and scanned the upper shelves (yes - plural) for suitable one-handed reading material. And Lordy, he knew how to hide the specialist stuff from view.
It would be several minutes before I could locate this month's edition of "Melons" and head for the counter. And I would have made it too, if it wasn't for the fact that the act of pulling this celebration of the juxaposition of fruit and incredibly naked female flesh from the shelf and making for the till hadn't have brought me into direct collision with a Hollywood starlet, popping out to the corner shop for twenty Lambert and Butler.
In normal, comedic circumstances, you'd fully expect an explosion of pornography, the centre-spread fluttering to the floor between us. Happily, this didn't happen.
I merely prodded her in the left tit with a scud mag. A tit which, one day, would be painted by Leonardo di Caprio. The bastard.
"Ooh," she said. Unfortunately, this was not followed by the line "It's so hot in here", which, I gather, is obligatory in certain genres of filmed entertainment. "Ooh!"
"I'm terribly sorry, Miss Winslet" I said, "I appear to have assaulted you in a rather tender area with a partially-folded adult publication. I'm related to a doctor, perhaps you'd allow me to see to the wound." Which came out like this:
I dropped my spoils back amongst the motor magazines and fled, heading up the side-street towards the handily parked Scary-mobile. Leaning against the door, I breathed a huge sigh of relief following my brush with disaster. She had a stare that could sink ships, and would one day do so.
And there she was, following me up the road, cancer stick between her lips, puffing away in the provocative manner that only an habitually naked star of stage and screen can manage.
Sid James stirred inside me.
As she passed your humble scribe toward Winslet Mansions, she gave me a pitiful smirk.
I don't know about you, but I think I might still be in with a chance there.