Phil turned to Carine. ‘Why do we have to be here? I hate this place.’ He looked around at the weeping decorations, the shrunken banner, the sagging women in cheerleaders outfits designed for them when they were far younger, more pert and before the curse of children had been inflicted on them.
He was surrounded by stereotypes. In a world of round holes, he was a square peg. He heard the hubbub behind him as his old friends came forward.
Whoever had come up with the theme, DRESS FOR THE JOB YOU HAVE, NOT THE JOB YOU WANT, needed throttling with their own brain stem.
‘Oi! Turner!’ The lawyer shouted, his wig sliding off his balding head as he rushed across the room.
Carine swiftly kissed him on the cheek and told him, ‘I’m going to get some punch. Find out what you can, then we can get out of here.’
‘Come on, you remember the gang! So, anyway, who’s the chick? You dancing the heebie jeebie?’
‘Wrassling the Brasilian monkey?’ Said the wildlife reporter.
‘Courtoom discussion taking place downstairs?’ Said the lawyer.
‘Enjoying full touch capability?’ The computer scientist asked.
‘No, he’s definitely polishing his cue ball in her corner pocket.’ Replied the snooker player.
‘You realise that means he’s getting it wrong, don’t you? No wonder you lost the last tournament. No, he’s unequivocally been dancing the horizontal rumba, coming up for his big finish, ya know?’ The dancer snorted.
‘Pshh, dancing is for wimps. He’s been getting out his set square, if you know what I mean.’ The architect chuckled to himself. ‘Working out all the angles, ya get me?’
‘Nope, I’ve got it. I’ve got it.’ The historian said. ‘He’s been working on a certain branch of his family tree.’
There was silence in the room.
‘Well, I thought it was funny.’
‘It just sounds a bit wrong, Oscar.’
Banners hang forlornly in the background as the group take a sip of punch. There collective falls silent, conversation being replaced by umms and errs, the occasional ahh.
‘Guys, what I’m trying to say is..’
‘Putting up her shelves?’ The chorus groaned. ‘Painting her special room?’ The decorator withered under the glares from the others, mimed zipping his mouth shut over his nicotine stained teeth, and sank down into his shoulders.
‘Guys, seriously. This is important…’
‘Thou are stealing the attentions of a young lady, taking her, truly, to rapture and wonder. You construct a stairway to heaven itself, with only the tools of your manhood and virility.’
‘We get it, you act.’ The group turned to Phil. ‘Come on then, Turner. Explain?’
Phil rolled his eyes. Finally he was going to be able to explain. ‘Look, Carine and I are not together. I have never polished my cue ball in her pocket. Never wrassled her brasilian monkey… What does that even mean? Seriously guys, I’ve never even seen her naked! We just work together.’
More silence from the group.
‘Well…’ The lawyer looked around at the rest of them. ‘Mind if I take a pass at her then?’
Phil groaned. This was going to be a long night.
The Idiot in Tin Foil