Me and Wayne

Then there was the story of Wayne Sleep, I like this one.
Di and I were on a 2 week, self catering holiday to the Greek island of Thassos, we were staying in a hotel that had about 50 rooms, a bar, small dining area, a typical Greek place. On the second week we were aware of a bit of bustling at the bar, when we investigated, the centre of attraction was Wayne Sleep, doing all the usual entertainment stuff. We kept in the background and didn’t impose ourselves on his attention as most of the enthralled crowd did, it seemed that they all wanted to be noticed by him, and it was quite embarrassing really.
It was quite obvious to us that he wanted to be alone while he was there, we learned from him later that he was writing a synopsis for a children’s ballet. He used to disappear at the start of the day and go somewhere to write while his partner, José, hung around the pool and looked after himself, nice bloke. So with that in mind we just said hello and all that stuff and waited for Wayne to make the move to talk, we know from him that this was very much appreciated.
He was good fun to have around and was nice to everyone. It was amusing to watch him keeping supple while drinking gin and tonics at the bar, and he had many, he swung his legs, one at a time obviously, up to his shoulder and, well, all sorts of contortion positions, and loved the “ooh’s and aah’s” from the hanger’s on. We had drinks and parts of evenings with him and Jose ….. other guests were bloody annoying, crashing in on our little group – no manners.
It was time to fly back home, and we were on the same flight to Stansted as the gay couple, as well as quite a few other people staying at the hotel. We got to the airport and learned that the flight was delayed by at least 2 hours, so we thought we would take our time going through the checking in procedure and joined at the end of the queue. Wayne and José had disappeared, we thought they had gone through already, then they appeared from hiding – they had been harassed by autograph hunters, and the hanger’s on from the hotel. Wayne said that he was pleased to see that it was us at the end of the queue and then said to me “Mike, I want you to be my bodyguard when we go through to the departure lounge” – which by now was packed with holiday makers all waiting for the same delayed flight as us along with other flights – “You need to be by my side until we get on the plane. OK?”. What could I say? It was such great fun. We went through and found ourselves a quiet spot in the corner and sat around on the floor, but by then people had begun to recognise Wayne, he was also wanting to have a few drinks before we set off because he didn’t like flying.
He said to me, more than once, to go to the bar with him and get some drinks. It became stupid because people were stopping him too often, but I suppose this is what fame does, he then asked me to get the growing crowd organised and he would do a signing session. I told everyone to form an orderly queue and that Wayne would be happy to sign autographs for them and then would they please let him wait for the take-off in a little peace. This went down quite well, I was standing beside him feeding him glasses of G&T as he wanted it – but he was getting more pissed by the minute, so much so, that when it was the turn of this little boy. Wayne was tottering a bit and asked the boy;
 ”Whooo’s name ssshall I put on here lad?”.
“Would you put it to me please, my name is Maurice”.
This stumped our famous man, he turned to me and asked how you spell the name, I started you spell it out to him and there was some sort of disturbance behind him, I turned to look and before I could continue he had signed it to “Morris”, the little boy looked and was rather stumped himself, but went away with a smile.
That was all over, done and dusted and we went back to Diane and José, who were having a lovely chat, and sat down. I needed to have a wee, went to the loo’s and the packed urinal parted so that I could have almost the whole row to myself! It was at that stage when I realised that the crowd thought that I was Wayne’s partner – oh shit.
It was very funny when we got onto the plane. Wayne insisted that we sat with them – we sat behind them at the front of the plane. The cabin crew soon bogged that our man was on board and played along brilliantly with the “gay” theme.
The steward who performed the safety procedures went into gay mode – not too difficult for him to be honest. It was a performance in itself, playing up to Wayne with every opportunity with “double entendres”.
An example being;
“If you blow your whistle it will attract any nearby sailors”.
You can imagine the reaction from him and of course the passengers – it was so very funny.
Anyway, I could go on more about that afternoon, but I have to say that it was great fun. We got to Stansted and we parted company with the usual stuff, we realised that we hadn’t got an autograph from him, but it didn’t matter, we have the memory.

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