The Bachelor’s Affair
Jack Black….okay go ahead then. Laugh, offer some crude remark on the choice of my birth name, I’ve heard it all before. With that out of the way lets move on, shall we? We are after-all more interested in my story otherwise you’d be doing something much more entertaining…perhaps clipping your toe nails? Whoa lets not go there. Let us rather get started before I really give you other alternatives.
The year was 2000. To be truly honest I had my fair share of reservations that the end of the twentieth century was going to click over to the twenty first century. Even thoughts of selling everything I owned, which wasn’t much at that time, and spending it all on a Caribbean Cruise entered my befuddled thoughts. I didn’t however follow that route mainly for two reasons. Firstly no-one wanted to buy any of my junk. Secondly I had a new neighbour who moved into the apartment across the hallway and the thought crossed my mind, more than a few times, that if I sold all my junk by some miracle and the world didn’t end, the gorgeous single blonde-haired beauty I longed to charm across the hallway would likely instead of considering me a struggling millionaire in the making consider me a hobo on the decline. Being that it was such a risky decision I decided to stay indoors instead burying my head beneath a tight pillow while the world outside braved the twelve o’clock roll-over. Just as an extra precaution I waited another hour. There was always the possibility that the time keepers could have screwed up by missing out on a minute or two over the centuries. Finally convinced that the world was still very much on the go, I sprang out of bed with a huge sigh of relief and made my way to the front door, which was only a few feet away because although I hate admitting it, I lived in a bachelor flat.
I tip toed across the carpeted semi lit hallway to sneak a peep through my new neighbours kitchen window to see if the lights were on. They were but I didn’t detect any movement so I slid silently to the door to press my ear against it. Okay I did mention that I wanted to charm the socks off her…or at least charm her and that statement might have implied that I was a real go-getter, a real ladies man but to be quite honest I sucked at relationships…no allow me to rephrase that….relationships were in a totally different league after-all they could only be attained once first base was covered and sadly enough it was this initial stage that scared the crap out of me. Then I heard something. Footsteps. Not one pair but a whole bunch of them. It took me an embarrassing second or two to discover that they didn’t originate from behind the door but rather from a short distance, in the passage, behind my back.
“Can I help you?”
I turned my face. It was her – the drop dead gorgeous blonde with two equally attractive girl-friends. The red rapidly spread across my face before drifting to my neck and who knows where else.
“There was a noise some….some sort of loud bang. Wait a minute there it is again. Oh it’s only a fire-cracker or something. Thought it might have been a gunshot. Well okay then I suppose I should get going”
I sort of backtracked to the door of my flat, which thankfully was still open and slid inside the short passage trying without much success to close the door on the three pairs of eyes scrutinizing my every move. A delicate foot enclosed in a sliver strapped high-heel shoe with pink toenails became an uninvited obstacle between the lower point of the door and the doorframe denying me the opportunity to escape my humiliation.
“Hang on neighbour you haven’t introduced yourself. That’s not very neighbourly is it girls?”
The foot encroached further exposing a black stocking. Tipsy giggles bouncing off the narrow walls beyond the door redirect my embarrassment to a sense of panic.
“No it’s not”
“Really bad-mannered if you ask me”
The silky smooth voices made me think of yellow roses with skin penetrating thorns. If only I had the ability to reverse time – I could have stayed inside, kept my nosiness under control and my dignity intact. That, being wishful thinking, was not going to happen leaving me no choice but to face the femme fatale onslaught.
“It’s Jack. My name’s Jack”
“Well Jack are you going to invite us in for a drink or two? It’s New Years Eve if you haven’t noticed and we are still in the party mood aren’t we girls?”
My heart started doing funny tricks. I was excited at the prospect as any kid entering a candy store and by some miracle is offered a years supply of sweets because the shopkeeper just decided he would like to retire and move back to Greece to spend time with his flock of grandchildren…okay I’m drifting off track but you get the picture. The problem wasn’t the sudden intentional infiltration of female delights – the sorry fact was I did not know how to deal with such a major fortuity. My small bar fridge contained a litre of expired milk, some flat gas cool-drink, a tub of butter and a few eggs. In the line of entertainment I had a battery operated radio which on good days picked up a decent signal. So yes, since I didn’t have the gift of the gab to make up for all of my shortfalls in the entertainment section, I was basically floating above the earth in a hot air balloon waiting in suspended anticipation for the arrival of a hundred target directed arrows to burst my moment of suggested bliss.
“I am sorry I can’t do that. I am waiting for….my girlfriend!”
So I lied but I had to say something.
“Oh come on that is the lamest excuse. If she is only pitching up this time of the morning it could only mean she has been up to no good and who would know better than us girls – isn’t that right girls?”
There it was again. That teasing, until I turn you into a beetroot, giggle.
“She works at a pub and she is usually very tired and grumpy when she gets home”
I was desperate to pull out all the stops – the sandaled foot attached to the stocking clad leg was slowly gaining more territorial advantage.
“Then it’s obvious this poor overworked girlfriend of Jack will need some cheering up since it is New Years Eve. What’s her name Jack?”
A head with fluttering eye lashes appeared through the ever increasing gap between the door and the door frame. The intimacy was devastating to my power of resistance.
The giggles were silent for a second or two until the passage in the corridor exploded with laughter and I realised my suicidal error. My obsession with the super sensational star from Tombraider had slipped from the darkest corner of my sub-conscious straight to the tip of my idiotic tongue.
“I mean Angie Jordaan”
That sounded lame I must admit even to myself. I was running faster than old Bruce Fordyce out of excuses.
“Now we know you are lying, lonely and frightfully afraid of females. This is a huge problem Jack…a disease that no normal doctor can cure. There isn’t a way my girl-friends and I can turn a blind eye to your predicament if we consider ourselves charitable citizens…”
Then something happened that saved my bacon. I might have been somewhat lame when it came to using my mouth but my sense of hearing was quite something else as eavesdropping required. The sounds of coughing and heavy feet I heard, further down the passage, was that of my long-time neighbour, poor old phlegm ridden, hard of hearing, Mrs Croxley.
“It’s Angie…she’s coming. Go…go…before she finds you here!”
The girls caught up in a moment of confusion dwindled away to the door opposite the passage. I stood at the threshold of my door a liberated, free man as old Mrs Croxley approached. With a swiftness induced by a fearful confidence I latched my arm around hers.
“Where were you I was starting to worry?”
Old Mrs Croxley gave me a quizzical glance as I led her slowly into my flat.
“Looking at all them fireworks love”
I began closing the door. The girls were watching with shocked expressions. So what my plan was working. I shut the door.
“Sorry Mrs Croxley I’ll explain later”
She let go one of her wet wheezing coughs and after the coughing fit subsided she gazed up at me with fondness in her eyes.
“That’s quite okay Jackie me boy I’ve had me eye on you for a long time as well. What you say we open this bottle of Red Heart rum I have here in me handbag so that the two of us can get all snugly later on….hey Jack me boy”