Wednesday, July 30, 2008
The manager of the safari camp is flying to
“Wouldn’t it be cheaper to buy an Abba CD?” I ask.
“I have all their CDs,” he replies. “I want to be reminded of what they looked like on stage, especially the blond girl with the juicy bottom.”
I smack my lips in wry amusement. I learnt in my circus days that it’s well-nigh impossible for a woman to impersonate the hindquarters of another. Each rump is as unique as a fingerprint and more recognisable than a face to a gorilla. Still, if he wants to delude himself that he’s feasting his eyes on a perfect replica, who am I to rub fish oil on his fantasy?
Full credit to Bjorn Again for inspiring a new generation of fans to listen to those classic Abba tunes. The Swedish foursome are said to admire the act while taking strong exception to the silly accents their impersonators put on when being interviewed. At a recent function celebrating the premier of Mamma Mia, the guests of honour were greeted with the following announcement from the host:
“I’d like to welcome Bjorn and Benny, who as everyone knows speak the Queen’s English. And having met Queen Silvia of
The Scandinavian pair pretended to join in the laughter, but departed a few minutes later without speaking to any of the invited journalists.
“Yah, vee shnubbed zem for sure!” said Bjorn shortly afterwards.
I’m pulling your leg – of course he didn’t say that! All the members of Abba have impeccable English accents, perfected in late-night tutorials with Terry Wogan before their Eurovision triumph. Dr Whipsnade’s tailor in Savile Row recently received a phone call from Benny to make an appointment to be measured for a suit. So polished was his pronunciation that the confused couturier initially thought he was speaking to the Duke of Westminster.
“There is no need to call me Your Grace,” said Benny. “I am not wearing my crown at this moment.”
Deceived by this deadpan quip, the tailor eventually discovered that he was talking to a retired pop star rather than a reigning monarch. He who misunderstands the Swedish sense of irony is doomed to play a bit part in an Ingmar Berman movie.
The song-writing genius of the boys was the engine that powered Abba, but its smooth and lustrous bodywork was personified by Agnetha and Anni-Frid. Their feminine European voices were quite a novelty at the time, and an admirable foil to the feisty – but ever-so-slightly butch – singing of the American ladies. My friend Smacker Ramrod, the circus vet, was always glued to the TV when the girls were doing their stuff. I got the impression that he favoured Agnetha. When once she appeared in somewhat revealing attire, he made noises that suggested he longed to bury his face in the crevices of her creamy flesh.
Both ladies, of course, were married at the time, if not very happily to their male co-performers. The subsequent divorces were predictable. Bjorn and Benny may have been perfect “new men”, sharing everything equally with their spouses and leaving the loo seat down, but is that really what a woman wants at the end of the day? It certainly wouldn’t impress a female gorilla. Perhaps the Swedes should start teaching their young men that being a new man only works if you retain an element of the wild impulsive beast. Deep down, a woman needs to know that if she pushes her man too far he’ll fling her onto the bed and bite her body until she begs for mercy.
I've recently decided it's okay to revisit Abba. I thought maybe I'd Abbaed myself out as a pre-teen, but it turns out I have quite a bit of Abba left in me. Now to figure out how to drag the G to Mama Mia.
I was shocked to discover my wife knew all the dance moves. Not to mention very embarrassed. But I did like the sexy 'swedish' women.
Men were divided as to whether the blonde goddess Agnetha or the sligtly warmer reddish/brunette Anna-Frid was the most attractive. Speaking as a heterosexual woman, I can only say that neither of the chaps did anything for me. And some of their songs were awful!
Ms Dgny: I don't understand the interest in Mamma Mia. The story has nothing to do with Abba, right?
Kiki: As many have noticed.
Mr Guru: Well that's the great thing about their act, there's something for everyone. Did they speak in funny accents?
Gadjo: You evidently had unusual musical tastes for a teenage boy. Was the audience mainly female?
Daisy: A dog wouldn't be able to fling you onto the bed nor know when to stop biting. Much safer to train a man to do it exactly as you want.
