Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The Poison Pen and the President

American playwright and poet, Beau Willimon wrote ‘Tales of power and ambition and intrigue and betrayal and desire – when you’re telling those in a big way, you automatically want to go to Shakespeare’. Though tempting, it would be too cliché to use William Congreve’s ‘Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned’.
Cast of Characters

Socialist French President Hollande: Unfaithful gaffe expert with matching approval and sex appeal ratings.

Valérie Trierweiler aka the Rottweiler: Sharply fanged ambitious former glossy magazine editor, husband poacher, ex-unwed First Lady of France

Chorus: French Press 

Extras: Cringing Citizens of France

Plot: Venomous and vengeful, publicly dumped Shebug creates crippling crisis at the Elysée Palace with a kiss-and-tell aptly entitled, ‘Thank You for this Moment’ as her weapon of choice.

As a publicly dumped woman, she knows that boldness is her friend. While this force to be reckoned with hopes to market herself as, alas, I am a woman, friendless, hopeless, ex-lover Hollande, hears only if you have tears, prepare to shed them now…

Her boyfriend cheated on her and nobody likes to feel betrayed. But wasn’t it all a game of infidelity in exchange for power to begin with? In a fake quarrel, there is not true valour; her ascent from nobody to predatory First 'lover' Lady of France was always suspect.

Every peccadillo and bottom-baring aspect of the odd couple’s life at the Palais possible lie within the pages of Trierweiler’s memoir actively read at present from Calais to St Tropez- and beyond.

If France’s Mr. Bean believed the golden age was before him not behind him after dumping Valérie, he thought wrong; this fury was not labeled  ‘La Rottweiler’ for nothing.

Holland is still smarting from being caught cooing good night, good night, parting is such a sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be a little too long with a B-rate actress clambering up the ladder of fame.  Living in the STYLE capital of the world, didn’t he realize the 'scooter & helmet' look are so last millennium?

Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. As Monsieur Le Président turns paler shades of gray by the day, he must have come to realize that when sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions.

Oh la la! Might Hollande's days be numbered? Or might the best-selling novelist’s?

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Book review on Pleasureseeker.me

