As promised, the long-anticipated (lol) discussion of Belinda Blinked 3, Chapter 2. We’ve got Els back on the blog to help us through this gorgeous trainwreck of a novel and discuss the delicate nuances of Rocky Flinstone’s latest offering.
Grace: This is weird, we’ve never done a chat in this format before. Welcome back to the blog, BFF!
Els: I am at work, this is gonna be a clusterfuck.
G: Perfect, because clusterfuck is sort of the name of the game right now, isn’t it? Since we’re delving into… Chapter 2 of Belinda Blinked THREE. I’m actually really impressed because – okay, for some background, Els and I are both writers, and I’m dying to write a novel one day. And here we’ve got Rocky, who’s just gone and done it. He’s done three now.
E: I think he’s actually done more! Book three was completed about two years ago, so there is PLENTY of Belinda to go around for many moons to come.
G: Get out. Has he really? I didn’t hear this, has this been confirmed? Like, he’s got a whole completed Belinda canon? With volumes?
E: I mean… let’s not get ahead of ourselves and start calling anything canon.But yes.
G: The only thing that is canon for me now is the small man dressed in black. What a guy. We were just talking about Harry Styles a moment ago – who would you prefer, Harry Styles or the small man dressed in black? As a lover, obviously.
E: God, no contest. Small man dressed in black. We’re already connected on LinkedIn. I’ve endorsed him for sound technician work, and he endorsed me for my great podcast dissecting skills.
G: That’s some quality networking, I’m gonna have to go find him. Okay, so, we missed discussing Series 3, Episode 1 because I was late listening as always, but I’m all caught up now. And I think it’s important that we mention that we are both writers and editors by trade, so listening to My Dad Wrote a Porno has been… trying, at times.
Like, at the start, I wanted nothing more than to get my hands on a manuscript and fix it, or maybe sit down with Rocky himself and be like ‘okay, Rocky, now THIS is a comma splice, and THIS is how you use a semicolon.’ But now I feel like editing it would ruin so much of its charm. Don’t you think?
E: Oh, completely. You and I both love a semicolon but I feel like we don’t actually love them as much as Rocky does so really we should let him use them however he wants to.
G: We do love a semicolon. I feel like we’re missing so much by just listening to it, we really should read it to really appreciate how thoroughly he’s eviscerating the English language. Next gift-giving holiday, copies of Belinda Blinked for each other, what do you say.
E: Maybe just BB1 for posterity – the temptation to read ahead would be far too great, and then we wouldn’t get the joy not only of having Rocky’s errant commas being read out loud, but the myriad accents that are on offer. I know you loved the American ones and definitely told me they were 100% true to form.
G: Oh my god, please don’t get me started on the goddamned ‘ranch hands’ slash ‘cowboys,’ that was the first time I’d ever been offended by a stereotype.
Okay so this episode was a cluster. There were horny babies, secret mirror rooms, and buzzing vaginas, so basically a normal day of sex in Rocky’s imagination.
E: “Horny since birth” – we’ve all been there.
G: Amen. My biggest issue was with Jamie’s Duchess voice, which, okay, so I know you listened to the English Stephen Fry-narrated Harry Potter audiobooks, but he sounded just like the American version’s narrator Jim Dale doing Nearly Headless Nick. So whenever the Duchess was speaking, I just kept thinking of Nearly Headless Nick, just casually thrusting some Love Eggs at Belinda and being like ‘lube up, love.’ I can’t tell if that added to or detracted from the experience?
E: I have never heard the Jim Dale version and now I feel simultaneously like I need to, but also really don’t want to because I might picture Nearly Headless Nick scrabbling for his over-lubed anal beads on the floor or something.
G: On the floor of Claridge’s. Am I spelling that right? This is why I need you, all these English references. Is Claridge’s like, a really ritzy tea house? Also, what exactly is a tea house? I’m imagining like an opium den sort of setup, but I think that’s pretty definitely wrong.
E: He’s definitely posh enough to have gone to Claridges when he was alive. It’s a REALLY fancy hotel.
G: Oh, so not an opium den.
E: It might be, I have never been. Still trying to wangle my invite from the Duchess.
G: She’s notoriously coy, that one. Maybe send her a zinc-encased dildo, speed up the process.
I also think Rocky is getting better with his similes. They’re still absolutely ludicrous and barely-sensical, but the line about the Duchess buzzing Belinder’s vagina like ‘an orchestra being conducted by a mad conductor’ was at least a well-thought-out line.
E: That was actually remarkably easy to picture, you’re right. Also… ‘Belinder’ – are you secretly Jim Stirling???
