Blinkers were meant for horse’s right? Wrong, they were designed for people like Charlie Gerard; to contain his own narrow worldview.
Charlie Gerard considered himself a technician in the art of online dating. Turning up half an hour late was never a problem. His good looks and charisma usually nullified any irritation.
‘Couldn’t pull myself away from the mirror,’ he’d say jovially, and it was the truth.
Beth arrived early, and impatience was her flaw.
Charlie had ordered Beth’s food while she relieved herself. Women were unbearably indecisive about picking shoes; a whole menu was information overload.
Beth, a vegetarian, ignored the spaghetti carbonara in favour of garlic bread. She complimented Charlie on his internet profile, said it really captured his brutish essence.
‘Thanks,’ Charlie said, taking her hand from across the table. She brushed it off. He liked this game. Dating was like safecracking; breaking the combination was a challenge he was up for. Then he’d be free to let his hands rummage around.
He offered to pay for the meal. Beth refused. So he tried something radical: he said nothing, let the woman do all the talking about her favourite subject: herself. He even avoided the urge to talk about his sexual prowess, about football, and about if they’d go halves on the condoms because they were pricey nowadays.
At the end of the meal Charlie gave himself a solid eight out of ten. That meant only one thing: he’d have Beth’s thong around her ankles at some stage tonight.
Everything went south when he ordered a joint taxi. She confessed that curiosity had made her agree to a date, adding that dragging a ball and chain was more appealing than being seen with him again.
Charlie, quite generously, gave her one last chance to go back to The Orgasm Palace: his residence.
The next day Charlie told his friend about a close escape from a crazy lesbian. They’d been a few of those lately.