Shebug: Dissecting the Gold Digger

An interview with the author ~ Leslie Hummel

Leslie says: “You'll pick up a tip or two - guaranteed - inspiring enough to get you off the sofa and back into the swing of things with a whole new swagger” And you'll thank me later!
Leslie With Table Of Books
Hi Leslie, I loved reading 'Shebug: Dissecting the Gold Digger' and had a good giggle throughout. Tell us exactly what a Shebug is:
Hi Yvonne It’s a term I coined to describe the often glamorous but fully toxic, fully armed selfish schemer. Comb through ANY book since the beginning of time and you’ll find the pages coughing up countless specimens. The Shebug’s hazardous nature is broken down into two highly combustive components: 50% woman and 50% insect. This hybrid makes a lethal combination and is the most predatory of our species. Like bugs, they come in all shapes and sizes, all colours and textures and ages. And are near impossible to extinguish!
Man In Web
How did the idea first come to you for the book series?
It came to me when my mother’s best friend found out that the charming Southern Belle to whom she had rented her beautiful house in the San Francisco Bay Area ended up being a real life ‘black widow’. Sandra Bridewell, it seems, has slithered her way out of Texas after leaving a trail of blood and unpaid bills in hopes of finding a new rich husband to milk dry. When she caught scent of the authorities closing in on her, not only did the killer Shebug leave the place a tip nor pay the rent, she left many a man with little in their bank accounts. I chose to write about fictional characters plotting and planning in choice watering holes across the globe.
Do you think men are as aware as women that these Shebugs are on the prowl?
Some see right through them, but not all wealthy men use their heads. 'Shebug: Dissecting the Gold Digger' was designed to enlighten and entertain- not to frighten. Just because the nasty breed survives ice ages, does not mean they are sitting ducks. It’s been suggested that the guidebook be included in every Oscar Night winner’s goodie bag. I couldn’t agree more!
Can you give us an example of a Shebug and what she did to capture her bait?
Wallis Simpson…a fine example. Do you actually believe Bessie Wallace Warfield wasted her precious time thinking about her flaws? NO! She might have looked like a looked like a mean bony nanny but could perform more bedroom tricks than the Cirque de Soleil? This historic specimen falls under the category of FRENEMY. She’d promise to her best friend, Lady Furness, to take very good care of her lover boy, Edward Prince of Wales, whilst the heiress took off on another cruise. Did the double divorcee colonist fulfill her best friend’s request or what? Well Lady Furness certainly couldn’t have accused her best friend for breaking her promise.
Book Cover
In your book, you explain how the term 'Shebug' does not only apply to gold diggers. Who are these other Shebugs?
She's the self-appointed neighbourhood Queen Bee, the smiling politician on her way up the ladder of prestige via the service stairs. Since so many of us work, I dedicated a chapter to Shebugs I refer to as 'Corporate Creepers'. I've dissected the power-hungry female boss-from-hell into recognisable pieces so one is not caught unaware! I've also exposed her unsuspecting Achilles Heels - whether she storms into the boardroom in polished pumps or sizzling stilettos. This type is out for Numero Uno only. She's the one who has no qualms about passing off your brilliant ideas as her own without so much as blushing. Once she is done using you to her advantage, she looks forward to spitting you out. And preferably in public!
Another type laid bare is the Diva Shebug. The more you learn about her, the better equipped you will be to deal with her kind. This glitterbug takes up as much oxygen as a whale in a matchbox and will resort to tantrums to quickly flood the stage with crocodile tears to ensure her name is on the marquee. Mind you, the rare Diva Shebugs who possess amazing talent can be forgiven. But the remaining 98%  'wannabe' Diva Shebugs will hiss, lie and push you into a trap door before they let anybody escort them to the nearest stage door.
Why should everyone own a copy of this one-of-a-kind spicy exposé?
Who doesn't dream of being privy to a Shebug's most ingenious guises? Who doesn't secretly wonder what tactics and hidden agendas these troublemakers think up? Name one person who wouldn't peak into their fully loaded arsenal of seduction? Whether your company is on the verge on an I.P.O, or maybe you've just been nominated for an Emmy Award or have simply been stung by a Shebug one time too many, this is the guide for you. It rates as the equivalent of a can of hard-to-get industrial pesticide - minus the the harmful effects on the environment, of course.
Reviews for Shebug: Dissecting the Gold Digger
‘If this book had been written by a man, he would have been hounded out of town – but this Leslie is a woman and we can only assume that every sharp, delicious word is terrifyingly true.’
David Abbott, Author of ‘The Upright Piano Player’
* * * * *
‘Any woman who even entertains the idea of stealing another woman’s husband, boyfriend or lover should be very, very frightened right now.’
Nina DeSesa, Author of “Seducing the Boys’ Club” and the Chairman of McCann Erickson
* * * * *
‘What every man needs to avoid is getting stung; and every woman wants to reach the next rung.’
Robert Eringer, author of Lo Mein, is a journalist turned fiction writer

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Deposed Queen & Stolen Crown

Nerve is what Shebugs - and Hebugs - are all about. Any standard social gauge, dash of the civilized or portent of politesse, go straight by the wayside on them.

If a Shebug smells an opportunity, regardless of how unmerited, how low or how blatantly incorrect it might be, in she slithers devoid of remorse and wearing a look of high-octane confidence only this breed can pull off.

Today’s Shebug is Burmese. But, alas, nothing like the much sought after rubies of her country. May Myat Noe is an eighteen-year-old destined to marry a despot such is the thickness of her young skin.

Miss May was just crowned Miss Asia Pacific in South Korea. To anybody in the know, this is a huge honour. Why? Burma entered two contestants for the first time in the two years since the small nation broke free of its military yolk; no small feat for an emerging nation of 51 million.

The coveted crown is estimated to be worth a cool £60,000; the average monthly salary after tax in the capital, Myanmar (formerly known as Rangoon) is just under £225. Clearly, the bejewelled bandit made out pretty well when she pulled a runner post victory.

