I’ve been wetting myself laughing over this one. I met my artist friend Gina for coffee the other day. A veteran of the internet dating scene, she’s one of those people with an overly acute sense of the absurd.
She’d been on the site for some time and was drawn to the photos of a fairly pleasant looking guy who was clearly an outdoorsy type; all his pics were taken in winter, either in ski or cold weather rambling gear; he was always bundled up in hat and gloves. His profile seemed promising; fairly literate, quite amusing, had travelled a fair amount. They started emailing and discovered a few things in common, so she suggested a walk and then a coffee at the local country park. They arranged to meet by the map at the front entrance. He said he’d be wearing a navy anorak with red cuffs. As she arrived, she spotted him from a distance and thought yes, he looks OK; but as she approached, the deal breaker became jaw-droppingly apparent.
“The horror. The horror--" she said in a passable impersonation of Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now. "The man had a frigging comb-over. Like Bobby Charlton. In this day and age. What the hell was he thinking?”
She was polite, tried not to let the disappointment and disbelief (i.e. horror) show on her face; he was mildly nervous, though attentive. According to her, it was a monumental effort not to giggle, but she managed the semblance of a conversation. So far it had been a warm, sunny day, but as they meandered up the hill, a breeze developed, which brought with it the coup de grace. As Gina was telling me this, she got out a pencil and a scrap of paper. I wondered what she was up to.
“Honestly, Bette, there are some things in life that are just beyond the pale. This--” she said drawing a sketch on the paper, “This I could probably put up with.”
But this… THIS… is a bloody sugar basket too far!"
It seems a gust of wind had separated the rigid lacquered comb-over from the top of his head.
“Bette, I couldn’t help myself. I burst out laughing and then I couldn’t stop. In the meantime, he was madly trying to plaster it back into place, going quite purple in the process. I kept saying sorry. Finally, just when I pulled myself together, he succeeded in reattaching it to his head, put his hood on to keep the errant flip-top contained and tied the toggles under his chin. Well, I don’t know why, but that set me off again. God, it was awful - awful, I tell you. Then, totally po-faced, he said ‘I'm going to head back now. I'm glad you found me so amusing.’
I said sorry yet again, asked him to forgive me and he had to admit that it was funny, but he just stormed off! Bounded down the hill, hood pulled tight, and left me there!
The next day I got an email from him - mega arsey, calling me an inconsiderate bitch, saying that all women were the same, he didn't know why he'd ever expected a decent woman to be on the site etc. etc. And even - would you believe - said I had no room to take the mick since I was nothing to write home about myself- hardly a Claudia Schiffer lookalike! Charming!"
"Did you bother to reply?" I asked.
"Of course. Humourless oik. Amongst several other things, I told him to keep his bloody hair on. We-eeeell, you know how it is, I couldn't resist."