The preamble:Mr #15 came about through the usual online dating route. I rather liked the sound of Mr #15...he was remarkably eloquent-slash-literate, had a penchant for unusual clothing fabrics including the incredibly-underrated corduroy, and his profile photo looked like one of those seventies photos of a boy smiling, having completed his last exam in a school gym weathering nothing but a mustard-coloured vest. However the preamble was rather too lengthy, and it did have to get to the point where I emailed and said 'are you going to ask me out for a bloody drink, or what?'. As it turns out, that was just the virtual kick up the arse necessary to secure date #15. So we arranged to meet.
Profession: Freelance journalist
Random factoid: He was the inspiration behind a legendary Only Fools And Horses Quote. His mum, a teacher, used to bump into John Sullivan whilst doing the school run. One day, whilst asking what this lady did for a living, a three-year-old Mr #15 informed John Sullivan she was a teacher. When then asked what she taught, Master 15 replied 'children, mostly'. And so was born the immortal punchline to Del and Raquel's first meeting.
The date:I met Mr #15 not too far away from work, with the premise that we were to go for a drink and then a 'stroll' down to the Embankment to take in the rather uncharacteristically tropical clime of London in late September. As it turns out, 'stroll' was one of Mr #15's favourite words ever, as he used it on no less than 11 occasions during the evening. I know. I counted. The first thing that struck me was the fact that he had claimed, on a number of occasions, to be a toyboyly 27 years old. However with the realisation of a rather prominent greying of a barnet that was well beyond the acceptable recession point for any man younger than 35, I suspected he had been more than creative about his date of birth. Especially since he threw 1984 into conversation with frighteningly-rehearsed ease. So we headed off to a certain blues-orientated bar, a bar I'm not entirely unfamiliar with, from date #13 to be precise, although fortunately tonight there was no live band, so at least we could hear things. Conversation kicked off with gusto. We covered all sorts: A levels, the fact that he lives with his parents rent-free (and hasn't offered financial compensation? Tut tut!), doing a Monopoly-themed pub crawl and Sheffield. Soon his obsession with strolling overcame him, so we headed off on a polite perambulation through Soho to get to his favourite wine bar near Embankment, a jauntily little joint with caves, a stinky cheese buffet and yes, you've guessed it, shit loads of wine. Bereft of somewhere to perch, we ended up stood outside in the virtual pitch black where conversation kicked up a gear: dropping the c-bomb, the EDL, Alzheimers, corruption within FIFA, Croydon, cricket, his favourite anti-fascist German football team, his paisley shirt, dubious hot tub incidents and Facebook analytics. Don't get me wrong, this guy gave good chat; he was exceptionally bright, and I found myself hearing my own cavalier use of the English language in his speech which oddly enough didn't really endear me to him, but rather put me off. As was the acknowledgement of unconsciously touching my own bum and realised that I had the gluteus muscle tone of a 60-year-old woman. Note to self, go to the gym, you don't want someone you fancy one day having to cup what feel like a bag of porridge. Self-realisation aside, and the overwhelmingly interchangeable odours of honky Camembert and sweet Branston pickle wafting over from the table we were sharing, soon enough it was time to call it a night. We wandered down to the tube together, and some rather awkwardly long yet desirably noncommittal words later, we went our separate ways.
Memorable Quotes:'My area of historical expertise is actually the reformation of manors'
'Yesterday I wrote an article about a roundabout'
'I saw a tranny on a bike today. A real one. In a wig'
Something to do with 'jingoism'. I can't remember what the exact sentence was, but the fact he said the word 'jingoism' warrants note.
Events of note:
From the darkness of our outside position, watching the theatre of a man who, once sat cross-legged, foolishly attempted to walk across cobbles with no feeling in his lower extremities, and doing what can only be described as the 'dead leg limp' which would've won him a full time position in the Ministry of Silly Walks. That, and the six foot odd buff rugby lad who was wandering around on his own in what looked like a stolen schoolgirl's uniform.
The verdict:Mr #15 was a really nice guy. His banter was excellent, we reached new conversational ground, his choice of venue was good, and he was clearly a really bright guy. But I don't think I could get over the fact that he sounded irritatingly like a male version of myself and the fact he had flagrantly lied about his age. That, and the cheeky whitehead in the cleavage of his left nostril that I just could not take my eyes off, hoping that maybe my imaginary telekinetic powers might've popped. Whether he wants to see me again remains to be seen. All in all, I had a lovely and delightfully challenging evening...I for one didn't know I knew so much about the corruption within the various sporting industries...but the bottom line is I just didn't fancy him. Ah well.