The pageant wanted to pay for Miss Noe to undergo cosmetic enhancing: a set of silicone breasts is what they had in mind for their beauty queen.

May declined. She must have decided she did not want her breasts to be confused with mountains - like Shakira. Can’t blame her on that one… But refusing to believe and act as though she was still the winner is not on. Well, she is still in her teens, and teens can be rebellious at times. 

So what does mama Noe have to say about her daughter’s unprofessional behaviour? Who knows except that Mrs. Noe not only violated her ten-day visa restrictions, but also insisted the pageant foot the bill for her two and a half month stay in South Korea. Perhaps the apple does not fall too far from the tree.

As soon as May declined the free surgery, the crowned beauty was duly informed that she was to immediately give up her title, sash and crown, and board a pre-paid flight to back to Rangoon. Instead, the pretty Shebug secretly boarded an earlier flight home with the goodies safely stashed away in her manicured clutches.

Pageant media director, David Kim, is hot on her tail. In addition to theft, he also accuses Miss May of being an ingrate and of having a ‘lack of personality’.

Poor Mr. Kim… he may well be advised to use the £6,000 sponsorship money earmarked for May Myat Noe’s boob job to get his disjointed nose fixed and the hire a Pinkerton or two. It might take a lifetime to get that title, sash and crown back from this Queen Shebug...

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Stinker Traitor Shifty Spy

Whistleblower, Julian Assange, has decided to make appearances again. Savvy Hebug, he knows  any publicity is good publicity whether from a balcony or lack lustre press conference. 

But let us not be too hasty to judge. Perhaps he feels a tad guilty about the £11,600 a day police coverage we taxpayers are obliged to foot. In case you are as bad at maths as I am, the total to date comes dangerously close to the £4.5 million mark. Ay, caramba!

The WikiLeaks editor-in-chief claims his health is failing. Frankly, I can sympathise: it is rare that I spend an entire day in the house, rain or shine, before my inner panther begins to climb the walls. How Assange survives with 3 seconds of  English sunlight a day boggles the mind.   

Granted, the average person would need to pay roughly £34,000 to reside in a one bedroom flat in Knightsbridge, whereas the accused doesn't pay a penny. But living across from Harrods on the run up to Christmas or during the sales, must be a veritable nightmare between the noisy delivery trucks and  the scent of Hooka pipes wafting over from nearby Beauchamp Place would make anybody's skin turn seriously sallow.

But considering who and what awaits him no sooner he exits the Ecuadorian Embassy, I'd continue to bleach my  own locks, spend another £9,000 on take outs, continue learning Spanish gratis - basically resign myself to re-evaluating, repenting and avoid regressing with too many hours wasted on Netflix.   

Frankly, the colour orange does not suit my skin tones. The only way I would set foot outside the host embassy's doors would be to... vanishBut has it occurred to anyone that maybe it is not Assange's choice at all, and that the smell of a two-year-old fish might outweigh the thrill of celebrity guests who traipse in and out of the Ecuadorian embassy? Could it be that the thrill is gone?

Consider this: Assange's Frenemy List includes people such as Birgitta Jonsdottir (Icelandic Prime Minister), socialite Jemima Khan and  an army of journalists and biography writers, none of which like to loose face, faith or money.  Lady Gaga is obviously too busy to pay her buddy a visit; after all, OTT reinvention is not fabricated overnight. 

Below is a charity lunch Julian Assange is offering to the highest bidder. (I kid you not - talk about men and their egos...) Isn't he afraid that either the US, UK or the Swedish authorities might slip in one of their own and use this to their advantage? 

Malheureusement, Mr. Assange does not look anything like Benedict Cumberbatch who played the role of Assange in the film The Fifth Estate. Hence, as a potential bidder, I would rather pay more than double and experience a seven-day, all-expenses paid trip for 2 to Abu Dhabi as guests of the Crown Prince & His Chameaux.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

How To Marry a Millionaire

Today may be the start of grouse season, but I’m more interested in another a much more elegant bird, the Swan. One of these rare graces flew away only yesterday.

