People ‘hang out’. They don’t ‘date’ any more. Dating is passé, which is a shame. It’s a diverting pastime, practised by those terrified of dying alone surrounded by empty bottles of cheap whisky. Cupid’s arrow can strike when one least expects and if his aim is good, you won’t risk losing an eye. ‘The one’ is out there somewhere. People often wait half a lifetime when in fact (s)he can be surprisingly close and very drunk.
Men’s brains and women’s are differently wired. Annabel Shitehouse-d’Or has a date on Saturday with John. On Wednesday, she invites her friends round to help her do her hair. They spend a lot of time experimenting with protein enhancers and colorant. On Saturday afternoon, all her hair has fallen out except for a single purple stripe. John smooths his hair back with saliva but forgets to button his shirt, thus exposing a neo-Nazi tattoo he got while off his face in Bangkok. They go to a club and John resists the temptation to spike Annabel’s guava juice with Rohypnol, instead becoming intimate over a shared bottle of alcohol-free Guinness. The date goes well and he suggests they move into his caravan near the building site. Annabel is unfriended by all her Facebook friends and John loses his smartphone in a concrete mixer.
James is alone a lot, working in the ceramics factory checking pots for flaws. He hopes to meet a princess, and is obsessed with Star Wars, thus finds ordinary fat girls unappealing. Jane is fat and unappealing but their shared love of futuristic fantasy and chocolate Hobnobs brings them together in the corner shop on a rainy Saturday morning. There is indeed a lid for every pot.
William is forty-seven and lives with his mother. He holds down a steady job as a companion in a nursing home for those suffering from dementia. He has a girlfriend, Jane, who likes maths and English. William is a registered sex offender and Jane is fourteen but since they are both expert at Candy Crush they have a good deal in common.
On their fifth date, Cindy and Phil decide to carve their names on a tree trunk. Strangely, both of them are carrying knives. Cindy was attracted to Phil because of the way he stroked the stem of his wine glass up and down; Phil was attracted to Cindy because she could text with one hand. Cindy is ambidextrous. Their favourite pastime is walking in the city and drawing hearts with equations inside on the pavements.
This little resource I found invaluable. I do hope my young friends experiencing difficulty will borrow a copy from the library or steal it from the bookshop. Or, vice-versa.