A LIFE IN THE WEEK OF RICHIE MALONE — WEEK FIVE

HOW TO CURE A PORN ADDICTION

Tuesday afternoon …

If you happen to have a porn addiction and want go get over it, what you need to do is to get yourself invited to the set of a movie.

I’ve just had lunch and I’m wondering what to do when I realise that my curiosity has finally got the better of me.

Added to that, I have the semblance of a plan, and I need to discuss this with Grace.

So I text her and say I’d like to accept her kind invitation and watch her having sex with people she has never met on the set of the movie being shot in Javier Bardem’s rented villa. Put all those words into the same sentence and you’re left with an interesting smorgasbord of contrasting mental images.

I ring the bell, Grace opens it, we air kiss.

I’m slightly surprised to note that she’s wearing tight-fitting leather shorts and a black Tee with the word “STAFF” printed on the back, and the name and logo of a production company on the front. Clubérotique is a French production company that even I have heard of, and has a reputation for producing less sleazy porno than most of its rivals. They, of course, badge them as “classy”.

‘Not acting today?’ I ask.

‘Co-directing, darling.’

I’m curiously aware of a wavelet of relief at the news that I’m not going to have to watch her having sex with random people.

‘Career move,’ she adds. ‘There’s more money in production. Besides, you wouldn’t believe just how physically and mentally demanding it can be.’

‘I thought you enjoyed it … the sex, I mean?’

‘Oh I do,’ she laughs. ‘But it doesn’t always need to be in front of a camera, does it? Besides which, sometimes we’re on set for twelve hours just for a thirty minute scene.’

This is something I didn’t know.

She leads me into Javier’s massive lounge where several settees, coffee tables and a huge bed have been arranged in a seemingly haphazard fashion.

‘I see you got your furniture assembled. I trust Pawel was helpful?’

‘He’s a darling … absolutely terrific, so talented. Actually, we all mucked in. It took us most of the day, so today is our first day of shooting. Come and meet my co-director.’

There’s a lot going on in the room. There are several massive studio lights, backdrop blackout curtains, portable screens and wall separators; the latter I’m guessing so that whatever plot there is can be sub-divided. In addition to the actors and camera-slash-production crew, there are gofers taking orders, providing refreshments for the cast and crew, but whose main role appears to be to spray air freshener at regular intervals – more about this later.

If Ingvar Kamprad had witnessed the use to which his ready-to-assemble furniture had been put, he would have choked on his meatballs.

I count six women being photographed in various states of undress; some fully exposed, and some engaged in the use of a selection of sex toys, or applying lube in the distracted manner that a rugby player of my era would apply Vaseline and liniment before taking the pitch.

I count a similar number of guys, who – with one exception – are either naked or getting naked. A couple of the guys are warming up by what is traditionally known as “fluffing”, while amicably chatting in Spanish with each other.  I overhear the word “football” mentioned more than once, which in my opinion, ties in well with the activity they’re engaged in with their hands.

The one exception is a bloke who looks markedly incongruous.

This is because he is wearing what I perceive to be the uniform that General Custer would have worn: a dark blue jacket decorated with gold braid, cavalry hat, red bandanna, black boot tops and blue uniform trousers with yellow side stripes.

‘Your main protagonist?’ I ask Grace.

She nods and steers me over to a distinguished looking, well maintained guy in his late fifties holding an expensive looking camera, and giving intricate instructions to two other guys, who are also holding cameras.

‘Jean-Claude, I’d like you to meet my neighbour, Richie Malone. Richie’s the writer I told you about, darling.’

We shake hands.

‘Jean-Claude Root,’ he goes somewhat brusquely in a French accent he is clearly proud of, ‘good to meet you Rissschiee. Welcome to zee shoot.’

I mumble something reciprocal, trying to get my head around the connection between his surname and his occupation. Our interchange is brief. He goes back to issuing instructions and Grace ushers me to an armchair at the back of the room.

‘We’re about to start shooting, in a few minutes darling. Before we start the video, we do the picture shoot. The actors have to get into all the positions we are going to do and stay still from twenty to fifty seconds, which is incredibly demanding.’

‘So, is it scripted or improvised?’ I ask, not bothering to attempt to conceal my naivety. 

‘Ah … a bit of both, actually. Watch and learn.’ She kisses me on the lips this time, and off she trots to collect her camera. She looks great, by the way.

So the shooting begins.

I’m struggling to tell if there is any discernable plot, but the opening scene appears to be set in some sort of theatre – but there is neither set nor props so I get the impression that the setting isn’t that critical.

“Custer” is standing on a small platform giving a totally unconvincing résumé of events concurrent with his final battle. So far his thespian skills appear to be fairly limited, and I deduce that he has not been cast for his mainstream acting ability.

The “boy general”

This is where Custer’s lust begins; because his audience consists of four scantily dressed women, two of who find his presentation either so stimulating or boring that they engage in passionately (or so it would appear) kissing each other, and move on to what is traditionally referred to as “heavy petting”.

One of the other two women unzips his blue uniform trousers with yellow side stripes and starts to fellate him. The fourth woman, now naked other that a thong and stockings, assists with fellating “Custer”, making a penis sandwich with her friend.