Her name? The inimitable enviably chic Lauren Bacall.

The legendary silver screen actress personified a rare kind of ‘sultry cool’. Throughout her life and her career, this Swan remained a lady through and through, whether angling for a big fish in the Big Apple or hunkering down in blustery and steaming Key Largo.

The reason I am honouring her today on Shebug Stories is because of a delicious1953 comedy she starred in, ‘How to Marry a Millionaire.’ 

Many of you, myself included, weren’t even born then. But if you have not seen it because you live half way across the world or on the opposite hemisphere from Hollywood, find it. If you are a fresh-faced nineteen-year-old, download it, or better yet, just rent it.

You’ll be transported to a promising and shiny New York City and visually glide into a penthouse overlooking Central Park. You’ll meet her roommates, Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable, Shebugs you cannot help but root for.

Feast your eyes on the glamour, howl at the quips, delight at their daring-dos and soak in Bacall’s renowned husky tones.

The Swan, however, was not born with the best voice in the business. She failed a screen test on account of her high-pitched voice. No push over, Lauren Bacall honed hers with sheer determination and shatterproof discipline.

At the tender age of nineteen, Bacall’s scene was also her first. In 1944, she made her debut in To Have an Have Not, when she famously taught Humphrey Bogart how to whistle. The two fell in love before America’s eyes and would remain so till Bogart’s death.

A real love story.

Lauren Becall will be lighting up the skies from above like only true stars can.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Ladies of London

A very successful switched on Californian who follows my blog – and has read every Shebug book and novel I have ever written – tipped me off to this delicious State-side show: Ladies of London.

It’s no Downton Abbey. Au contraire: it’s Reality TV. Mind you, I do not ‘do’ reality TV. Too many fabulous people I care to mention are inexplicably addicted to ‘Made in Chelsea’. I had this shot taken, for my daughters’ sake, naturellement, when they were filming outside my house. His name is Fred, and is rather sweet, actually. The other blonde flanking him lives a few doors down and was all too happy to include herself in the picture.

Ladies in London is not about too-rich-&-too bored twenty-somethings, but rather a blend of seven 30+ über-high maintenance women. Fortunately, two brunettes break up the sea of professionally coiffed shades of blondes who sometimes pass for a multiple set of the Olsen twins until they open their mouths.
Please note that the cast of characters fragrant with Eau de Furball is listed alphabetically and not by size of ego.

Yanks (all married to the Queen’s Subjects)

Caprice Bourret: Pregnant Queen Bee
Julie Montagu: Yoga/Wellness Warrior, now Lady Hichingbrook, daughter-in-law of Earl of Sandwich. For real.
Juliet Angus: Brunette Fashion Consultant/ Stylist
Marissa Hermer: Married to successful restaurateur/nightclub entrepreneur. Works in family business.
Noelle Reno: Fashion Entrepreneur/TV presenter


Annabel Neilsen: Carla Bruni’s sister (well, she could pass for one), socialite/author.
Caroline Stanbury: The other Queen Bee.  Society stylist who runs luxury gifting, personal shopping & wedding shops.

The 2.5 Yanks to Brits - the latter ready to defend their Queen-dom to the end - makes for a purrrfect beehive buzzing with hilarious dialogue and blood-letting repartee… Below are a select few of them:

When all are invited to spend a weekend at Mapperton House, Julie’s husband’s ancestral estate…

“What are we having for dinner?”
Gasps ensue.
“Oh, I know, it’s…Bambi.”
‘But it’s not eating Bambi!”

The British Queen Bee makes a running commentary on her friends as they arrive in their finery to dine at Mapperton House…

“Juliet looks like a scullery maid. I want to give her a duster! Marissa looks like she’s going to a toga party…”

Here’s a good observation made by Marissa on the night if ever there was one…

“I don’t know what it is about British aristocracy, but the more aristocratic they are, you can always assume there will be a few eccentrics around.”

Such a priceless scoop. I'm already hooked!

