Panic! At the Disco

To say I have been unlucky with the fairer sex is a grossunderstatement.

My first proper girlfriend had me sussed right from the wordgo.

 “You remind me of theIrish actor off the telly.” Who could she mean after only knowing me for onedate? That immediately set my mind racing.

I started listing the cream of the quintessentially handsomeIrish A-Listers. “Colin Farrell? Liam Neeson? Pierce Brosnan?”

“No. You know the one I mean – Father Ted’s little vicarmate”

Not surprisingly, we didn’t last longer than a couple ofawkward and nervous months. In a time before mobile phones, I suffered theindignity of being dumped via Royal Mail as she didn’t have the heart to do itin to my doleful, puppy eyes. I had the further humiliation of having to walk around trip of four miles to the Post Office and the payment of a postage fine as she failed to put astamp on the letter. If you ever needed validation, the cost of a broken heartis £2.57.

Even if I managed to summon confidence around women,invariably through the use of medium strength European lager, I would often bebeset with the most unusual and tragic turn of events. Exemplifying thisperfectly would be the time I had a very pretty girl approach me randomly in acrowded pub. Within a few short minutes of small talk we shared a very quick,yet passionate kiss. The effects of the European lager took its toll and I hadto make a quick and inopportune pit-stop at the urinals. On my return, a quickscan of the pub had found my potential new love interest on the other side ofthe room to where I had left her. I immediately made a bee-line for her andprobably used some cheap line like “Now where were we..?” We began kissing.

Suddenly, I felt a very sharp finger prodding deep in to my clavicle.A vaguely familiar voice, with a suitably more aggressive tone was demanding toknow “What were we both playing at?” Completely confused and bewildered Islowly turned around and immediately felt the blood drain from my face.

I demand to know the odds of meeting two identically twingirls independently on a night out in The Castle pub in East Acton and themboth showing  an interest in me. Scoldingeach other as they left, I was quickly returned to that familiar state of beingalone. There has to be a pun here somewhere. Maybe “A bird in the hand is worthtwo in a pub near Shepherds’ Bush”?

At the turn of the millennium, I was still single and desperately trying to improve my odds of meeting someone by being in a place of social merriment every Friday and Saturday night – usually standing there waiting for something to happen. This next tale of misfortune was no exception. At the disco after an impromptu comedy night, a very mysterious woman suddenly appeared at my side and asked very meekly if I wanted to dance. The advent of the new millennia had brought with it a conveyor belt of ballads from boy-bands and one began to play as we moved succinctly towards the dance-floor.

It was very quickly obvious than neither of us were particularly rhythmic but that didn’t appear to matter. As we danced closely with our heads resting on each other’s shoulders my thoughts quickly turned to wanting to get to know more about this woman who had just dropped in to my life from seemingly nowhere. Brand new century; brand new luck!

We allowed ourselves the luxury of starting to dance to asecond manufactured pop song, no doubt smiling as we swayed. Then somethingsuddenly caught my eye. Across the room, I could see a very attractive girl subtlywaving her hand trying to catch someone’s attention. Surely it wasn’t me – shecould clearly see I was busy. She came closer and in to my immediate eye-line.It was me she was trying toattract! “Hi! I’m really sorry to bother you. Do you mind if I had a quickword?”

This was unbelievable! Torn between leaving this enigmaticwoman who I had shared seven minutes of intense, close quarter dancing with andgetting to know a clearly very beautiful woman, I made some awkward excuse tosuspend the dance and was led to the edge of the dance-floor. I could seeexactly how stunning she was now we had left the gloomy light and cigarettesmoke that had enveloped the dance-floor.

“I hope you don’t mind, but I saw you on the dance-floor andI just wanted to ask you if you knew what you were doing?” To be honest, Ididn’t. It was an extreme rarity for me to be in a position where I actuallyhad a choice! I was desperately trying to think of a retort that was bothintelligible and didn’t sound too desperate. Before I could utter a line ofinfinite suave, like “No, but I do now!” I was cut short with the chillingtruth.

“I just wanted to make sure you knew that was a man you weredancing with”

And just like that *[insert imaginary click of the fingers here]* I was back to familiar surroundings -awkwardly leaning against the bar, nursing a now warm pint of lager waiting forpotential love to fall in to my lap. Only this time a man in a Dorothy Perkinsblouse, pedal-pushers and polka dot wedges was waving desperately at me acrossthe dance-floor.

At least I knew I had a Plan B if my luck with the fairersex didn’t improve.

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