25 Oct


ANIME MAN photo: anime man Snow_wolf__by_heise.jpg
Griselda sat on her own on the high bar stool at the bar of the Crown and Anchor, watching Thomas the Greek polishing the clean glasses with an old pair of underpants and thinking that he really ought to have washed them first.
“They say a young man might fall in love with an older woman,” she croaked. “Have you heard of that?”
“I’ve heard that a young man might fall in love with a rich older woman,” Thomas corrected her. “It makes sense. A young man with a certain amount of laziness in his bones might find it advantageous falling in love with a woman who’s dripping with untold wealth.”
“That’s a rather unpleasant thought,” sighed Griselda.
“It might be, but it’s true. Are you looking to fall in love with a younger man?”
She grinned, and cackled. “There’s not one who would have me!” she laughed, and that laugh was an eerie, humourless sound. “No, I was thinking of Henrietta!”
“The Blackboil creature? That’s even less likely than a handsome young stud falling for you!” laughed the landlord. “She’s a wino, gets herself pissed on dilute lager, and smells. No young man with seed in his gonads is going to look at her with anything but contempt!”
“Then a serious relationship might help her pull herself together,” suggested Griselda. “She might sober up and learn to wash!”
“Have you ever seen her sober?” asked Thomas, flabbergasted. “When she’s sober she shakes like a fig leaf and can’t put two syllables together to make a word! When she’s sober I have to bar her, for everyone else’s good! No – there’s no chance whatsoever of Henrietta Blackboil ever managing to get a younger man to even look her way let alone find himself in bed with her! The whole thought makes a fellow feel sick!”
The conversation might have carried on in that tone and with Thomas dragging Henrietta Blackboil’s reputation through the mud when the door swung open and a beau walked in. He was on his own, suave, sophisticated with the sort of trousers that looked almost threatening, and he was clearly a beau. Every line on his craggy designer-stubble face spoke of his being a beau. His piercing eyes, as they surveyed the inside of the Crown and Anchor, glinted beau. Even the nonchalance with which he approached the bar and ordered “a pint of your best bitter, landlord” said he was a beau.
“You’re a beau,” Griselda told him.
He grinned at her, and fluttered his enormously long eyelashes.
“I’m a lonely soul, lost in a cruel world and without a pound to call my own,” he told her, paying for his beer with a twenty pound note. “I’ve had it up to the topmost hair on my head with young women! They can all go to the far ends of the Earth as far as I’m concerned! They reject me, and can’t you tell by the cut of my trousers that when they reject me they reject something special? Isn’t it obvious, dear lady, that I am a man of huge physical means? But no, I am rejected by the flibbertigibbets that call themselves girlfriends! What I need, my lovely woman, is a much older lady, someone who is refined, someone with a sense of decorum… What I need is someone like … dared I say it? Will you be offended…”
“Yes … er, no!” squawked Griselda.
“Someone like yourself,” he finished, and heaved a magnificent sigh.
Griselda wobbled. All of her wobbled, even her thin bosom wobbled. Her chin wobbled more than anything else, and almost collided with the tip of her nose at it arched back and forth.
“What I need,” he continued, apparently oblivious to the extreme agitation that showed on every line of her very lined body, “what I need, dear lady, is a woman of means, like your radiant self. What I need is someone of, shall we say, mature years, yes, that’s it, mature years, for me to take to my boudoir and display the contents of my trousers to…”
That was almost too much for Griselda. She knew very little about gentlemen’s trousers, and didn’t want to learn anything more. To her, ignorance was the very essence of bliss.
“You don’t know me…” she began.
“Oh, what is knowing a person when the heart is filled with love?” asked the beau. “What is anything in the world when compared to the feelings in my heart at this very moment, the way it beats in time to your own private parts as they gather their paces ready for the onslaught!”
“Yuk!” shouted Griselda.
She might have gone on to give him a large piece of her mind when the door flew open and a handful of elderly ladies, brollies and handbags at the ready, surged in.
“There he is!” shrieked one.
“The swine!” shouted another.
“The Lothario!” screamed a third.
“The philanderer!” screamed a fourth.
“Get him!” howled a fifth.
And a small army of elderly ladies, not one as magical or witchy as Griselda but quite clearly determined, leapt towards the beau…
…Who made as noble an exit as he could in the circumstances, leaving the best part of a pint of best bitter behind him.
“I hope he wasn’t with you, dear?” asked one of the army of retribution.
Griselda shook her head, and grinned.
“Though he did suggest something about his trousers,” she said, and winked.
© Peter Rogerson 25.10.14



  1. pambrittain October 25, 2014 at 7:13 pm #

    I’m beginning to like this old lady.

  2. Peter Rogerson October 26, 2014 at 9:28 am #

    I’ve been fond of her for years, Pam.

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