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Speedy Mistress Manager

Oh dear, enter the Mistress Manager, the Wheeler Dealer of the Shebug Shows…

Name: Gina Rodriguez.
Biggest claim to fame: Playboy Centrefold.
Past employment: Star of sixty X rated films.
Location: Los Angeles
Current line of work: Public Relations
Client roster: Former mistresses, benefit cheaters, escorts and Hollywood D list hopefuls

The forty-six year-old PR dynamo-from-the-dark-side was born, and will remain, a true Hustler (and probably did a shoot for one, too…) Ms Rodriguez handles the interests of Shebugs - and Hebugs, whose affairs with those in the spotlight catapulted them out of obscurity.  And gutters.

Remember when the Tiger got caught frolicking in the woods with a porn star? Well, the golden golfer’s career took a downturn, but Joslyn James, made out like a bandit thanks to her PR agent, Gina.

Ms Rodriguez expertly milks a Shebug’s fifteen minutes of fame while the iron is red hot. No doubt Gina must be related to Speedy Gonzales because scandals bubble up as reliably as British summer tube strikes.

Savvy, she also keeps her eyes on politicians’ dalliances. One of the women to whom the disgraced New York congressman, David Weiner, sent scandalous texts to, landed a movie deal thanks to Ms Rodriguez. The name of the film?  Weiner and Me – what else?

Charlie Sheen’s name was tousled about in the tabloids because of his, err, carnal addiction. But what Gina did was turn his stable of escorts into Charlie’s Angels. This coup increased her client list overnight.

Nadya Suleman, aka ‘Octomom’ is part of Gina’s posse. The unwed mother of six addicted to plastic surgery, popped out eight more babies all on the US tax payers’ money, of course. No doubt each child will require a lifetime of counselling;  I wouldn’t bet on Octomom footing her brood’s psychiatric bills no matter how much employment her agent can secure for her.

Gina’s celebrity mistresses hope to bag anything between $10,000 and $50,00 for their kiss-and-tell antics depending upon whom they’ve slept with.
If they cannot wed the targets they are bedding, the gold diggers can sting and cash in. Gina Rodriguez’s services are honey to Shebugs and Hebugs alike.

This reminded me a scandal that broke out in 1987 when former married senator Gary Hart announced the beginning of his second presidential campaign. Soon thereafter, the press published photographs of Hart with a twenty-nine year-old model, Donna Rice, on an island nobody had ever heard of, Bimini. The words Monkey Business were emblazoned on the tee shirt Mr. Hart was wearing. No surprise, Hart dropped out of the race; Donna Rice went on to shoot this advert:

Donna Rice No Excuses by phattaile

Nowadays, she presides as president and CEO of an American non-profit anti-pornography movement working hard to make the Internet safer for families and children. 

Eat your heart out, Ms Rodriguez!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

The Super-Rich List

A revved up engine of a powerful sports car interrupted the easy-going feel the locals and tourists have been sharing on a mellow late Sunday morning on the Kings Road. Like them, I too, looked up from my post jog stretching to see who was desperately seeking attention.

To my surprise, the culprit was not alone, but rather, roared aggressively smack in the middle of a convoy. The make and colour of the two vehicles preceding and following him were evenly distributed. Amased, but not surprised, I counted a total of two armoured Range Rovers and a pair of Bentleys in the cortège. Whether or not the later were Phantoms, Ghosts or Wraiths, I couldn’t say. I friend of mine has one and I can assure you, as much as I love my faithful Volvo’s bum heater, nothing cradles your dérrière quite like a Rolls.

By regular standards, the convoy was un peu de trop. Well it would be anywhere else – bar the shifting Sand Lands ruled by oil barons where the word 'aesthetic' is spelled differently. But this is London we’re talking about, where somebody else’s Ferrari sits regularly at the southwestern corner of Harrods covered entirely in weatherproof black velvet. I give you my word: I have touched it. Twice.

