This week I was in San Francisco. I’m always popular in California, because they think I’m Mexican. People come up to me after my shows and speak to me in Spanish. I talk back to them in Urdu; it’s a lot of fun.
I performed ten shows in one week. That’s what I love about Americans. They don’t mind me going over there and stealing their jobs.
One show was in Marin County, one of the richest counties in the USA. The theatre had blue velvet curtains and a Persian rug on the stage. I had to take my shoes off before getting on the carpet to do my set. The poor people in the front row were totally put off by my crusty toenails.
I informed the audience that I was not the Puerto Rican cleaner, but a comedian, there to entertain them. I get a huge thrill performing in places like these where people like me do not exist. Money cannot buy a sense of humour. There is a relationship between wealth and political correctness – the richer you are, the more overtly PC you become, because “it’s not fair to laugh at people less fortunate than ourselves”. They just laugh at them when they get home.
There were certain phrases the Americans had difficulty comprehending: these were “my trainers”, “weight loss” and “will you please stop talking”. After the show a man approached me and said: “I loved your performance.” I didn’t trust him, because he had no expression – he’d had so much plastic surgery, he looked like a walking Burt Reynolds convention. It is disturbing to see a town full of middle-aged men with faces scraped back into a ponytail. They don’t look young, they look like aliens.
It is so easy to get sucked in to the vacuous hole that is America – country of extremes and excess. When I am in England I hardly ever go shopping or watch TV. When I am in the States, all I do is flick through 360 channels, and then complain there is nothing to watch, eat nine meals a day, and go to Victoria’s Secret to buy lace G-strings that I am never going to wear and no one is ever going to see. Why? Because it’s almost $2 to the pound and I feel I must.
Last Tuesday at 5am San Francisco time, I was awakened in my hotel by a tirade of phone calls telling me there had been racism in the Celebrity Big Brother house. I foolishly answered the phone in my sleep to hear: “Jade Goody is a racist.” I thought I was having a bad dream. Jade Goody? This woman is haunting me.
America is a cocoon. I had no idea what was going on in the rest of the world – but I did know that Al Pacino had just had another facelift. At 11 o’clock that night I had a phone call from NewsNight in India. The woman was shouting down the phone, saying: “Shazia, you must come on our programme tonight. We need you to discuss why our girl Shilpa Shetty is being treated so badly in England.” I said, “I’m sorry, luv, I’m in America. The rest of the world? What’s that? Have a nice day. Goodbye.”
When I returned to England a few days ago I was shocked by what I saw. I am inspired by Shilpa’s calm dignity. If that was me, I would have locked those girls in the diary room with no food, then given them a medieval-style ducking in the Jacuzzi.
It’s ridiculous that people are saying the result was rigged. You can always rely on the people of Britain to play fair. I voted for Shilpa because I am British and I support the underdog. There are about 500 people in my family and I know they all voted for her, too.
Shilpa deserved to win, because, like any well-brought-up Asian girl, she was the best cook and the best cleaner and never stooped to the level of those silly girls.
An Asian woman wins Big Brother? I know it’s only a game show, but whatever next? Maybe we’ll be driving buses and speaking in public soon.