I knew it. I knew it! I shouldn’t have accepted the second date with Mike.
For fff’s sake. It’s awful, even nightmarish, I tell you. But, you know, I just can’t stop laughing about it – really I can't - eternal gratitude to Le bon Dieu and Monsieur Ionesco for a sense of the absurd. My latest episode may very well haunt me until my dying day - on a par with one of the other colossal faux pas in the Life and Times of a Utter Twerp. Lisez et pleurez.
The previous one went a little like this. I was straight out of l’universite and attending an all day interview for the job of my dreams. It was one of those graduate milk-round situations where they invited the 25 short-listed candidates for the third stage. The idea was that each person would be grilled by members of various departments – a bit like a conveyor belt. I was the fifth from the end to go through the process. By the time I’d arrived back at the conference room, twenty of the others were already sitting at a table eating sandwiches and drinking coffee. I came in rather
smug chuffed with how things had gone, sat down ready to stuff ma bouche, and caught the tail end of the conversation.
Oh the folly and the (moronic) confidence of youth! It must have been those giant shoulder pads that did it; Alexis Carrington has a lot to answer for. Was there anything I didn’t know about in those days? No. Was there anything I wasn’t prepared to share my opinion about? No. I’m clenching my buttocks at the recollection. Is my face bright purple? Oy vay iz mir. Mega vay.
Come on, CB, tell ‘em. Be authentic. Share and reveal your mind-boggling pratitude.
For some inexplicable reason, the crowd seemed to be having a go at the works of Picasso. I thought they were all Philistines and launched in to defend him, saying the man was an unparalleled genius - oh family, friends and followers, I can barely go on – my throat’s constricting; that he was perhaps misunderstood, that… oh well, never mind. I’m feeling a tad nauseous again. I went on. And on. In all this time, I only used pronouns i.e. he, him, his. What I hadn’t noticed was that everyone, candidates and interviewers alike, were gawping at me as if I’d been released from Bedlam way before the medication had kicked in. Blithely I spewed forth, convinced they’d all be staggered by my knowledge and reasoning. And of course, I’d be the one to get the job. Of course!
Well, I’ll tell you that I didn’t get the job. And I’ll tell you pourquoi, but before I do so, this is the lesson that I learnt. KEEP YOUR TRAP SHUT WHEN YOU HAVEN’T GOT THE VAGUEST IDEA OF WHAT’S GOING ON! AND LISTEN! Oh - and always make sure you’ve made good use of the Q tips before you leave the house. (Actually, let’s face it – I never did learn any of those lessons. Not in their entirety, like.)
It was only beaucoup plus tard, when my brain caught up with my gallivanting gob, that it finally dawned on me they hadn’t been discussing Picasso at all. No, it was someone completely different. I had, in fact, spent ten minutes championing and extolling the virtues of Jean-Bedel Bokassa, head of the Central African Republic from about 1966 to 1979, a dictator who massacred men, women and children. Yes, a mass murderer and apparently, ooh - doncha just lerve him - my hero.
Ground. Take my feet first and suck the rest in quick.
You can read about my sweetheart here.
Anyway, when Mike asked whether I wanted that second date for dinner a deux, I said that I’d love to... anytime next week. “Next week?” he said, as if I’d just cancelled the next ten year's worth of Grand Prix. “Can’t you make it any sooner?” Well I could, in theory, but I didn’t want to. Do you remember the teensie weensie microscopic white lie I told here? Well, it was another of those situations.
This time, however, I thought I’d come clean. After all, look where the last one got me, bloody nowhere. I told him I’d rather not because I was having a temporary crown fitted and wouldn't be at my usual spectacularly pulchritudinous best. The man’s a grown-up (have I already mentioned that?); he said “Not to worry. You can order semolina and drink it through a straw. Come anyway. Please.”
I noticed his profile didn’t use the oft quoted knicker-wettingly hilarious line ‘I have all my own teeth’, so I guess he understood.
Anyway, put like that, dear followers, how could I refuse?