It's finally here! The latest, reputedly the greatest, Twilight movie - Twilight Saga: Eclipse - premiered in the UK yesterday, writes Vacuous Drivel Correspondent, Lucy Lastick.
Devon's Cullompton Cinema was the super-glam venue chosen by Team Twilight for the launch of the desperately-anticipated blockbuster.
The streets of the sleepy Devon town were thronged with loyal British Twihards, some of whom had camped out for as long as 34 hours. "We have been camping out for as long as 34 hours", said Miggi Nutcase, 12, sharing a sleeping bag with her friend Nitty Clott, 13, both from Winchester, which boasts a cathedral. "We've had to leave behind our home town of Winchester, which boasts a cathedral", confessed Nitty, "but it's so worth it. This is a blast, it's so wicked. I haven't been to the toilet for as long as 34 hours because I want to be constipated like Kristen, and we've both whitewashed our faces like her and last night I swore at a man with a camera."
Miggi giggled. "This is like, so cool? We can't wait to see our heroes and heroines like for real? Up to now, we've had to masturbate to pics on the 'net. And Cullompton has an awesome Farmer's Market too! I mean, we've had to leave our home town of Winchester, and Winchester is so cool of a unique heritage city, with its own cathedral, a host of quirky independent shops, and a fantastic bicycle loan system for visitors and residents alike!
"But we both just wanted to sacrifice ourselves to the Twilight stars", she grinned wickedly, before whispering in my ear: "Do you want me to bite you?"
Cullompton is famous for its air. We stayed overnight at Ottery St Mary (Mrs Tourniquet at Grappleforth House wowed us with her home-made granola and cream tea, and Grappleforth is handy, not only for Cullompton, but also for Exeter and the gorgeous coastal havens of Sidmouth, Seaton and Exmouth). Stopping just outside Cullompton on the way in, we drank in the wine-like aromas of its celebrated atmosphere, heavy with new-mown hay, cow-dung, diesel fumes and cow-dung.
But now, amid Cullompton's narrow, crooked streets, packed tight with Twihard tweens, the evening air was choked with hysterical screams and the odour of sweat and damp underwear, as the Team Twilight Twihard hordes worked themselves to a fever-pitch frenzy. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting for a glimpse of Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner.
How they had waited. For as long as 34 hours they had waited. Still they waited. Then, as a real, rural twilight descended on the little Devon market town (which can offer one of the best Farmer's Markets in the South West), the girlish shrieking attained an ear-splitting pitch. For it was finally happening. They were here.
The 1A Stagecoach Devon bus from Exeter pulled up outside the cinema, to be greeted by cinema operators Graham and Ray, and the shrill screams of the gathered Twihard army were now deafening. Cullompton Cinema is an entirely voluntary operation, relying entirely on voluntary staff to operate its entirely voluntary operation. Volunteers Graham and Ray welcomed the Twilight stars who disembarked from the 1A Stagecoach Devon bus.
Here was Alec Merde, Boo Boo Baird, Nikki Tweed, Kelly Klutz, Lorna Greengrass and George 'Hector' Chumpitaz (great-nephew of the famous Peruvian soccer player).
Cullompton had not witnessed anything like this since Larry Grayson came to Jiblett's Chemists in search of lip-balm while on holiday in the hot summer of 1984.
But something was missing. As George 'Hector' Chumpitaz (great-nephew of the famous Peruvian soccer player) stepped off the number 1A and shook hands with cinema volunteers George and Ray, the Twihards went into sticky spasms of ecstatic electrified agony, as they stared, transfixed, at the bus, so so ready for the svelte, fey, star-crossed forms of Pattinson, Stewart and Lautner to emerge into the Cullompton gloaming.
But they did not appear.
After half an hour, the fans had gone from salivating anticipation, through frustrated anger, and were beginning to settle down into something akin to the cold sweat of disappointment. The six actors who had turned up were at least something, but it was a massive let-down for Tween fanatics, many of whom had camped out for as long as 34 hours.
"This is such a massive let-down", wailed Nitty Clott. "All the way from our home town of Winchester, which boasts its own cathedral, for this!"
