Chapter VIII

The Travis bar in Liverpool was, at the time the place to be seen. It was also where I met Mozza345 for our disastrous liaison. But it was a swish place for a first date, if that’s what it was – a date.
The worst kind of dates are the ones that aren’t. Sarah wanted to meet up to talk about how we couldn’t start dating, and the best way to discuss that with me was to ask me out on a…. date ?
I had an idea that that was her plan, but I had something ready for her in my pocket . (What? No, not that. What filthy minds you all have.)
I’d got out of work handy, Nigel wanted me to stay behind because he’d just been sent the very latest edition of Office Stationary world and the centre page spread on staplers had sent him a bit giddy. With a promise to look at the sleek new models in the morning I escaped to get ready for our non date.
It was ninety minutes before our date. I decided to kill some time by choosing my outfit for the evening. I went up to my bedroom and went through my entire wardrobe. That ran the clock down for at least ninety seconds so next on the list was my hair.
Then there was the accident.
Have you ever been distracted? Have you ever disengaged your brain? Have you ever not had your mind on the job in hand? Have you ever confused Andrex moist toilet tissue with flash disposable bathroom bleach wipes? No? Well, take it from me, on balance it’s a mistake best avoided.
I was just grateful that the neighbours were out. The screams were bone chilling, So after some emergency repairs and some tears, I was ready for my non date.
Ok, I know, you are all dying to know about my non date wardrobe? Did I go smart casual? Shabby chic? Formal? Informal? In the end I went for the classic look- jeans and a long sleeve shirt. And the shirt was ironed. Well I ironed the front. (We all know sleeves don’t count) the back I can never do so I after it was on I did a few lateral spread poses ( the body builders amongst you will know what that means ) that pulled out the creases. I think.
Then it was off to the bar. got into my car and (gingerly) eased myself into the drivers seat.
Even with the rush hour traffic I was early. And to my wonderful surprise, Sarah was already there!
She was wearing black trousers and a cream blouse. She was fully made up (That’s her face , not because I’d bothered to get there on time.) She smiled that lovely half smile and prepared herself for “the hug”,
Let me talk you through the hug. Like any great symphony, Hugs are broken down into movements. Firstly there is the pre hug. This is when the hugger, (as opposed to the hugee) readies him/herself for the embrace. Raising to their full height they adopt the “Hey dude, I’m about to give you a hug!” look. The mouth is in half smile mode, the eyebrows are raised and the the head is in that funny leaning back /tilting to one side position that screams – “oh, come here ,you big lummox.”
Then there is the hug itself. There is the tight hug, the kind of hug you get at funerals or the end of Cillas Surprise Surprise when the Latvian granny finds the grandson from Northampton that she left on the station in 1978. Sarah’s hug wasn’t that kind of hug. Sarah’s hug was the classic bend at the hips hug.
The bend at the hips hug is were up top it’s all going on – cheeks, arms, hands on shoulders etc, but down at the business end., the tummy /hip area, there is a nine inch exclusion zone packed full of what is known on the continent as English reserve.
It’s as if this whole hug business has been fostered on us by Johnny foreigner. I don’t remember anyone hugging any one in the seventies when I was a kid. I do however remember being pistol whipped with a plimsoll by Mr Gledhill in PE, so perhaps things have changed for the better.
Anyway, Sarah gave me a hug number two.
to be continued

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