The scene is erotically repellent sufficient for me to consider whether zips had been invented at the time of the good general’s last stand. I mean, wouldn’t buttons have been the sartorial order of the day?

The blue uniform trousers with yellow side strip are soon around his ankles and “Custer” – and I have seen enough of his physical attributes to appreciate the reason for his casting – penetrates one of the women from behind when the other positions herself on the face of the former.

At this point a bloke dressed as a security guard enters the set. There’s a bit of a mock heated exchange before the other two women set upon him, and now we have – what we would call in rugby terms – two pods of three going at it full on.

‘Cut, cut, cut!’ yells Jean-Claude, the action stops, but the actors remain frozen as he stipulates realignments.

While this direction is going on, “Custer” and the “security guard” – both of who are still embedded deep inside the two women – continue their discussion in Spanish about football.

Now if you know me, you will know that there is one word in the English language I detest, and that is the word “surrealistic”. When I taught Creative Writing I would fail – not refer, which basically meant they went away, made a few changes and resubmitted – a student’s assignment for use of this word.

Much as I hate to admit it, surrealistic is the only word that correctly expresses what I am watching right now. For sure, time is not dripping off a melting clock, nor do “Custer” or the “security guard” possess a foot long pencil thin ascending moustache, but other than that I cannot think of a more appropriate word.

And then I find myself looking at the “security guard” because there’s something about him that is remarkably familiar.

That’s when the penny drops.

It’s Pawel, my Polish maintenance man.

It seems as if he’s excelled himself at screwing in more ways then one.

*

There’s a lengthy break when the “Custer” scene is finally completed to Jean-Claude’s satisfaction.

The cast either remain naked – some of the males are still “fluffing” – or are dressed in gowns with the Clubérotique logo on the breast pocket.

Most of them are on their phones, either texting or talking, and a few have gone outside for a fag.

I’m not sure what Javier would find more offensive – people smoking on his terrace or what is actually going on inside his villa, but I’ve a feeling I will never find that out.

I catch Pawel’s eye and wander over. Truth be told, I can’t work out whether the look on his face is one of pride or embarrassment. Sometimes it’s hard to tell with the Poles. Thankfully he’s wearing a gown and has left his member beneath it to its own devices.

‘Don’t worry, señor Malone, I will have grass cut before it gets dark.’

‘Hey, no problem Pawel. A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do,’ I go, and slap him genially on he back.’

‘I never done this before, señor Malone, I promise. But when Miss Kitty tell me she a man down and would I like to audition while I screw settee together, I think this be the good opportunity, huh? Only trouble is, I don’t speak so good the perfect English – I speak better the Spanish, you know – so when director tell me to put dick INTO pussy I not know what he mean? I think he want to do some magical trick or something. In the Polish we would say: “put dick TO pussy.”’

‘Ah semantics, Pawel,’ I reply. ‘Well, you got there in the end. You Poles have a remarkable work ethic, I must say. I’m impressed Pawel … no, seriously, I am.’

‘Señor Jean-Claude say me to do one more scene, then I can get back to the work on your grass, señor Malone.’

Hey, no … don’t you worry Pawel. You’ll have had a long day. The grass can wait; it’ll still be there tomorrow. Go home when you’re finished here, get some rest, maybe give your wife a good time.’

The most important human advancement of the late 20th century?

He’s a chatty fucker, Pawel.

‘I never take the Viagra before, señor Malone. It make me feel like I can never stop the—’

‘Yeah, so I’ve heard,’ I reply, knowing precisely how Viagra works – or, in my case, how it wakens the dead. ‘So I’ve heard.’

*

I’m about to slip away when Jean-Claude calls the cast and crew to attention.

‘Right, people … we shoot zee orgy scene in five, on zee main stage. So start to take up your positions.’

Which means I’m trapped here until the next decent break.

The scene gets going with copulating bodies draped over every available piece of furniture in the area that occupies most of Javier’s living room. If Ingvar Kamprad had witnessed the use to which his ready-to-assemble furniture had been put, he would have choked on his meatballs.

Now, if you know me, you’ll know that when I have the need to describe what goes on in the bedroom – or in this case, on set – I am the epitome of discretion, so I am not going to go into detail as to what I witnessed in Javier’s living room as the afternoon progressed.

But one thing I will share with you is that I have never been subjected to a more repulsive smell, and this – as I mentioned earlier – is where the gofers earned their dollar. At every short break – and there were many for directional input – they would rush onto the set and spray the area with aerosols. 

Without this, the stench would have been almost unbearable, although bizarrely it appeared to have a positive benefit on some of the male actors, notably Pawel. I just hoped that he manages to burn off his cargo of Viagra before he gets home, because I would certainly not wish to be in Mrs Pawel’s nightdress tonight.

And before I manage to escape, I witness something that killed stone dead any marginal interest I may have ever had in porn forever.

‘Cut, cut, cut!’ calls Jean-Claude, and again the action is suspended and no one moves … well, apart from one actress, who removes a penis from her mouth – which still leaves one inside her – calls to a gofer to bring a tray of sandwiches, grabs two and stuffs them into her mouth. 

I’ve seen enough.

Actually, I’ve seen way, way more than enough.

I manage to slip out undetected.

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