Fifty Shades to 50 Sheds - no stopping the grey menace

Jul 11, 2012

Headline writers and publishers can’t resist climbing aboard the E L James bandwagon

IT'S HARD enough trying to board a train or eat in a restaurant without hearing titillated whispers about Fifty Shades. Now these two magic words are being used to make us read about everything from golf to the Leveson inquiry to money-saving tips.

The Evening Standard was quick to catch on, climbing aboard the E L James bandwagon with a feature titled 'Fifty Shades of Jay' about Robert Jay, the barrister working on the Leveson Inquiry.
The Daily Mail followed suit, giving the headline 'Fifty Shades of Gray' to an interview with American soul singer Macy Gray, while a sports blog about American basketball player Ray Allen went for 'Fifty Shades of Ray'.
Even 19th century literature icons cannot escape, either. The imagined erotic diaries of Little Women author Louisa May Alcott will be published this month as Fifty Shades of Louisa May - a book which includes "Louisa May's ardent encounters with her 'Wooden Friend' and much, much more".
Actor Neil Patrick Harris made the headlines after dubbing the 66th annual Tony Awards "Fifty Shades of Gay" last month. The San Francisco AIDS Foundation took it a step further and launched a 'Fifty Shades of Gay HIV testing campaign'.
Add 'fifty shades' to the most unerotic of subjects and you have a sure-fire way theadline. A New York Post article 'Fifty Shades of Pay' explores New York's hidden debt burden – while the internet is rife with blogs such as 'Fifty Shades of Green: tips to save cash' and 'Fifty Shades Of Social Media Measurement Tools'.
Finally there’s the spoof tweeter @50shedsofgrey. The account has garnered nearly 43,000 followers by posting images of grey sheds and messages to spice up the lives of the everyday gardener. "I was excited but nervous. I'd finally been accepted into the BDSM community - Builders, Decorators and Shed Maintenance… I lay back exhausted, gazing happily out of the shed window. Despite my concerns about my inexperience, my rhubarb had come up a treat."

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