Magazine article The Spectator

High Life: Taki

Magazine article The Spectator

High Life: Taki

Article excerpt

Gstaad

A naked, very good-looking young man skied down the mountain evoking shrieks of laughter and admiration from the hundred or so skiers lining the slopes. He turned out to be J.T., my son, and it was an act of protest against the mind-numbing conversation about titles among some at the Eagle club. A friend had skied ahead and was waiting for him at the bottom with a blanket. Needless to say, it became the subject du jour , and someone even filmed young women cheering the streaking skier as he shussed his way down at record speed.

His naked run to glory succeeded in getting the subject changed up at the club. Talk about titles is a no-no, and should be left to NOCDs (not our class, dear). J.T.'s action spoke loud and clear -- unlike the ghastly Stephen Fry, who uses foul language in place of talent or wit. Once upon a time Fry was considered funny. No longer. He talks only about himself and his same-sex partner -- or wife or whatever -- and appends the F-word to everything. He should be gently put out to pasture.

Otherwise everything's hunky-dory up in the Alps. I saw lots of a wonderful man Wafic Saïd and his wife Rosemary, and we laughed about how things have changed. When he was very young he applied for a loan from his London banker and when asked what collateral he had, he said his collateral was his word. He got the loan. That's how it was back in my day too. (I'm older than Wafic.) But if I were a banker today, I wouldn't take that line.

Last week my daughter tapped on someone's car window and asked if they would move forward as they had blocked the whole street. Some ghastly Brit emerged and screamed not to fucking touch my car, you bitch. Alas I was somewhere else -- you're never there when I need you, daddy -- but it could have been interesting. A 78-year-old teaching a horrible yob nouveau millionaire a lesson, or, conversely, being given one. Anyway, it would have been fun to send a newly rich pig to the dressing station for bullying my little girl, or take my lumps and the de rigueur visit to the dentist. I guess we won't know until next time. If there is one -- which I'm sure there will be, as manners are becoming extinct among the new rich. Oh, for the days when the worst offence was asking the wife of a foreign diplomat if she 'Likey Soupy?' as the great Sir Denis Thatcher once did. Now it's straight to the F-word and threats of physical violence from the heavy next to the newly rich pig. (And I apologise to our porcine friends, who would be appalled by the comparison if they could read. …

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