Let’s Share a Kebab

 

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They sit outside the kebab take-out propped up on one side of a street bench avoiding the wet patch. Although later in the evening the traffic is still heavy on this major route, into and out of the city centre. They laugh;

‘You have it.’

‘No you have it.’

Giggling, they have picked up opposite ends of the same length of strip cut meat. He lets her take it, she smiles as she gets mayonnaise on her nose. Going back into the shop he requests a napkin, on his return, he swoops the mayo from her face then lets her have the napkin. They smile and laugh some more, then he kisses her on the forehead. They stop, look into each other, then a long, mutual embrace follows. As their lips pull away from each other there are cheers from behind them. Quietly, as the queue had dispersed the counter staff had slipped outside to watch the couples shenanigans. Sharpeners and serving tools on hand they banged them together as they celebrated with a song from their home country.

On the other side of the street, there was a group of youngsters dressed up for a night in and out of the bars of Mathew Street. They joined in with the cheering and waved their hands up int he air.

Empty kebab wrapper in hand they look at each other, enthused but equally embarrassed. They both had grown up kids the same age as the group opposite.

‘Come on!’

He jumps up and grabs her by the hand, as they leave they take a bow and thank their audiences on both sides of the street.

Meet up as arranged much earlier in the night, they had known each other for several years but that was simply on the basis of a once a month work phone call or brief meeting. Both had separated from their previous partners and equally felt ready to give a night out with someone else a chance. There arranged meeting had been a Gino D’Acampo’s new restaurant. However, it was still relatively new and tonight it had been rammed, with an extended queue stretching along Dale Street. They had waited over twenty minutes to be seated, three-quarter of an hour from drinks then after another three-quarter of an hour the food order still hadn’t been taken. It was her suggestion:

‘Let’s share a kebab.’

They were starving, both wanted food and fast.

The last time either of them had shared a kebab they had been the same age as their kids were now. Hand in hand they enter a quiet bar on the edge of Mathew Street. After ordering drinks they look at into each other gazes, they have so much in common and so much to talk about.

 

Let’s Share a kebab is a short fiction works from Alison Little, card depicted in image is available from Arts Hub on Lark Lane, Liverpool.

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Do we need a Miss Liverpool?

Miss Liverpool copy

The ritualistic process of crowning a Miss Liverpool is an annual event in the city of Liverpool. Initially, relating to the ancient custom of Marriage, the ball-like gown paraded by the contestants often being the traditional white. The notion of a maiden passing of age is also conjured up by the generation of the contestants, the latest winner; Elli Wilson, being a tender seventeen, most entrants are in there later teenage or early twenties in terms of age. A tall slender figure with a bikini perfect body relating to the process of fertility selection. Often a ‘Barbie-esque’ girl, a typical Arian with pure long straight blond hair. Images of Snow White and the Sleeping Beauty are conjured up by this fairy tale heroine, types of girls. Equally, does the pageant relate to the Debutante Balls so common with the Aristocracy and the Jane Austen novels we treasure as a society? Is the crowning of Miss Liverpool so different from the most recent Royal Wedding of Megan and Harry?

Should a contest be based simply on looks, it this merely an act of male objectification and is this wrong? Do modelling agencies like ‘Impact’ who often sign contestants degrading to women in the way in which they present the model’s ‘Vital Statistics,’ measures in terms of the figure and cup size of her bust?

Lucy Whittaker, former winner, Impact modelling

Does the beauty pageant relate to sovereignty and are the winners so different from Kate Middleton and Megan Markle? Is the process similar to a traditional Debutante ‘Coming Out’ ball and do we need this in contemporary society?

Does the Miss Liverpool contest promote child pageanting, is this the sexualization of children and is this being encouraged?

Are we happy with Nightclub culture, the final awards ceremony for the contest being held at the Olympia in West Derby Road? Does the winner simply go onto make nightclub appearances worthy of a role model figure? There have been long term associations between the Olympia and the Grafton Rooms which has long been known for prostitution within the city. Is the contest helping to create a rape culture which we should be aiming to suppress?

Is the Pageant simple a tool for creating minor celebrities leading to appearances on hyper-reality shows. Was the former winner, Daniel Lloyds appearance on Celebrity Big Brother a positive or negative matter? Many of the winners seem to become minor celebrities, fund cosmetically enhancing boob jobs and is this a process we want to be part of?

Is the contest simply a symbol of White able bodies hierarchy? Winners are seldom from minority groups, in term of ethnicity Miss England has only ever been won by a singular Muslim girl. Are those with disabilities, same-gender sexual orientation or trans women ever present as winners or participants?

Previous winners

Does the concept of beauty contests, celebrity culture and the vanity which surround our advertising agencies lower self-esteem and put pressure on women to be more beautiful and ultimately younger. Is the contest ageist in term of participants and winners?

Answer the ultimate question: Do we need a Miss Liverpool?

A) Yes, she is the ultimate female idol.
B) Yes, it’s just intended as a bit of fun, she can be seen as someone to aspire to in addition to leading women from other industries.
C) I would prefer for the Miss Liverpool contest to be changed to eliminate objectification and to promote skill and intelligence of women and to include women from BME communities.
D) Miss Liverpool must go….

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