Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Much Ado About Pansies

It is possible that some of you may have been on expedition to the wilds of Manchester studying aboriginal termites. With your access to to civilisation, the internet, my blog and modern plumbing limited, you may not have realised that the Oundle Festival of Literature is going on.

For the Festival, there was a competition to write a piece for a Shakespeare event loosely based on 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' or 'The Tempest'. I produced a piece based on a joke I saw on Judy's site. The links to anything remotely like Shakespeare were tenuous in the extreme. However, for reasons best known to the judges, they selected it to be performed.

I did promise that I would share the piece after the event had been completed. So, for those of you with any interest, please read on...

Much Ado about Pansies.

Lizzie and I were in the Rose and Thistle discussing our Greek holiday plans when, like the anti-hero from that Carly Simon song, ‘he’ walked in. Lizzie stopped talking mid-sentence, pupils dilating as she checked him out checking his immaculately tousled hair in the mirror.

He moved like a dancer across the room. A tight, white, T-shirt emphasised his tan and his muscular torso. The even tighter trousers causing Lizzie’s mouth to drop open – although his assets had surely been bolstered by a strategically placed sock. As he joined a crowded table, I knew that there would be no further discussions of sun kissed Greek beeches that night. Lizzie was a girl on a mission.

I’d been here before. Lizzie has the physical assets allowing her for one night to have almost any man she wants while I am usually left with his mate who can make one night feel like half a lifetime.

I watched as she sashayed to the ladies toilet. While nearly every man in the pub dribbled their beer, he remained stubbornly aloof. Half an hour later, she tried the predatory sashay with stumble and apologetic fumbling to remove spilt beer. That didn’t work either.

I mocked her efforts and told her she didn’t have a chance. Lizzie glared at me.

“I have £10 that says you can’t do any better!” She snapped.

Although I don’t have her love of bedroom gymnastics, she knew that I couldn’t resist a bet.

Over the next few weeks, I discovered his name, Patrick and that he worked in the same building as Lizzie and I. It didn’t take long to discover his routine and engineer meetings in the lift and the coffee shop. I even took to going for walks in the park where he went jogging at lunchtime, but my softly, softly approach drew the same blanks as Lizzie and her headlong assaults.

By the time we went on holiday, it looked as if neither of us would win that £10.
Once in Greece, Lizzie soon forgot about Patrick. Her attentions soon fell on an olive skinned tour guide who was more susceptible to her charms.

Unfortunately, this meant we had to sign up for all of his tours.

I can only get excited about old ruins for so long. On yet another trek through the remains of some ancient temple, I reached my limits. While the tour group bore the brunt of the sun, I took myself off into a wood, sitting on a log where I could watch the coach and sip at my bottle of water.

Suddenly I became aware that I wasn’t alone. This strange looking Greek guy was sat next to me. I tried to ignore him, but he was persistent. He thrust a bag of flowers in my hand. The bag was of the finest lace with this fantastic spider’s web design. He called them ‘Love in Idleness’, but anyone could see they were just pansies. He made the most ludicrous claims for them. I firmly and politely declined, but when I turned to hand them back, he was gone. I looked around for him but it was as if he had become invisible, so I just dropped the flowers in their pretty lace pouch into my handbag.

When we returned from holiday, Lizzie seemed to have lost interest in our little bet, but I wasn’t going to give in.

A week or so later I was walking in the park and I came across Patrick, dozing on a bench in the sunshine and I remembered the flowers. I didn’t believe the strange Greek guy’s claims for a moment, but hey, it was worth a shot. I took the flowers in the bag and squeezed them so the juice dripped onto his eyelids.

Patrick stirred and woke. He looked straight at me and he looked at me like no man ever has. He asked me to sit with him, but I rushed away, shouting over my shoulder that I would be in the Rose and Thistle on Friday night and that he should meet me there and give me his best line.

On the Friday, Patrick walked in to the Rose and Thistle and checked himself in the mirror. Lizzie nudged me, but I had already spotted him. He looked around the bar, spotted us at the table and walked over with a slow bounce in his step. He was wearing his tightest trousers and it looked like he’d stuffed them with an extra sock.

Lizzie was beside herself, nudging me and whispering ‘He’s coming over! He’s coming over!” His dark eyes were fixed on me. I tried to stay calm and nonchalant by sipping at my vodka and Red Bull. Reaching our table, Patrick leaned down and looked deep into my soul.

Patrick paused for effect before purring “For £20, I will do anything you want.”

I looked at Lizzie. Her eyes were wide. Her mouth was moving, but no words spilled out. Victory was mine!

I savoured the moment by memorising the sight of a totally flummoxed Lizzie and the amazing puce colour she was turning. Smiling, I reached into my purse and withdrew a crisp £20 note.

I took Patrick’s hand and slowly, seductively pressed the note into it.

“Patrick, you have made my night. Now...” I paused and licked my lips with the tip of my tongue “clean my flat."


I can only hope you feel it was worth the wait.

1 comment:

mutleythedog said...

Very funny - I am sure I could have found extra ways to make the sock fiend suffer though!