SASSY TOWN FOLLIES by Felicity Applteon no.3, January 21


An Explanation

People have been asking me for a couple of weeks about the name of this column.

It doesn’t need explaining, I tell them.

“Go on”, they say.

No, it really doesn’t need explaining, I say.

“But come on, is it a quote from something, what does it mean?” they ask.

Before it becomes pleading, I usually tell them to shut up and finish their drink or say I need to make a quick trip to the Ladies, and climb out the window, or do something mature like that. For it really shouldn’t need explaining. And there really is nothing to explain. But when people ask, and by people I mean Kikki from work and my bestie Heather, I’ve decided there should be an answer ready, so I can just deliver it then be allowed to finish my macchiato in peace (or continue doing whatever it is that I’m doing).

This answer will probably need some refining, so apologies in advance if my first attempt is a bit clunky. Sassy is obvious. It’s a great word. It’s all about smart ladies, out for a good time with the girls, being clever and intuitive and sharing, taking on life’s challenges with a smile, being willing to have a go, and mostly winning the little battles that life in the city throws at them. I Googled it and the definition they came up with is “lively, bold and full of spirit; cheeky” – which is what I said, isn’t it!

Women all want to be sassy. And men want to find themselves a sassy gal. But a sassy woman will drop a man as soon as she realises he’s a loser, as there are plenty of fish in the sea and there’s no point wasting time with a controlling, emotional cripple who can’t let go of his mother’s influence (perhaps I’m sharing a bit too much there).

Town means town. Bright lights, big city, bars open at all hours, young people who work hard and play hard. Like my mate Troy, who’s a stockbroker and owns a boat which he sails on the harbour. Sails isn’t quite right. It’s a thing with an engine. A yacht, I suppose it should be called. You can fit about twenty people on it and it’s a beautiful way to get up close to the Sydney skyline at night. Troy invites all his mates when he takes the boat out.

Follies is from folly, which means foolishness. Follies were also a kind of variety show, like the Ziegfeld Follies, which were hugely popular in the 1920s. I love the 1920s. The Ziegfeld Follies had a chorus of beautiful dancing girls, often called follies girls or Ziegfeld girls. I have a framed poster from the Ziegfeld Follies in my bathroom and I often imagine I am one of them when no-one else is around. I also imagine I am a flapper, dancing the Charleston with my bobbed hair and attracting attention from all those men who used to dress so well, with their slicked hair, and perfect manners, and mob connections, and such lovely retro clothes, and everyone drinking heavily, despite Prohibition being the law. Perhaps you can guess that I’m not just a fan, but a really big fan of the ‘20s.

So follies means all of that.

Foolish dances in the cheeky city: that’s what the title of this column means. Simple really.

Published in: on January 21, 2013 at 7:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

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