If it hadn’t have been for that damned clairvoyant this whole calamity could easily have been averted.
She couldn’t help but turn the words over and over in her head as she stood wilting like a spring flower under the bright studio lights.
She was fashion, sometimes beauty, occasionally timepieces.
She was not this.
Hitherto, she had been emphatically cat walk not cat call.
No more it would seem.
The work had dried up, her looks were “very yesterday” her decision not to opt for the knife “very brave”.
She was “too associated with white floral prints and billowing sleeves”.
In short she was “past her prime”.
Even so, when her agent called offering her a game show she had laughed.
“Think of the bottom line” he had uncharacteristically snapped.
She giggled and remembered out loud Catherine Deneuve’s advice that at a certain age a woman “can have the bottom or the face but not both”.
The ten percenter laughed too and suggested that she and her “vast ass” should meet him for drinks.
She knew that he intended to get her a little drunk and under ever so gentle duress get her to sign.
She knew that saving surgery and even more stringent diets than she had gotten used to in over twenty years of modelling she had no choice.
After all she wanted to keep the house.
So over pink pepper and pineapple bellinis she let him persuade her that it was all in her best interest.
He even invoked the turn of a tarot card, he was in his spare time a camply inept mystic, to convince her of the conviviality of the career move.
“Look” he squealed “it’s number 10. La Roue de la Fortune. That settles it. It’s fate!”
The money was good, the people fun, she would be a co-host and not a “dolly bird”, they would do everything to make the experience as painless as possible.
All of it, apart from how good the money was, was lies.
In reality, here she was, stood next that enormous day glow gargoyle version of a roulette wheel, grinning and gawping and spinning the thing for hours on end a fixed smile on her face and scarcely a word emerging from her lips.
They were taping the fourteenth episode that day, on their fourth audience, before her the thirty second and thirty third contestants.
She had barely sat down.
She felt and was sure she smelt very, very tired indeed.
To make matters worse she was over made up in the television manner to the point that had she strayed into daylight a stranger could have mistaken her for a psychopathic clown.
The theatrical slap they might as well have applied with a trowel smelt cotton candy cheap and her bouffed and coiffed hair resembled nothing more than a vast portion of the same spun sugar.
Still she was faultlessly polite to the all Allens from Arkansas, the DeeDees from Dallas and the Concepcions from Southern California.
She laughed at their over rehearsed ad libs, cheered their triumphs and commiserated their catastrophes resulting from the whim of the wheel or the paucity of their own general knowledge.
She even tolerated the hairspray astringent smell of the lacquer and the saccharine makeup that was even worse on them than on her.
She had her revenge.
When forced to fondle food processors masquerading as precious prizes she balked visibly.
When told to get excited about dinghies with outboard motors attached she always managed somehow to convey her utter disdain.
She arched one eyebrow too high or smiled a little too forcefully so that it came across to the camera as a snarl.
She contorted her remaining curves into shapes that would seem absurd to the audience at home.
If she was going to be made a circus freak, she might as well do it herself and with a sense of fun and a streak of satire.
Of course she knew there was neither the time nor the money for retakes: her little cabaret of discontentment would be played out in homes across the United States every afternoon for the next six months.
It was too late to get a name as big as her for the rest of that season, every ex Miss America so it seemed was already under contract.
They didn’t want her back. Not under any circumstances.
Why should she care? Her agent had after all signed her for three years, no break clause.
She would happily get paid to stay home and tend her irises.
She would be delighted never again to wield that wheel of misfortune.
Dolce&Gabbana’s truly unfortunate Anthologie: 10: Roue de la Fortune is a tackily slick daytime television sort of a scent.
As a perfume it is perfectly undesirable.
Too sweet, too brash, too silly in its cynical attempt to ride then current trends.
It is a self-embarrassing effort to capture a lucrative demographic with a half-hearted stab at white floral with cotton candy and poorly composed patchouli.
It gives off the desperate smell of something that hopes it will scrape through by association with a big name.
Even sadder, somewhere under the ladlefuls of syrup applied to the scent (the notes rather evasively refer only to benzoin) one senses there might actually have been an alluring aroma here once.
It is a fallen top model reduced to syndicated game shows to earn a living: all soft perms, soft focus and sickly maquillage.
Everything about it is sincere only in being utterly synthetic.
As for its inclusion in a nominally limited edition ‘Anthologie’ range?
It possesses all the exclusivity of a Wal-Mart discount bin.
Which, frankly, is where it deserves to be.
On the other hand, no one, man or woman, deserves it.
This is too bad to be even booby prize.
The Perfumed Dandy.