But let’s get back to the bling…The Sunday Times publishes the Rich List annually. That one morning a year attracts every conniving Shebug & Hebug under the sun. Do not be surprised if they queue over-night to secure themselves a fresh copy and check out their competition: the breed is bbbbad to the bbbone.

This year, the Hinduja brothers rank as the wealthiest men in Britain, at a combined worth of £11.9billion.  From zero to hero, they now reside next door to the Queen. Bravo.

Kristy Bertarelli comes in as the wealthiest woman at £9.75billion. She hopes to make a big splash as a singer. Will Kristy and France's ex-First Lady, Carla Bruni team up for duets? Doubtful...

What else do the Super Rich spend on aside from ex-SAS hotties, royal boroughs, and galactic shuttles? Find out next week...

With more billionaires residing in this town than any other city on the planet, there are as many Shebugs & Hebugs as there are more mosquitoes on the coast of Belize. Not a comfortable thought for anyone, is it?  Neither of my two Fat Cats made the Rich List this year. Oh, they might have hissed about it for weeks, but I felt rather relieved…

Monday, 2 June 2014

Before The Winter Chill

I spent a rare sunny spring afternoon confined in the dark with a friend at the Cine Lumière. Despite the generous legroom and comfortable seats, and the frothy latte in my hand, our chilled mood took a sharp left turn onto Dread Street five minutes into the film.                       

Daniel Auteil, who plays the part of a very successful neurosurgeon, is married to the lovely Lucie, played by Kristen Scott Thomas, in the latest French release, Avant l’Hiver, Before the Winter Chill.

From the outside, all appears idyllic: the couple, their family, their magazine-spread home and prize-wining gardens she so lovingly tends to, day in and day out. (Okay, so a little too much gardening and not enough socialising outside the house…) All said and done, the couple’s home is an architectural feast; look as hard as you wish, but you will not catch so much as a streak on its many massive glass walls.

As the viewer, you and I get to stroll inside their exquisite home and admire everything about it, down to the Eames chair and appealing array of art, lamps and curio objects. His offices are equally easy on the eye - until a self-appointed ‘decorator’ of sorts proceeds to mar all the beauty and goodness of the visual canvas, petal by petal, stinking of a Shebug’s cloying odor.

Her name? Lou Vallé. Or so she tells him one afternoon when she chats up the respectable doctors in a café before he heads home after a long day of operating. She tells him that she remembers his removing her appendix as a child and has remained forever grateful to his tender care – the first of her cascading lies.

The neurosurgeon immediately corrects the too young and too chatty barmaid explaining that she must have him confused with another physician. But Lou insists on being right and casts her calculating murky eyes at him over her exposed shoulder.

A nonstop delivery of blood-red roses kicks off the very next day. He finds her calling card on his windscreen, in a vase at his reception, fanned about in his very office and being sent his own home… Does the shebug own up to being the culprit? That’ll be the day…

Meanwhile, Lucie’s perfectly arched right eyebrow hikes up to a 90° angle. Only because she is English-born is she able to maintain her commendable calm. She is respectable, caring, intelligent, elegant and very much a lady.

The Shebug’s persistent Mephistophelian machinations serve her well: soon unspoken heaviness and loose ends between the doctor and his wife shoot up like cracks on the surface of a frozen lake.

The doctor is a good man; you cannot help but like him. But watching an honourable, intelligent grandfather become entangled in a hooker’s dark web is not for the weak of heart.

The tale is twisted, chilly and downright unnerving. But we cannot shake him out of the Shebug’s carefully conceived bewitchment no matter how much our hands itch to. Equally, we cannot urge the enviably controlled Lucie to grab hold of the reins soon enough. We sat helplessly awaiting for zee  Jaques-in-the-Box to pop out in her true sordid colours before more damage occurs. 

But typical to French cinema style, the truth of Lou Valle’s motives drop onto the unraveling scene one drop at a time. Though the danger finally seems to have been averted, does it really? 

As the lights in the Lumière brightened and the curtains closed, my polyglot friend and I exited le cinéma agreeing on two things:
1)   There is no fool like an old fool;

2)   I get to pick the French films for the remainder of the year!