Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Walruses and Hobbits - Another Doomed Manhunt

I like men. I've never made any secret of that fact.

I enjoy the company of women and probably have an equal number of male and female friends. But when it comes to dating, men really have a much bigger pool in which to fish. Where they have an ocean, women don’t have even an aquarium. I’m not even sure we have a goldfish bowl. And, after last night’s experience, I’m beginning to think we don’t even have an eye-bath of eligible candidates.
Despite liking men, I’ve also never made any secret of the fact that I don’t want one for keeps. Unlike puppies, a man really is just for Christmas. Well into my fifties, I think that is unlikely to change. I’m just too distrusting of the male species ever to be able to commit. When you wonder if you should hire a Private Investigator to find out what your fiancĂ© is up to in the limo on the way to the altar, it’s safe to say marriage may not be for you. True, it’s never got that far (the altar bit; not the PI), but I’m pretty sure everyone is up to no good. I’d make a great prosecutor. But I digress.
So, back to the dating. My friend Catrin asked if I would like to try out a free singles night in a hotel bar (I’m going to keep the finer details out of this, for reasons that will become apparent). I’m always up for meeting new people and doing different things, so readily agreed.
I’ve never had much luck on the dating front, though, as readers of my constantly Retweeted piece about the dastardly LA Singles will know. I’ve been targeted by Easter bunnies trying to thrust their carrots upon me, hobbits who lied about their height, and every chain-smoking dwarf from Wisconsin.  
The problem with this date night was that it was specifically targeted for people over 50. Now, while I am over 50, there are very few men in that age bracket I would go for unless under the influence of chloroform (Judge Alex Ferrer: you are, of course, the exception to the rule. Donald Trump: you’re not). Most men don’t age well, and while I went for older men in my twenties, I am now more attracted to men who are in their twenties. Intellectually, they bore the pants off me (metaphorically: I haven’t worn underwear for 20 years - but I digress again), but as the saying goes: they can’t do it well but they can do it often.
It’s not true that age equals experience. Men who were crap in bed when they were young are just as bad, if not worse, when they are older. You only have to look at what they ask for on the Ashley Madison website to see that. A tamer list of sexual requests it would be hard to find (just look it up when you need a really big laugh). So, I wasn’t optimistic on the over fifties front.
We arrived at the hotel where two women sat behind a desk waiting to register participants. I’m not a big name badge person, but that was the only way we were going to get cost price drinks, so it was a small price to pay for ruining my Issey Miyake top (that was another thing: dress had to be “business casual” – what the heck’s that when it’s at home?).
We almost didn’t make it further than the desk because the women had such a struggle with the spelling of the Welsh name Catrin. It was like pulling teeth. We nearly missed Happy Hour in the time they took to get it right. “Catherine without the H,” my friend attempted, for the hundredth time. Obviously, that got us nowhere either, because it wasn’t strictly true. I tell you: Jaci was a breeze in the park after that.
So, we were finally in. Suddenly, a French man (another hobbit - geez, did nobody ever hear of growth hormones?) appeared beside us and touched Catrin’s right breast in what appeared to be an attempt to secure her stick-on name badge. He was 103 if he was a day. Next, a walrus appeared at my side, claiming to be a criminal psychologist.
Oh, dear. That was a really big mistake on his part. I have spent the past three days watching wall to wall Criminal Minds, so there is (obviously) nothing I don’t know about criminal psychology. Shoulda left it, walrus. You specially shoulda left it before you asked: “What are your favourite TV programmes?”
The walrus was also in the early stages of dementia, because he asked me what my favourite programmes were at least five times. It’s always gonna be Suits, The Good Wife and Criminal Minds, mate (did I mention I’m an attorney, too?).

There was an attempt at entertaining us with a 'close-up magician', who tried to hypnotise us with non-existent snake oil. We had to imagine our hands were glued together with said oil and then try to pull them apart, the premise being that we wouldn't be able to. Er, we did.

Maybe he would have better luck with cards? "I just saw you put the card in your pocket," I pointed out. My friend thought I was being cruel, but call me old-fashioned, the one thing I want from magic is something that actually looks like magic, not somebody fishing around in their pocket for small change. My only hope was that he would be able to make the walrus, who was slithering towards us again, disappear. Alas, he couldn't do that, either. 
This was not going well. Then, a bizarre thing happened. A few Oriental ladies whose total age would not have come anywhere near 50 arrived and started to hit on every man in the room. You could almost see the words Green Card in shining lights above their heads. A bald, fat guy – let’s call him Whaleman – wasted no time in putting his tongue down one Miss Pearl of the Orient’s throat. Well, it was less of a kiss and more of a devouring. When half of her head disappeared, I was a hair’s breadth from calling paramedics.
People have always told women who want to pull a guy never to sleep with them on the first date. Here’s my advice: sleep with them only on the first date – because on last night’s evidence, by the time the alcohol wears off, you’ll want to rush the hell out of there and get back to the bar for last orders.
Now, give me a map to the twenties disco. 

Where’s Harry Styles when you need him?

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