The interjection had come from a strange man standing at the back of the room dressed in a sparrkly white shirt and matching trousers. Lola eyed him questioningly; he looked strangely familiar.
“She is a fraud!” the man cried in a lisping voice, “I know her and he is not a she!”
Branwell looked crestfallen as all the other entrants hissed “Fix, fix!” in unison.
Lola had an epiphany; she had seen the flower arranging “ladies” somewhere before and she now knew where she had met the sparkly stranger. She rose to her feet and cried imperiously.
“None of the contestants are women and as owner of this hotel I declare that Lady Diana Heliotrope wins the prize by default! And as for you!” she pointed at the stranger, “Kris/Kristine you are the worst female impersonator ever to grace the stage at Pastiche! Oh and will someone call the authorities and arrest those men before they escape?” she said in a calmer voice lighting another cigarette.
“Ooh, you bitch, isn’t she a bitch!” cried the unmasked troupe, or “Friends of Dorothy” as they called themselves.
The stranger Kris/Kristine launched into a hissy fit.
“Lola Gefiltre you stuck up cow! I’ll show you how talented I am!”
He launched himself at the stage scattering petals in his wake, which made the assembled old dears ooh and ah as music, which he had previously arranged, came from an assembled string quartet and he did a strange dance and started to sing improbably about a girl he had loved as he skipped about and made strange movements to the delight of the audience.
Bunty and Lola, forgetting about Branwell and the Friends of Dorothy for the moment, collapsed in laughter at his antics.
When he had finished he glared at Lola as the applause rained down on him.
“I told you I was talented!” he lisped at her before storming off, surrounded by his new fans.
The police arrived and took the Friends into custody and Bunty took this as her moment to confront Branwell who sat looking miserably in her suit, at his prize money.
“Branwell,” she said quietly as she sat beside him, “it’s quite all right, lots of men have the urge, the Major used to like wearing my tweed.”
He looked up at her, his wig askance with mascara streaming down his teary cheeks.
“How could you think it Miss Bunty, ” he sobbed, “I did it all for you!”
“Really Branwell you didn’t have to, I don’t go in for that sort of thing.” she said kindly.
“No, no! I dressed up so I could win the prize money to get you something nice! Oh and I have to warn you that your Mother is a homicidal maniac who is going to try to kill you for ruining her figure with your big head, or something.” he said.
Lola thought that she might introduce OAP nights at Pastiche and hire Kris/Kristina as he was so popular with the old dears. She remembered that he used to do erotic floral arrangements with Lupins and a bunch of pansies-talking of which the Friends were being loaded into a police van and were giving Lola looks that could have killed from behind the bars and were all howling like cats in a wheelie bin.