Buff butlers: The controversial method of putting the sparkle into aged care

Mar 15, 2019
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Hunks in Trunks supplied suitably buff waiters to treat the residents of an aged care home in the United Kingdom. (Picture posed by model) Source: Pixabay

In Milton Care Lodge, a sedate retirement village in Colchester, England, they have a pioneering activity called ‘The Sparkle Initiative’. Every so often, they ask a resident what would make them sparkle. Invariably the answer is a bus trip, a movie, a play or some equally predictable wish. Until, that is, they asked chirpy cheeky 89-year-old Joan Corp. This wonderfully, still-gregarious lady put the cat among the pigeons by requesting … Ta da and boom tish … “A Man.”

Always eager to please, this nothing-shocks-them-anymore, accommodating staff decided a bevy of male strippers would ‘go down’ a treat for their female residents and to the devil with the consequences. Bless ‘em.

This reminded me, shamefully, of my first time attending a similar controversial occasion. More than 40 years ago, I was not long married to a wonderful, if not straight-laced, man whom I knew would never approve of me attending such a ‘vulgar display’, so I had only one option; I lied. Trust me, it was just easier.

My co-conspirator girlfriends and I concocted a girls’ night out dinner get-together rouse, and lied, straight-faced, as well as any talented actresses. This beef-cake show was one of the first of its kind in Brisbane, Australia and it was big news around town. We were like misbehaving teenagers; somehow, the fibbing made it all the sweeter.

The big night arrived! Drinks first! Drinks second and, well, … drinks third. Dinner? What dinner?

We thoroughly enjoyed every man-muscle ripple, stared leeringly at every g-string, closely, being up the front and all. We, literally (alas, not figuratively), threw ourselves into the magic naughtiness and clandestine nature of the night, gleefully basking in all the flirtatious nonsense which, of course, meant more money placed in those glittering g-strings and on-stage lap sitting. Money was no object!

Gee we had fun, arrived safely home, unattractively slurred more lies to hubby about silly, boring girls’ dinners and promptly fell asleep. (Hint: drunken, back-sleeping snoring, mouth-open drooling is best kept until at least year 10 of wedded bliss.)

Dragging myself through a spectacularly severe hungover work day, I eventually got home, take away in hand, and prepared for a very, very early night. I just wanted to watch the news first.

Television news items were not instantaneous back then, but usually 24 hours old if not considered urgent. To this day we swear we don’t remember seeing the cameras; big and clumsy as they were at the time. To my utter disbelief and embarrassment, there we were. We fibbing, respectable young wives in all our glory, stuffing paper money into large men’s neon-coloured g-strings, playing pin-the-dollar on the scrotum, drunk as lords and twice as loud! On television … on the 6 o’clock news … for not only my husband to see, but my whole damn family!

Brisbane folk didn’t take kindly to seeing young ladies behaving thus and neither did I!! Sheepishly, I turned slowly toward the love of my life, head bowed, ready to set the date for the divorce. To my utter amazement, he nearly fell off his chair laughing, readily accepting the hilarious Murphy’s Law irony of my predicament, knowing full well I’d have to pay for this faux pas for many, many months, if not years, to come.

The first of many phone calls was from my outraged and shocked mother! Hubby, predicably and understandably, dined out on this story for years.

But back to Joan at Milton Care Lodge. After much staff/management discussion, and to-ing and fro-ing, the services of five scantily clad ‘Hunks in Trunks’ were enlisted to serve dinner, dish out a flirt or two and end the night with neck and shoulder massages for the 23 female residents, their daughters and granddaughters.

Joan ‘sparkled’ and glowed healthily younger than her biological years. She got her man and then some, and her friend who was turning 100, has planned her birthday celebrations with the boys!

Yes, there were cameras there, with permission, for all to see and record the giggling and the raucous goings-on. Without a word of a lie (cough splutter) I predict a long waiting list for this particular retirement village. Ladies, I admire and salute you!

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