I enjoy jumping on a bandwagon just as much as the next person and that’s what led me to downloading the very reasonably priced Fifty Shades Of Grey – I needed a light read, and why not make it an erotic exploration of a dominant and submissive relationship? Why not indeed? (cough)
Now, I’d seen a few reviews so I knew I wasn’t in for Dostoyevsky or Dickens. And I’m not a book snob – I love a trashy read!
But... I pulled the plug at page 165. Threw in the towel. Downed tools.
Why? Because of two little words - “Oh my”.
What’s with this hideous phrase? E.L. James uses it constantly throughout the novel. Every time young Anastasia sees the grey tracksuit-clad Christian leaning against a door frame, ready to pounce on her, she excitedly gasps “Oh my”. “Oh my”?!? Who says that? Only people from 1952 say “Oh my”. It’s like Beryl from the Bega chapter of the CWA has ghost written the novel. Has she? I can just imagine Beryl at her PC -‘Now, if I was presented with a huge schlong and a whip, what would I say to myself? Let me see...I guess it’s like when I see the perfect sponge in a comp...hhmm, oh my?...yep that’s what I would say. Now moving on, do I have him drip the hot wax over her bottom or...’
The old fashioned phrase and its constant use – from a twenty one year old???? – tipped me over the edge. I hate unrealistic dialogue. Let’s think about what people would actually say in this situation. You see a hot dude or chick with a ridiculously cut body, whacking a paddle in his or her hand, giving you a come- hither look – I would suggest that the more innocent of us might say something along the lines of a breathy ‘whoa’, but the rest of us would probably say “F$^&*”. Wouldn’t we? Wouldn’t we? Or am I just a potty mouth?
Many years ago, in my share-house days, we were lounging in front of the television and I was reading one of the boys’ Mens Health magazines. The Sex Section had grabbed my attention and I was summarising the content for the others in the ads between Survivor. The article was about grooming your partner for foreplay (washing her hair, shaving her legs in the bath blah blah blah) – nice. Until I read the magazine’s recommendation on what to say when the lady in question appeared in the boudoir, quaffed and defuzzed, presumably in sexy lingerie – Men’s Health suggested saying “My God.” We all dissolved into fits of laughter. “My God”. There was no clarification on how to say this phrase (and we all know tone is so hard to get across in print), so we each had a shot at interpreting this little piece of sex talk coaching.
· In the style of George Clooney (yes please!) “My....(pause 1, 2, 3)....God”
· Murmured in the style of say, someone like Seal (ugh, a bit sleazy???) “Myyyyyyyyy...Goooooddddd” Quick, clipped British tone, a la Hugh Grant (in his good years) “My. God.”
· In the style of Jerry Seinfeld (comic horror) “MY GOD!”
· How it will really sound from a typical Australian man “My gaaaawd” (followed by “You look better than an ice cold beer love!”)
But really, are people hearing corny stuff in the bedroom? What’s the worst thing people have heard? I’d love to know.
Meanwhile, don’t tell me how 50 Shades Of Grey finishes. I can only imagine with Beryl / E.L James composing the drama, a wedding with the bride led in on a leather leash must be the finale. Oh. My.