G: It’s not a secret, Els, I am publicly Jim Stirling.
E: Rocky was right, Americans DO talk like that.
G: Hahahahah NO, we don’t, oh my god. Rocky, please. Cut us some slack.
E: That does explain your prolonged absence at the beginning of the year. Pretending you were having a baby but actually getting a Brazilian alien penis enlargement
G: Yeah right, you know I’d never splash out extra money, not even on the blue semen package.
E: Oh just the basic one then. Sure.
G: I’m a Southerner, too, so I feel like Jamie’s doubly insulting me by doing legitimately the worst Southern accent I’ve ever heard.
E: You haven’t heard mine.
G: But I do think this episode was better in terms of writing. I mean, it was dragging and the Duchess is a nutcase – what about her secret mirror room? The ‘elegant mirrors’? I sort of prefer it with Jamie’s description, plastered floor-to-ceiling with the Polly Pocket mirrors.
E: That definitely would have added something extra to the whole experience. Those Polly Pocket mirrors weren’t exactly straight, were they? It’d be like being in one of those wacky hall of mirrors where one makes you fat and short, and another one makes you tall and squiggly. Imagine having those reflected around you while the Duchess lovingly rubs three-quarters of the lube on your arse cheeks.
G: I cannot think of a more erotic experience. I also sort of feel like Rocky is feeling out reception for his inevitable sex-toy line launch, by mentioning in such detail the ‘ebony penis’ holding an ‘out-of-this-world necklace with added nipple clamps.’ Like, that was so viscerally specific, I just don’t think he put that in there as a throwaway. I think he’s gauging interest so he can take it to his investors and bless us with dick-shaped necklace holders.
E: It was definitely specific but I still didn’t understand AT ALL. I don’t know about whom that speaks more volumes – me for not being ‘down with the kids’ or Rocky for probably just making weird sex stuff up from his own brain. Real talk though, would you buy one if he released ’em? I would.
G: Please don’t use Rocky as a judge of who is ‘down with the kids,’ I refuse to believe that’s where the next generation is headed. But oh my god, absolutely I would. No questions asked. Didn’t you hear, the necklace had added nipple clamps.
E: I am a sucker for added nipple clamps.
G: Okay so what do you think is going to happen next? Who are her guests?I hope they all have some variation of ‘ish’ descriptors. ‘The oldish hag, the wealthyish aristocrat.’
E: Personally I’m hoping for another reappearance of the Youngish Man from book one. Or even our friend the man dressed in black who is so handy with a microphone wire. However, I would say… Sir James?? He’s one of those “wealthy-ish” aristocrat types, right?
G: I honestly don’t know if I want Sir James Godwin to ‘pop back up’ since Jamie’s Sir Godwin voice makes me want to puke. Not that I want him to change it. I’m a little in love with Jamie’s accents.
E: You’ve just made me want it even more.
G: But yeah, I bet you’re right, I bet it’s Sir James. I WISH Jim Stirling would show back up, but I doubt he will, and maybe… What if Bella is there?
E: If attendees are based purely on accent, I bloody hope Bella is gonna go. #TeamBella. She’s gotta have somewhere to wear her one grand’s worth of riding gear to. Might as well be the Duchess’s party.
G: I forgot about the thousand-pound riding gear, oh my god. Bella, you beautiful idiot.
But YES. You know how much I love Bella’s accent. I like to imagine that’s how all of you posh English people really sound when you get home. Like girls take off their bras to relax, English people take off their posh to really lounge around and replace their ‘th’s with ‘f’s.
E: That is exactly what happens, don’t tell anyone.
G: It’s too late, I’ve put it on my blog.
E: Damn. I’ll be arrested for treason, now. That’s a national secret.
G: I guess that’s it, then? I mean, we can (and will) talk about this for hours, but we can curb it until next episode. Any final thoughts, Els? Parting words, questions we should tweet at Rocky?
E: So, so many questions. First being when is this bespoke range of necklaces with added nipple clamps going to be available?
G: Definitely, definitely.
E: Or perhaps we should just stick to tweeting him messages of encouragement because I really cannot get through a Monday at work without this podcast. So the day Rocky stops writing means it’s the day the podcast will cease to be and I am too young and fragile to cope with that bereavement.
G: Aw, I like that, yes. We’ll go google ‘motivational memes’ and tweet at Rocky.
E: Some happy kittens in fields etc, yes how perfect. Maybe we can edit them with some nice graphics of semi colons.
G: No, stop, I love the semicolon so much, let’s not draw Rocky’s attention to it.
Thanks English, until next week!
E: Many thanks, Gregor. Love yas.