Friday, May 08, 2020

Do you want that bikini with beans, madam?

During these days of lockdown-enforced idleness, I have been reading through my collection of horror stories. Now, a  horror short story has to pull you in fairly quickly and immerse you. It may seek to have you recoil in shock or with a chill unease. It should not make you put down the e-reader and think "Surely that cannot be what the author meant?"

But, whilst reading Tighter by Christa Faust, published in The Best New Horror 16, I reached this paragraph on the first page and stopped.

In one of the older casinos, a tarnished relic from the days when Vegas was still strictly for grownups, Persephone does Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Two shows on Saturday. In the dimly lit lounge, she appears with flashpots, clad only in a golden g-string and tiny, star shaped pasties.
American readers may be thinking "What's the big deal, bud?". Because they would know that a pastie, in the context of a young lady in a sleazy Vegas show, means two very small strip of materials worn as part of a costume to protect her modesty. Something like these, for example:

Pic: Amazon

I, however, as a British reader, can only think of pasties as meaning a Cornish pasty, times two, as follows:

Pic: Good to Know website

And now you can see my confusion. I am all in favour of a few tiny pasties at any time, star-shaped or not (actually they would be pretty unusual), even better if chips and brown sauce are involved. Attached to the body of a lady in a casino, though? Not a very effective way to cover the nipples, there would be bits of pastry flying everywhere and how would you stick them on anyway? Perhaps a healthy dollop of mayonnaise might be sticky enough but it seems risky.

Ms Faust could have matters clearer by using the word "tassels". I shall suggest this, should the editors of the series request my assistance with revisions. In the meantime, let me try to expunge the image of gyrating parcels of fine Cornish cuisine from my still boggling imagination.

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