There are few things more beautiful in life than the love of a father for his daughter. Picture the doting look in his eyes; the protective embrace of strong arms, tender and gentle; the moistness in his eyes as he parts from her at the altar, handing her into the trust of another man. It is the most heart-warming of all familial relationships.
Now imagine the contrary: There is, perhaps, nothing creepier than a father pimping his daughter out. I won’t ask you to picture this opposite. I’d rather not. Yet I have recently witnessed such an odd situation. I think that you’ll agree that it was a bit weird . . .
The subject of today’s acerbic real-life occurrence is a man who has had some international success. But even his achievements are smothered by the shadow of his daughter’s international acclaim. She rubs shoulders with some of the true greats in the history of the musical stratosphere. The father, who loves to name drop, will refer to his daughter having Tea with Tom; after some moments, and further none-too-subtle plying of sickeningly pompous claims towards stardom, I realise that he is referring to Tom Jones. And the next time I see him he will seamlessly slip into the conversation that she Was on Rod’s yacht last weekend.
Ah, I see: Rod Stewart. Impressed.
And it is all true, of that I’m certain. Good luck to her. I tell him that I went to a local coffee shop for tea and cake with a friend. I feel like adding, Cheryl loves cake. But I don’t want to offend him; he’s a nice enough person, beneath the self-satisfied, smug exterior. And he’d only tell me that actually she doesn’t like cake. She prefers flapjack. But none of this is pimping his daughter out. Even if I have often wondered if she’s on Rod’s yacht for more than the free pink Champagne.
Let’s call today’s guest to the record shop Jacob. And his daughter can be Maddie. He’s in his seventies and showing it. Jacob dresses like an American tourist – baseball cap, sports coat, perma-tan, a bit liver-spotted, unnaturally white teeth.
Enter Jacob . . .
Good morning. How are you?
Jacob: I’m good, thanks. Maddie was out with Nathan last night.
Really. Who he?
Jacob: Nathan. From The Wanted.
Oh cool. Who they?
Jacob: They’re really good. You should stock them. You’ll like their music. They’re like a mixture between between Boyzone and The Script.
Mmm, righto. Sounds . . . [terrible] . . . right up my street. Like 5ive.
Jacob: Maddie dated Abz from 5ive for a while. They’re still good friends. They had tea the other day, actually.
Naturally. I had tea this morning. In bed. With Charlie.
This flummoxes Jacob, as he feels that he should know who Charlie is. Little does he know that the Charlie I’m name-dropping is Manson, in the form of a book about his court case after the Tate / LaBianca murders. I’m willing him to say that Mads had canapés with Charlie when she was in the States. Serial murderers can be so accommodating.
Jacob: Anyway. I’ve bought Maddie’s latest CD in for you. You should have it stock.
We should. Show me the goods.
Jacob – retrieving the card sleeve EPs from his manbag: We’ve done them in three different sleeves.
He hands me the first of the CDs. Maddie is wearing a brown dress, windblown on a West Coast beach.
Jacob: We thought that it would be a good idea, so that fans can collect the different sleeves.
Good idea, I agree, looking at the next sleeve of Maddie, still on the beach but now wearing no clothes, pressed against her musical instrument. Arty. I like –
And then Jacob hands me the third of the triptych.
Jacob: You can give the fans the choice of which ones they want to buy. I’m sure that some will want to buy all three. It was a friend of hers did the shoot.
Jacob: No, Terry was busy. We did ask.
Straight away, I was pretty certain that this third cover sleeve would outsell the other two. It depicted Maddie, still with her instrument, crouching down, still very naked, baring her breasts for the world to witness. I looked up at Jacob. He was aligning the other sleeves on the counter. I placed the third sleeve next to them, completing the set. Jacob hadn’t raised an eyebrow. No comment on his quite naked daughter.
They’re nice. They’re, er, good.
Jacob: Put it on. Have a listen. It’s great.
Sure I will.
While the music was playing, Jacob prattled on about how much blah blah liked the music, and that she’d get a support slot for blah blah. I wasn’t really listening to him or the music. I was trying to process whether it was wrong to keep looking back at the third sleeve. I mean, it was hardly as if I had climbed up a tree in their garden and was peering through her bedroom window. It was just like the time that a German girl showed me her photo album: Here we are on mopeds. Here we are in the bar on the beach. Here we are on the beach not wearing any clothes.
Jacob: So what do you think?
Huh? I really hadn’t been paying attention to anything but the third cover. Yeah. Nice tits.