Hello again, my fulsome fluffy darlings.
It’s that time again – I have finally finished my book, after eighteen months or so of feeling like I want to eat my own head. The time has come to scream with unreasoning terror and hit the button marked SAVE AND PUBLISH.
Only not right now, because…well, because I don’t fucking want to, okay? I’m scared. Hold me.
Obviously you know what this means. Time for me to blow off steam by trying to make sense of the worst book in the world. Well, maybe. I mean, it’s not Mein Kampf, and in terms of inspiring doom, war and meaningless hatred I’m sure it’s got a long way to go to beat the poor old Bible, but let’s face it, it’s still worse than Ayn Rand.
Yes, Fifty Shades of Grey is absolute cack. There’s no getting away from it. It’s so eyewateringly pants that the only reasonable way to get through it is by drinking yourself into a coma.
However, you’d be hard pushed to get any more munted than most of the characters in this book.
Lesson Seven – Do Not Even THINK About Turning This Book Into A Drinking Game
I’m serious. Don’t. One of the joys of having a partner who works in healthcare is that I get to hear stories – terrible stories about the Saturday night pyrotechnicolour yawns that regularly splatter the floors, walls and staff of the A&E department.
If you are mad enough to match the characters of this book drink for drink then have a stomach pump on standby, or work up to it with a gentler and more civilised drinking game, like the Withnail and I drinking game. That way you can get off to a nice easy start with a chug of lighter fluid and maybe a spliff the size and shape of a carrot.
It’s still going to be easier on your liver than this.
When we last left our damp, boring heroine she was doing something damp and boring. Crying, probably. I don’t know. I don’t care. Did I mention I hate her and that she’s a soul-sucking pit of self-pity with less charm than a genital wart?
I did? Right. Well. Let’s see. Oh yes – foetal position in a car park, wah wah why doesn’t Edward like me, I’m so skinny and pretty and it’s really awful wah wah wah. And then Christian quotes Thomas Hardy and new-minted Literature graduate Ana somehow still makes a right old mess of the D’Urbervilles.
It’s Friday, and we shall be celebrating tonight, really celebrating. I might even get drunk! I’ve never been drunk before.
Hands up who’s surprised that a boring little stiff like Ana has reached the grand old age of twenty one without ever having got fucked up with her girlfriends?
Yep. She’s squeaky clean and scary sober because she was originally written by a Mormon, but unfortunately for AnaBella’s liver a British media-type has taken over the reins.
And believe me, these people can fucking drink.
…[Jose’s] in the mood to party and gets us into the spirit of our newfound freedom by buying a pitcher of margaritas for us all. As I down my fifth, I know this is not a good idea on top of champagne.
Look, I’m thirty six, reasonably well padded and a practised drinker. Five margaritas and champagne neGFrg i wuoewhF BE TYPING LIKE THIS and would probably be drunk enough to go to the toilet to wee and then halfway through the wee realise that I had forgotten to take down my underpants.
Ana is a skinny twenty one year old who has never had so much as a cheeky vodka in her Coke and we’re supposed to believe she can still form sentences with this amount of alcohol inside her?
Seeing as she’s not sufficiently smashed on five margaritas, Ana thinks she’d better slow down and orders up a pitcher of beer. Clearly a graduate of the Duff McKagan School of Careful Drinking.*
I can’t actually be arsed to get into the ins and outs of this chapter, because it’s really quite unpleasant. You might want to skip this post if you’re of a sensitive disposition, a recovering alcoholic or skeeved out by clumsy writers using sexual assault as drama, because this is the bit where Jose forces himself on Ana. I can’t entirely blame E.L. James for this because of course this bit is ripped wholesale from the Twilight books when Jacob forces himself on Bella, so really Stephenie Meyer should take the blame for this one. E.L. James also gets a few points for not having AnaBella’s Dad around to give Jocob a manly slap on the back for having the nuts to molest his daughter (Yes. That actually happened in Twilight.) but minus several million for copying another writer’s work.
And minus another million for being this shit.
I stare blankly at the poster on the back of the toilet door that extols the virtues of safe sex. Holy crap, did I just call Christian Grey? Shit. My phone rings and it makes me jump. I yelp in surprise.
Seriously? Have you ever known a shithouse door that extolled the virtues of safe sex? They usually advocate the exact opposite, and include helpful telephone numbers should you wish for anal fulfilment or to be widdled on by a large trucker named Dave.
I’m sorry – this entire post is more lavatorial than usual. It’s just very difficult to linger on non-toilety topics when the current chapter of this bestselling erotic novel is taking place in a nightclub bog. And they say romance is dead.
In a nutshell, Ana gets fucked up and drunk-dials Christian, then Jose forces her to kiss him. Luckily Ana’s guts save the day as she pebbledashes the parking lot with a bucketload of margarita vomit. As anyone who’s ever been drunk enough to barf during a blow job knows, a good old fashioned Linda Blair peasouper is a great way to make a man lose interest fast.
Of course, we couldn’t let Ana work her antiperistaltic magic alone – oh no. She clearly needs to be rescued, and oh lookie here – here’s her knight in grey armour, back to smoulder, smell nice and pound her self-esteem clean through the floor.
Grey takes his hands off me and passes me a handkerchief. Only he would have a monogrammed, freshly laundered handkerchief. CTG. I didn’t know you could still buy these. Vaguely I wonder what the T stands for as I wipe my mouth.