Kitty: They were funny looking chaps, weren't they? What did you think of Benny's beard? Are you a lady who likes a bit of facial hair?
Methinks, I feel a line-up coming on :)
"a woman needs to know that if she pushes her man too far he’ll fling her onto the bed and bite her body until she begs for mercy"
Benny's facial hair did nothing for me. It was too soft and silky - like a chin toupe. Im a rough stubble kinda gal - see your quote above :)
There was no need for that G.B.
But, you are 100% right! A rump is as individual as a face. Weren't the seventies just grand? I affected the lawless brat from a council flat, dressed like Sid Snot but when ABBA were on, I worshipped Agnetha. I drank every bit of her tight costumed body in. I knew all the words. When they became gay icons my shame and guilt overpowered me into corrosive silence. I'm so relieved to be out.
Dr Maroon: You shouldn't worry about the gay icon thing, Dr - not unless you regularly bopped to 'Dancing Queen', which I'm sure you didn't. Agnetha started her career early and there is footage of her in her teens looking like an utter nymph. Might be worth checking You Tube.
Kara: Ever thought of being the poster girl for Viagra?
Baba Doodlius: The members of Bjorn Again do speak like that, which annoyed Benny and Bjorn so much that they started talking posh.
Mrs Pouncer: For a Catholic mother of six, I find that remark slightly out of character.
Ms Cow: Your movie review has inspired me to give it a miss. Many thanks.
Trish: Right about the need to be flung onto the bed? You're all woman, Trish!
Ms Dgny: Well Abba were never cool, which is important to many aficionados of pop music.
As for being flung on a bed by a man, I too can bite him back.
Sam: I bet you shook your wee bums as well. I would have bought you a little pop microphone attached to a speaker.
Kyknoord: What a great film that was! Did you notice how she became doable, all of a sudden, when she moved to Sydney?
Mrs Pouncer: I'm glad you found the Bee Gees tolerable in spite of their very high voices, which seemed neither male nor female to me. But what fine tunes they composed!
Clea: Ah, you bite back! There must be something of the lioness in you!
Mary: Yes, they were healthy. I believe Agnetha takes long walks to maintain both her physical and mental health.
Mr Boyo: You gave up jazz to listen to Abba! Only a Welshman could make such a remark without fearing ridicule. It's a kind of nonchalance.
Eve: I'm glad to have brought you cheer, Eve! Make sure you tell your husband where you want to be bitten beforehand!
Norman: I'm not even sure that's her.
Emma: I'm surprised that the kids caused the break-up, because I thought they did a tour after they had split up.
I don't know exactly if the kids caused the break up but for Agnetha particularly she would have rather been a full time mom than a singer:
Clearly a little tibit dropped by some woman's divorce attorney aimed at setting up her poor slob of a husband as he was convinced it's what she really wanted. Damn! Why couldn't I just resist? The bite marks were exibits 5 through 22.
Emma: Unfortunately Abba wouldn't have worked if the wives had stayed home. She did have a solo career after the group split though.
Joe: Biting your wife is grounds for divorce? The law is an ass.
Miao: Yes, I don't think there'll be another Abba.
Kevin: I think you need a sauna with the pair of them to flush the toxins from your body.
Ari: Perhaps this is true for the good-looking man who lets a woman imagine he is what she wants him to be. The wrong remark can easily break the spell.
I would suggest heading up into the attic to dig out the horned viking helmets and chain mail for a start.
Randall: Weren't the Swedes in the B-league after the Danes and Norwegians? I can't imagine Bjorn and Benny going beserk in horned helmets.
Michael Caine: I never knew it for sure. These northern folk have odd customs.
Nursemyra: I'd love to, Nursie, but it's a hell of a long flight!
Savannah: Yes, their names were hardly ever mentioned when they were performing.
Lady Daphne: I blame global warming. The sexy Swedish woman was in her element wearing nothing but a fur coat, like the polar bear.
Lulu: You're very welcome, Miss. Why am I a gorilla, you ask? That's a very profound question. Why are you a human?
Also, Knowing Me, Knowing You is easy on the ears when you have a hangover.
would have been German not Swedish. Lol