Don’t Panic Mr Mainwaring

And so it came to pass that I was invited to attend a social gathering.

Well let me stop you right there.

You see, for someone with the social ineptitude of a disenfranchised Common Warthog, the words “gathering” plus “social” plus “invitation” all together and heralded in my direction, strike fear, panic and a dozen other negative reactions straight into my very being. You see I’m not actually a sociable animal.

Oh sure I can type, from the safety, seclusion and comfort of my sounder (that’s what you actually call the home of a Common Warthog in real life. I know, educational, who knew)? I can chirp in 140 characters or less on the Tweeterings and I can flirt on the Facialbook in 140 characters or more. However, ask me to actually attend something, in real life and stand there, remain clothed, talking to people, face to face, in a sociably interactive kind of way, and I will instantly come up with seventeen different and highly original excuses why I am sadly unable to attend in person. I may even send a video message. I’m nothing if not inventive.

Who can forget my memorable absence from a party owing to having stay with the lady who went into labour in aisle 12 of Safeway? I mean, Safeway???!!! Or the unfortunate delay of many hours caused by my singularly spectacular but ultimately doomed attempt to rescue the cow? Or the completely implausible excuses that I had period pains; a dog with leprosy; or had to practice my maiden speech for the House of Lords. In other words, if it’s at all possible to get out of turning up, I’ll give it my best shot.

Which brings us to last night (or several months ago if you’re reading this on Dave). I had been invited to attend a social gathering in city far far away (well London) and had arranged to accompany a lovely lady, whom, for the sake of anonymity, we’ll simply call Petunia Bigglesthwack.

Now as it happened I had been up since 4am that morning and was very very tired. And then Petunia Bigglesthwack sent a textual communication directly to my portable telephone instrument, indicating her unfortunate inability to attend (I believe this is called “being blown – out)”. Well sad though that was to read, there was a part of me that went down on one knee (I believe it was the left) and praised Saint John the first, Saint Gregory the seventh, Saint Cornelius and all the other dead but never forgotten Popes and gave thanks for providing not one, but two, actual, true, real life reasons why I could get out of attending, without having to go through the whole rigmarole of having to actually think of an excuse myself (aisle 4 of Tesco?)

So all I had to do was convey my heartfelt sadness, make my (true) excuses and flop onto the sofa where no doubt I’d soon be accompanied by a brace of beagles.

And then something strange happened. Possibly divine intervention, who knows? I was persuaded to go. To reject the warm snuggerly sofa-like, beagle-infested sounder, and shower, dress up in shirt and tie and waistcoat (ok, so the M&S tie says “Tie Me Up” on it) trek mountains and traverse fjords and actually travel the short distance from Wimbledon into London (we don’t actually have a fjord, yet. But give Boris time, anything’s possible if you have vision).

And am I glad I did? {Insert more genuflection and the canonised Pope of your choice here}. For behold as I entered the venue I was immediately welcomed with the beaming smile and warm embrace of a lovely lady who I had only recently met and the equally warm welcome of her partner (who also wore a tie, his more tasteful, with hearts on).

And so like a barnacle clinging to a bit of old bilge wood, I was impossible to shake off all evening. I had just the most lovely time in the company of these two people. I also met a charming, brave, adventurous American gentleman. Let’s just say he knows first hand what hurricane Katrina was all about and who has now settled here. We will definitely keep in touch.

The evening with my gorgeous new friends ended with talk of possible photography involving rope lights and my soon-to-arrive straitjacket (which I’ve been instructed has to be red)!

So what did we learn from last night?

Well firstly we learnt that: a lack of sleep, eating nothing all day, being over optimistic with our choice of trouser waist band, drinking a double coffee on the train on an empty stomach, adding a glass of wine upon arrival, all go to make one feel a little odd towards the end of the night.

But we also learnt that if you make the effort to dress up, it’s quite possible that a very naughty lady will start to undress you soon after you arrive!

But also that life is full of surprises: lovely sexy people who will let you talk utter codswallop for three hours and who you can’t wait to see again; and singing belly-dancers.

Good morrow.

About severin

Nobody special and what I write might not be to everyone's taste - it tends to be a bit naughty. so you've been warned.
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