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Iris – what the yeehaw did you do?

October 18, 2011

This summer I had 20 American dreams to crack and 60 days before my visa expired. I’d come from the UK to make a million, make a record, break a record, be prom queen… aged 28.  I wanted to see if, despite its woes, America is still the land where dreams come true.

Alone in a city of strangers,  I discovered that in the USA you can approach random people at baseball games, bus stops and restaurants, with a fanciful wishlist written in red felt-tip, and they’ll be happy to help.

In 60 days I went from being a clueless Brit to prom queen (on the first float at SF’s Gay Pride). Tim Ferriss helped me make a million, I came second in an attempt to break the record for milk crate climbing and I did a Yiddish remake of Dirty Dancing. Thanks to the kindness of politicians, drag queens and pizza throwers – all 20 of my dreams came true.

I learned that if you’re not afraid to ask… and you ask everyone… it might just happen.


Dolly for the day: photos that will frighten

September 9, 2011

The full Dolly

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Do I or don’t I break the record for milk crate stacking?

September 8, 2011

Twenty boxes and twenty feet high. it's a long way down.


I’ve always wanted to break a record, ever since 1993 when I went to see a live recording of Record Breakers at the BBC.

On Wednesday I went to a warehouse in Oakland to see how many milk crates I could climb. The record is 26, that’s 26 flimsy plastic boxes stacked one on top of the other with someone standing at the top.

If you’re wondering how the The ancient art of milk crate stacking works, here’s the breakdown. You slot your feet into the mini-handles on either side of the crate. Then someone passes you another crate, you stack that one on top and put your big-oversized feet into the next rung of handles and so on… until you fall.

To lube wrestle or not to lube wrestle..?

September 7, 2011

This whole wishlist adventure has given people the impression that I have a very high embarrassment threshold. And they’re right. I will do or say anything… as long as my kids approve.

Those hair-splitters among you might point out that I don’t have kids. That I’m about as far away from having kids as when I was a kid. But that doesn’t change the fact that I’ve got all the makings of an embarrassing mother. When my children are older they’ll be able to appreciate my unique sense of style. But in the early stages they’ll have to deal with carrying the ginger gene. Can I really add “mummy was a lube-wrestler” to the mix?

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I am a comic book hero – my superpower? Hair.

September 7, 2011

My hair vanquishes bad guys

Thank you Peter S. Conrad for turning me into a comic book hero. More on my superhero makeover later… but here’s more from the wonderful Peter and his Attempted Not Known comic strips

Pizza acrobatics with Salvatore – the Italian Nureyev

September 7, 2011

I set out to find an obscure talent, and I found it walking down Valencia on a Saturday night. I saw a man in a window over the road twirling pizzas in time to Lady Gaga. Think Cirque du Soleil with pizza dough. I was mesmerised. I crossed over, called out, and in a Romeo and Juliet style exchange in reverse, I told him who I was. I’d find my obscure talent.

Salvatore’s now training me in the ancient art of pizza twirling. He even gave me his first rubber pizza to practice with. I sleep with it by my side. Pizza twirling’s addictive, I twirl at the bus stop, in queues, in parks… another calling in life?

Pizza twirling class photos:

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The FA Cup and I: Dedicated to anyone who knows the offside rule

September 6, 2011

Iris and FA Cup in matching outfits: The FA Cup, tastefully decorated with sky blue satin ribbons by up and coming designers E-ON.

I’ve long been an advocate of the redistribution of dreams. Nothing proves this point better than yesterday’s stinging injustice.

You have to understand that football and I have nothing in common. I have the ball skills of Jake the Peg. I’ve never been to a match. I talk about football behind its back and whenever we’re in the same room, I make my excuses and leave.

But we have a few friends in common. They try and convince me that Football’s a beautiful game, that we just got off to a bad start, that it’s really nice when you get to know it. But I guess we just don’t gel.

So if football’s someone else’s dream, why should I, Iris Mansour, Head of Football Ignoramus International, be in the USA holding the FA Cup? I’m not here to usurp the dreams of teenage boys the UK over. I’m in the USA to be a cowgirl, be Dolly Parton, make a million, become a comic book hero and make my Americana wishlist come true

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Bay Times article

September 6, 2011

Click here

Goodbye San Francisco, I didn’t know people like you existed. Thanks for the revelation.

August 7, 2011

In SFO terminal three, waving bye to my peeps

So now at the end of my ‘ventures

I’ll return to the good ol’ UK

And I know in my heart, that it’s only the start

‘Cos I’m sure I’ll be back here one day

But I’m sad to be leaving America

Saying ‘bye to my friends as I sing

So I just want to say, a big thankyou for the way

Y’all took me under your wing.

Yes I wanted to come to America

Now I see that she’s just what she seems

So I came here to know, now I have to go

But I’ve lived my American Dream.


Iris’ American dream – by Trevor Hughes

Statue of Liberty-sized thanks to John Karr for staying up until 3am to record my song. Unbelievable, unforgettable, precious stuff.

August 3, 2011

John's the real star. But he was too modest to pose for photos, so I took the burden from him.