Tedward, Trimalchio, Thundercat or Truckstop, according to my Kindle notes. It’s probably none of those, because that would be fun, and if there’s one thing Christian Twuntington Grey really hates, it’s fun.
He hates fun almost as much as Ana hates herself. I mean, this is the girl who went foetal in a car park because Christian didn’t attempt to kiss her on a first date, so imagine what this insouciant, free-spirited creature is going to be like after nearly vomiting herself inside out in the presence of OMG CHRISTIAN GREY.
I cannot bring myself to look at him. I’m swamped with shame, disgusted with myself. I want to be swallowed up by the azaleas in the flowerbed and be anywhere but here.
Cheer up Ana – you’re nothing if not a shit-hot botanist. I know I’d struggle to tell a geranium from an azalea in the dark, especially if it was covered in margarita sick.
This has to be the single worst moment of my life. My head is still swimming as I try to remember a worse one – and I can only come up with Christian’s rejection – and this is so, so many shades darker in terms of humiliation.
I know I’ve said this so many times already, but she really is a tiresome stale fart of a girl, isn’t she?
Ana, who are you kidding? He’s just seem you hurl all over the ground and into the local flora. There’s no disguising your lack of ladylike behaviour.
Yeah – these are the thoughts of a mentally healthy woman. Are azaleas native to the Pacific Northwest?
Please, please can I die now?
Oh, well…since you ask.
“We’ve all been here, perhaps not quite as dramatically as you,” he says dryly. “It’s about knowing your limits, Anastasia. I mean, I’m all for pushing limits, but really this is beyond the pale. Do you make a habit of this kind of behaviour?”
Yes, do you make a habit of getting drunk and being sexually assaulted? If you didn’t go out drinking like a slutty whore trollop, parading your whore vagina where men can see you, then maybe you wouldn’t have men forcing themselves on your drunk, slatternly self.
Ahahahah Christian Grey is a terrible person. Excuse me – I need to go and check on my azaleas. Pass the Kleenex. Hrrrrrrgh.
Bad enough that this preening yuppie prick carries monogrammed handkerchiefs, or that his middle name is probably Tristram or something equally Mills & Boon. And he’s a victim-blaming piece of shit who should rightly be used as a paving slab during Seattle’s next scheduled Slutwalk.
You wouldn’t think he could get worse, would you?
You wouldn’t think.
“Come on, I’ll take you home,” he murmurs.
“I need to tell Kate.” Holy Moses, I’m in his arms again.
“My brother can tell her.”
“My brother Elliot is talking to Miss Kavanagh.”
Oh. Christian has a brother. Who Ana has never met. Who is apparently going to tell her friend where she is while Christian bundles her into the back of his SUV and takes her back to his hotel room to listen to his Huey Lewis And The News CD’s. This isn’t incredibly disturbing at all.
“How did you find me?”
“I tracked your cell phone, Anastasia.”
Aaaaaand boom goes the creepy dynamite.
Even Ana thinks this is kind of dodgy and Ana has less self-awareness than a parsnip, but she decides it’s probably fine because he butters her muffin. Okay then.
In the back of my mind, my mother’s often-recited warning comes to me: Never trust a man who can dance.
Or, you know, never trust a man who illegally tracks your cellphone and takes you goodness knows where when you’re drunk enough to take up botany. Christian’s ability to cut a rug would be way down my list of worries at this fucking point.
Fortunately for Christian, Ana is a total asshole and more concerned about what Kate is doing with
Jasper Cullen Elliot Grey.
Elliot grins, and pulls Kate into his arms, where she is more than happy to be…Kate! Even in my inebriated state, I am shocked. She’s only just met him.
Kate is a slut.
I can see where things are heading for her and him. I need to do the safe sex lecture. In the back of my mind I hope she reads one of the posters on the back of the toilet doors.
Clutch your pearls a little harder there, Ana. You haven’t quite ground those fuckers down to powder yet. And wouldn’t that be something? Anastasia ‘Down There’ Steele doing a safe sex lecture.
“You have to make him put the…thing on his you-know before he puts it…um…in place.”
Don’t even try to get her to explain about dental-dams – it’s just not going to work.
It’s alright though – we’re nearly at the end of this horrible chapter. Did it make you feel dirty? Sticky? Uncomfortable? Yeah, that’s normal. You’re okay. I meant to say more about writing and the relationship between booze and ‘creativity’, whatever the fuck that is, but there’s not really a lot to say. Really, it boils down to ‘If you can’t hit the keys correctly, you’re drunk.’
Drunk authors are terrible. Don’t be a drunk author. You need your liver, especially if you ride a motorcycle – you want to keep it nice and fresh for the next person to use it, don’t you? It’s only good manners.
I know this one guy who does a lot of drinking. Almost every single one of his stories features someone waking up in a bathtub full of empty bottles and then throwing up. I think he’d like this chapter, mainly because he’d be mercifully unconscious by the time we got to the ending, which goes a little something like this.
The last thing I hear before I pass out in Christian Grey’s arms is his harsh epithet.
* At the one of the worst points of his alcohol addiction Duff McKagan recognised that his two bottle a day vodka habit was probably not doing him a great deal of good, so he decided to ‘slow down’. In Duff McKaganland ‘slowing down’ meant switching from vodka to wine. He was drinking a case of Merlot a day and only stopped when his pancreas took near-fatal exception to this treatment. It’s a horrible story and you should definitely Google it.