Saturday, 9 October 2010

An SOS From Skye, And Some Biscuits Whose Provenance I'd Prefer Not To Consider.

Sam's not having a very good time on his sex trip to Skye. Just after breakfast, Max gets a text from him. It says,

"Help! Incompatible in bed and nothing to talk about. Supposed to be here another two days :-S"

So much for sexy underwear, I want to say - but then I remember my new pants and decide against it. Max looks vaguely disappointed. I think he quite fancied Shona too.

"What should he do?" he asks.

"I don't know," I say. "He's your friend, and anyway, he always ignores my advice. I told him to start reading the women's bloody profiles instead of just looking at their pictures on the websites."

"And to ignore the shared interests," says Max. "Bearing in mind the Park Warden and the Tall Enigma."

"Anyway, I'm leaving him to you," I say. "I've got to go for coffee at Ellen's. Are you okay?"

Max looks awfully pale. "Ellen's?" he says. "I thought you hated her after the bin incident and, well, you know - "

"When you snogged her at the party?" I say. Amazing how much of your sense of humour you can get back when you have been sent hundreds of red roses. 'Oh well, I've taken your word for it that there's nothing going on. Is there?"

Now I've said this, I feel guilty about the roses, so I don't make Max answer and instead take pity on him. Or on Sam, anyway.

"Send him a text saying his cousin's in hospital and he needs to come home immediately in case he needs to give blood," I say. "Then she'll think he's a good guy with a rare blood group, and she won't feel rejected either."

"God, you're cunning," says Max. "Sometimes I forget you work for a politician."

I tap my nose and wink at him, then head to Ellen's. I have no idea why she's invited me round, unless it's to apologise for the exhibitionism with the bins the other night. I'm in a forgiving mood, so I shall wait and see what she says.

Ellen's fully-clothed, I'm pleased to report and, although she still looks like a blonde James Blunt who's been shot full of Botox, she makes me welcome and doesn't do any of that one-upmanship thing that she usually does. Or at least, she doesn't do it for at least ten minutes.

She makes the tea, then sits down and says, "How's Max?"

"Um, oh, he's okay, thanks."

"Oh, good,"  says Ellen. Her tone's a bit funny, so I raise my eyebrows and say, "Why?"

"Oh, nothing," she says, and then, "Well, it's just -"

"Just what?" I say.

"He's always so friendly whenever I see him. So friendly. Know what I mean?" She giggles. (God, I hate gigglers.)

"Not really," I say. "Not to Mormons, anyway. These biscuits are great, by the way. What are they?"

"Lebkuchen," says Ellen. "I got them on my trip to Germany a couple of months ago."

Ouf. I can't say I recommend them, after all - they suddenly taste like sawdust in my mouth. Or maybe that's just all the questions I'm biting down on, like: "When were you in Germany? Who were you with? Was it my husband and is that why he claimed he didn't know the name of his hotel?"

I am bloody well not going to make a fool of myself. I am not, or not yet, anyway. Not 'til I find out exactly what is going on. But I am wondering if it's time to wake up and smell the roses. Low cunning may not be the sole preserve of those of us who work for politicians, after all.

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