The dialogue between Mr #23 and I had been relatively short-lived, but he'd mentioned enough to pique my interest and I agreed to meet him within about 4 days of initial contact. All I new about his was he was Italian, he worked in digital marketing and he lived south of the river. Seemed fair enough, bring it on.
Profession: Digital marketing manager for the music and graphic industry
Random factoid: Was once chatted up by the boss-eyed lead Singer of Sigur Ros. Or so he thought. It was hard to tell, what with both eyes facing in opposite directions and all...
To be honest, I really didn't fancy a date tonight. It was a Monday, it was my first day back at an old job, and the only thing I wanted to do was curl up on the sofa and watch pap on television. But no, not tonight. When I started out on 52 First Dates I told myself I would never cancel a date unless there was bloody good reason, and being a lazy ass bastard wasn't one, so I begrudgingly met Mr #23 just outside Oxford Circus. He wasn't the tallest nor the most attractive of chaps, but he was suitably jolly, and instantly I realised it would be an entertaining evening. We pottered off to a pub of my choosing, commandeered some cheeky vinos and took up pews. Sadly since all of the seats inside were occupied, we had to perch outside under a heater. As he was a smoker with hot Mediterranean blood, he was adamant this was not a problem. But this was a chill to properly test his Italian mettle. And for the next couple of hours he shivered uncontrollably and insisted this was just his passion for the conversation making him shudder like some sort of malfunctioning Flymo. Bullshit sunshine, you're freezing. But you're also polite, so we stuck it out a little more. His Italian accent was pretty thick, so I had to strap on my finest translation ears on to work out the key points of the conversation, but on the whole it was very entertaining and he had an impressive grasp of the common vernacular: we covered the state of kids in London today, what 5 albums you'd take to the moon (we did argue over some and work out that given we were both on the moon at the same time that it would make sense to share some...), his Sardinian heritage (sans Mafia connections), Mike Skinner, the art of making balsamic vinegar, Macs vs PCs, the merits of Pret A Manger and their artisan breads, online piracy, shoes as art and that time his grandma made him over-sized ravioli. Two glasses of wine down I was pretty sure I should head off home, but we were having a pleasant enough evening so I persuaded to had a third. We were both getting a bit squiffy, and after the third had been demolished, I was determined to head off to the bus. But not without an Italian escort skipping along beside me. Once waiting for the bus, he took the moment to slip me a rather grotesque Sambucca-flavoured chewing gum before then slipping me the tongue. What can I say, I was tipsy, and it wasn't horrific. At first. And then the bus came, and I tried to free my mouth enough to say my swift goodbyes. But he was rather more limpet-like than I expected and I missed the bloody bus. So then I was resigned to huddling up against John Lewis out of the bitterly cold with a man with an over-enthused tongue until the next bus came along. And ten minutes later, after having my mouth suitable routed,the bus arrived and I was blissfully able cut short his oral excavations and escape.
'I have grown to rather like the English Piccalilli. It is Kryptonite-like in colour'
'Last year I was jogging in Stockwell and ten black youths stopped me. I knew I was going to be mugged. They asked what I was listening to on my iPod. I said NWA. They just nodded and let me go.'
Him to me: 'I think you may have hands bigger than mine. Yes, you have!'
Events of note:
The admission that this fully grown man collected Playmobile. But not jut any Playmobile. Oh no. That would be silly. Only cops and robbers Playmobile. He is so empassioned by this particular genre of Playmobile that he even travelled to Malta, the country of its origin, to pick some up.
The verdict:Considering how much I was dreading this evening for selfish reasons, I had a surprisingly enjoyable time. He was bright, he was funny, he had loads of interests. But despite all thee things, I just didn't really fancy him. And I'm not really sure why not. He wasn't unattractive, he had plenty to say for himself, but there just wasn't that funny little something there that would make me want to stare at my phone willing it to vibrate. And perhaps that he still collected little plastic figurines with interchangeable hairdos from my youth had something to do with it. Or the fact that yet again he had hands smaller than mine (what is it with me and my giant man hands? Who'd have thought this would be such a frequent deal-breaker?). Whatever it is, but I'm left massively unsure about the whole thing. He has asked to meet again, and I think under most other circumstances I would have said yes. But I think the fact that I would almost definitely be held tongue-hostage for most of the evening has made me less confident in agreeing. Oh balls.