"Yeah, they'd better have something good to make up for not getting R-Pattz, K-Stew and, er, Taylor Lautner here", warned her friend Miggi Nutcase. "It's such a massive let-down. We've camped out for as long as 34 hours. And we've had to leave Winchester, which is a unique heritage city that boasts a cathedral, a host of quirky independent shops and a fantastic bicycle loan system."
There was a real chance that things could turn ugly. A powerful smell of thwarted Tween hormones hung over Cullompton. But, just when all seemed lost, a figure emerged, from behind the 1A Devon Stagecoach bus, with a message of hope for the disappointed Twihards.
It was 70s pop star Gilbert O 'Sullivan, resplendent in one of his original naff tank-tops. The mere sight of Gilbert's gangly, hesitant, frame and shy demeanour immediately mollified the heaving mass of frustrated teenagers. It was a magical moment. The sheer soporific power of the man was plain to see. He spoke.
"Hey, everyone! I'm just here to pass on a message from Robert, Kristen and Taylor. They're so sorry they can't be with you tonight, but they've been so busy that they just couldn't make the journey over from Much Wenlock, Shropshire, where they're taking a much-needed break at Robert and Kristen's bohemian apartment. Rob just wants to say that he's really getting into bee-keeping and is so busy with his hives there that he just couldn't get away, even if he wanted to. Kristen has had an extra bathroom fitted, so she's got another place to enjoy her constipation, and she's also taking extra Being A Snotty Cow lessons from Liam Gallagher's Personal Truculence Coach - so she's really tied up too. Taylor is, well, er, Taylor, I guess, and that's a full-time job for anybody, let alone Taylor."
O'Sullivan seemed to sense that he had won over the crowd, and he pushed on. "So please don't be too downhearted. Enjoy these other stars - the ones who aren't famous enough to be able to afford not to travel all the way to this Devon market town.
"And while you're here, why not take advantage of this beautiful place. I come here whenever I can, which is never. But never mind me. There's so much to explore here:
- There's the Tiverton Museum, with its marvellous collection of local agricultural artifacts
- Why not experience the trip of a lifetime aboard a Grand Western Horseboat and enjoy the Grand Western Canal at the original horse's pace?
- Bickleigh Mill is an 18th century historic working water mill that has much to offer all the family
- The Devon Railway Centre is a narrow gauge railway centre in the lovely Exe valley, with a 2ft gauge railway, museum, model railway layouts and train rides
- And let's not forget Diggerland, the ultimate adventure park for all - dare you take the Duck Challenge?
"So have a great night tonight, and, if you can stick around, get out there and enjoy the Cullompton area! If I didn't have to get back to my allotment, I'd be on one of those Horseboats like shit off a stick, but there's a lot of clearing up to do on the allotment."
And with that, Gilbert O' Sullivan was off, into Cullompton Cinema, moving with that wierd, hunched, gait that horrified so many Top of The Pops viewers in the 70s and won him the role of Quasimodo's Cousin in the ill-fated musical for which he wrote the soundtrack.
So, what would our Twihards do now? Silly question. In true Dunkirk spirit, the girls were battling on!
"Oh, it's not such a big deal!" laughed Nitty Clott. "At least we saw the others. And I've always been a fan of that great Peruvian team that played in the 1970 World Cup, so it's great to see George 'Hector' Chumpitaz (great-nephew of the famous Peruvian soccer player)!"
Her friend, Miggi Nutcase, was equally sanguine. "Of course I'm disappointed not to see Robert, Kristen and Taylor", she admitted, before rallying. "But it was fantastic to see Gilbert O' Sullivan in the flesh. He's like an Uncle you could quite fancy - in a feeling-sorry-for kind of way you know? I can see why my Nan liked him back in the, like 70s.
"And we're definitely going to stay on and check out some of those tourist attractions. We're pretty lucky in Winchester, 'cos it boasts a cathedral, but I can see we're going to have fun seeing what the Cullompton area has to offer.
"Thanks, R-Pattz! If you hadn't not turned up, we'd not have been able not to miss exploring the charms of Devon, even though Cullompton doesn't boast a cathedral (though nearby Exeter does), quirky independent shops, or a fantastic bicycle loan system."
Who said today's Tweenagers had no sense of irony and enterprise!