DO you know what Neighbours is called in Iceland? And can you remember the
name of the song that peaked at No. 50 in the charts in 1990 for Craig
McLachlan ? (Appropriately enough for his record company, it was called I
Almost Felt Like Crying.)
Neighbours knowledge could be to your advantage if you intend being a serious
player in Sydney's social scene at the moment, because in the absence of
anything better to do, inner-city types are not only queuing up to get into
Neighbours Nites, they are actually ringing and booking.
It was only when I revealed myself as the astrologer and sometime Sydney
Unzipped columnist for this newspaper that I was let in although I had to shove
my way past quite a few Prada handbags and tread on numerous Chanel espadrilles
in order to do so.
The great thing about Neighbours, of course, is that it attracts strapping
young British backpackers. Thus it was that, as a Ramsay Street virgin, I found
myself sharing a ballpoint pen and an answer sheet with uberspunks Tim and Tom
(not their real names, obviously) who were on their gap year from Oxford.
Tim and Tom had been picking fruit in strange places, and getting an all-over
tan at every possible opportunity not that any of the chicks on the table were
complaining, you understand.
Even more impressively, despite the extremely posh Tim and Tom being only
slightly older than Neighbours itself, they still had phenomenal inside
knowledge of the soap.
``What happened to Lucy Robinson when she left Ramsay Street?" boomed the
quizmaster into a microphone.
``Got a modelling assignment in Singapore," said Tim blithely.
``Yeah, but that was only after she had an incestuous relationship with her
half-brother Glen, got kidnapped, became an alcoholic and rang up a big credit
card bill," said Tom, not wanting to be outdone.
``Which two cast members of Neighbours would you associate with
amphibians?", the quizmaster challenged us.
``Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan," I said, quick as a flash.
``Oh no, no, no," Tim waved me aside with a flourish, as only an Oxford gap
year student can. ``It's Toadfish Rebecchi and Tadpole Reeves ."
After that I was in Neighbours hell for what seemed like an eternity.
``Which actor played Toby Mangel ?"
``Finn Greentree-Keane," said Tim and Tom in unison.
``Which famous Neighbours name is contained in the anagram, malted red goo?"
``Ah yes, that'll be Mrs Mangel ," I said, confidently. But it was Delta
Goodrem almost as silly a name as Finn Greentree-Keane , might I add,
although not quite as freakish as Serendipity Gottlieb . And that was the name
of a Neighbours character, by the way, not an actor.
The evening ended with a bottle of champagne (gorgeous Tim won the Natalie
Imbruglia lookalike contest without even needing to enter) and a few free jugs
of beer. And our table picked up bonus prizes for knowing that Neighbours is
called Nagranner in Iceland (``Nagranner, everybody needs good nagranner") and
Buren in Belgium. And no, you didn't know that did you?