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BOOKS: A campy take on the 007 franchise

Hair stylist by trade, secret agent by choice

SEXY NOT SILLY. Author Robert Cabell the idea for Jayms Blonde came to him during a chance encounter with Rupert Everett in a café in New York. Credit: Xtra West files

For over 40 years, the alpha male benchmark has been set by a tuxedo-clad man who oozes sex and sophistication while saving the world without breaking a sweat.

He’s the man every woman wants, every straight man wants to be and every gay man wants to be on.

With his debonair looks, cunning catch phrases and sexual prowess, James Bond has always been the epitome of alpha males. It was only a matter of time before someone came up with a gay version.

Robert Cabell’s new book The Hair-Raising Adventures of Jayms Blonde is a campy take on the 007 franchise and promises to be the first book of a new series featuring the sexy hero Jayms Blonde, an ex-navy seal who is a hair stylist by trade and a secret agent by choice.

“The idea for Jayms came from a chance encounter in 2001 at Tea & Sympathy, a café in New York,” Cabell says. “I ran into Rupert Everett who was there with his dog and we were doing dog talk. He mentioned that he wanted to do a gay James Bond and it was an idea that interested me. My lover at the time was a hairdresser and Jayms sort of took on a life of his own after that.”

Cabell had spent 20 years in the entertainment industry working for such companies as HBO, Spelling International and the New York Post. He saw potential for a gay secret agent and took it upon himself to write the sexy tale.

The result is a smart, good looking and happy-go-lucky character that isn’t so much suave as he is horny.

As an agent of STOP (Stop Terrorizing Our Planet), Jayms fights for the environment against the nefarious ZENRON Corporation (Zillionaire Environmental Nihilists Reinstating Oligarchy Nobility) with his arsenal of deadly cosmetic products, sassy comments and unquenchable libido.

True to the Bond tradition, he has an impressive assortment of gadgets that includes a hair dryer that shoots Teflon bullets, explosive press-on nails and bulletproof hair moose. The pièce de resistance is a backpack that sprouts wings so Jayms can fly around like a bumblebee — a very sexy bumblebee.

His comrades in arms include a transgendered boss named Mama, a twinky sidekick named Precious Needmore, and an array of sexy men who aren’t able to keep their pants on. (But don’t count on this being a piece of erotica; the lights go off before the dicks come out.)

Together they fight ZENRON’s plans to ensure crude oil profits by ridding the world of clean burning fuel.

“I wanted to create somebody to believe in and still be sexy at the same time.” Cabell says. “As much as I appreciated Will & Grace, gay men were being portrayed as silly and not sexy. I wanted somebody who would fight for something and I wanted that something to be global warming. I wanted to create a character that believes in himself and stands up to make the world a better place because we can’t rely on governments to do it.”

While the commitment to environmental consciousness is a strong theme, it’s balanced by sexually charged campy humour in order to keep the book light.

“The book has multiple layers,” says Cabell. “I want people to have a good laugh, but keep in mind that in a few months some of the predictions could come true.

“Our need for gas is destroying the world,” he continues. The US “invaded Iraq after 9/11 for oil and Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. China could declare war and cross into the Kashmir oil fields at any time.”

At the heart of ZENRON are Zaroya Chang, a power hungry tribute to Botox and silicone who is hell-bent on seeing Blonde dead; Vichyssoise, henchwoman and personal chef extraordinaire; and Sylvia, Zaroya’s smart-mouthed mother and CEO of a company that makes talking vibrators.

Like Dr No, Dr Evil and every other Bond villain before them, their plans for world domination are overly elaborate and poorly executed. Their lackeys are usually dumb and easily distracted by Jayms Blonde’s sexiness or a talking vibrator.

Cabell says his book has been receiving positive reviews and he is even in talks to option the book for movies and/or television. No word yet as to whether or not we’ll be able to behold Jayms Blonde’s sexiness on the big screen, but if it does make it to production it may well be the next Austin Powers.

Until that day, the only way to enjoy Jayms is in print enhanced by various sexy images. If that’s not enough to entice you then I’ll leave you with one last spoiler: I promise you there will be dolphins and they will be pink.