It genuinely never occurred to me that anyone would actually read this stuff. Which is ironic as I work in the internet business and could tell you that what goes online, stays online. People will notice.
So when I recorded a few excusable musings on the charms of a female colleague (the Sex Whippet) I shouldn’t have been surprised to get grilled as to her identity.
I was in a pub on the Commercial Road when two of them turned on me.
“Is it me?” demanded Whippet 1 (Spoiler: all women have some sex whippet in them. It’s just a matter of percentages.)
“I…I…I”. stammers F-Bloke, blushing, cornered.
“Is it her?” She pressed, pointing to Whippet 2, whose eyes glinted, delighted at the harrying.
“Is it me? Is it me? Is it her? Is it? Is it? Tell me!”
The assault is relentless. I’m on the ropes. Whippet 1 cuts off my retreat.
“Is it me? Is it me? Is it her? Who is it?”
There was no escape.
But at that moment, thank God, my wife intervened.
Not my real wife. My work wife.
A work wife is essential to surviving the working world. It’s a non-sexual relationship (which is a relief, because life is complicated enough). Work Wives watch your back and in return you provide gossip and compliments. You both get the day-to-day rhythm of a relationship and that makes work easier.
My current WW has something of the Teutoburg forest about her: it was in that forest that Varus lost three legions to the Germanic tribes and the high tide of the Roman empire was reached. It’s the spiritual home of the Germans. And WW has a bosky teutonic soul of shadows and shafts of sunshine from whence few centurions re-emerge with their honour or armour intact. Though I call her the Viking Queen because she likes that better.
She bowled into the room in a purple cloud of Wagnerian vengeance and war trumpets and spotted my predicament.
“Is it her?” persisted Whippet 1 pointing at the Viking Queen. “Is it?”,
“Am I what?” she asked.
“He has a column…” started Whippet 2 then sniggered.
“I’ve read it. Am I in it?”
“In it… or on it?” asked one of the whippets, I can’t remember which one.
Now they were all laughing at me.
It’s actually quite pleasant, being hemmed in by three aggressive women. The sound of mocking female laughter has followed me through life so I’m pretty used to it and the scene reminded me of the Greek myth – the Judgement of Paris – where he has a golden apple and has to decide which goddess to give it to. Look at the paintings: three eager contestants, all fully rigged and setting out their top sails to catch the wind. One Greek bloke. Nobody wearing much. So, you know, decisions.
Then I tried to remember how that story ended and I’m pretty sure there was some severe blowback for old Paris. And a war, I think. So it seemed best to just to whinge and whine and generally not-be-worthy and wait for them to get bored of me.
“Will you write about us?” asked a whippet.
“Okay.” I said, and they left me alone.
The F Bloke would prefer to remain anonymous to protect his sources.
He lives in London and works globally. He is very married.