*** Part I of Episode 3: Pot Luck is here.
The party continued for a few hours after sunset before it started to die down. By 8.00pm, there were little more than a handful of souses stumbling about in merriment. The all-day drinking bonanza had proved too much for the rest, who had gone home to nurse their bulging bellies. There were murmurs of regret among the remaining few, who were thinking about the long journey home with the whole world spinning.
Joan bellowed, determined to drink on. However, her insult failed to strike as most of those remaining got ready to leave. They made excuses for their reasons to leave, the biggest being that the party had jumped the shark when The Boss put his back out during an embarrassing attempt at break-dancing. Joan considered this the highlight of the night, watching the boys carry The Boss from the boardroom floor, into the lift, down to the basement and into the back of his wife’s car, screaming and whimpering the entire way.
For most, it was a confronting experience. For Joan, The Boss’s PA, it was nothing short of hilarious. Sure, she felt some sympathy for The Boss and his misfortune. She even knocked back an apple cider in his honour. She quickly followed this with another to celebrate her newfound freedom for the rest of the night. Tiffany, another valued PA, joined in on Joan’s celebrations with a glass of white, although it never took much to convince to Tiffany crack open a bottle.
The party was all but over; however he was only just getting ready to start. After all, he had just finished the first working week at his new job, Madonna was still singing in his head and he’d had just enough to drink to feel on top of the world. Joan and Tiffany were the last ladies standing and they had decided to leave the boardroom and head to the local. They seemed like a fun duo, so he decided to tag along.
Joan and Tiffany were sometimes at odds in the office. Joan was a hippy-cum-rocker-wild-child from decades past, a former globetrotting free spirit, who was now married, mortgaged and skirting forty. Tiffany was all blonde, boobs and unabashed beauty, with a fierce tongue and unexpected fiery wit. She didn’t have many cares in the world, but she knew what she wanted and how to get it. There were twenty years between them and they often didn’t understand each other, however when they started drinking they became a united force.
“The local” was a run-of-the-mill Irish pub decorated with stock-standard wooden paneling, neon beer signs and a forest green carpet singed with cigarette burns from another era. He bought a pint of blonde beer and headed out into the beer garden, scanning the sea of plastic furniture. In the depths of white plastic, a raised hand waved frantically. Joan and Tiffany had found a table and Joan excitedly beckoned him over. He briefly waved back, dismissing her as he wasn’t ready to resign himself to them quite yet. He was in the mood for some fun. He was hunting.
The beer garden attracted all walks of life. There were construction workers in fluorescent vests, stock brokers with gold watches and fitted suits, civil servants with rubber watches and cheap baggy suits, HR managers in pencil skirts, overalled maintenance men. There were men and woman, young and old. It was a veritable cross-section of society, and the perfect hunting ground. He scanned the menagerie for a score.
And then, he saw her.
She had long, ginger-red hair, which flicked over her head like a curly lion’s mane. She was fair with peach lips, a spatter of freckles on her cheeks and fine crow’s feet attacking her eyes. She dressed in neat, sensible business wear; a green jumper with a white business shirt underneath, a grey, knee-length skirt, beige stockings and flat, black shoes. She was sure to be in her early forties, although she might pass for late thirties if she made a real effort. She was just lovely, and she was blind drunk.
Stocked up with white wine and pear ciders, Tiffany and Joan sat back and studied him from their table. They watched him search the crowd like a lost boy. And then, they sat on the edge of the seat as he made his way into the crowd and over to a woman. Who was she? Had the boy found his mother? He whispered something in her ear and she replied with a flash of her teeth and gums. He smiled and sat beside her.
Over the next few hours, he had her undivided attention, which was quite feat as she wasn’t in any state to concentrate on anything. He charmed her with quiet words and a gentle touch. She dropped her wine glass on the ground without noticing. She fell off her chair, on three separate occasions. She laughed obnoxiously and groped improperly. When she found that sitting upright was all too much, she laid her head in his lap. She was a mess, and yet, she was his Angel.
Joan and Tiffany drank themselves into delirium, cackling over the theatre that was playing before them. Where could it go? What was she after? What was he after? He provided them with seemingly endless entertainment until 11.00pm when, to their bewilderment, he left the pub with the mysterious woman stumbling by his side.
Over the weekend, Tiffany made a valiant effort sending as many text messages, reporting on the Friday night mystery. By Monday, there was a large contingent of snoops desperate to hear the end of the story. When he arrived on Monday, spring in step, the snoops cornered him in the kitchen. As Joan was caught up emailing hundreds of documents to her bedridden boss, Tiffany happily took charge of the questioning, and he was only too happy to oblige them.
“So, where did you go on Friday?”
“I took her home and, you know…”
“To your place?”
“Nooooo. Of course not. We went back to hers.”
“She seemed pretty drunk. How did she even tell you her address?”
“I checked her driver’s license.”
“She let you see her license?”
“Well, not really. She was a bit of a mess in the taxi. Fell asleep a few times. So I just fished it out of her purse.”
“Yeah. So we went back to hers and, you know, I sorted her out, and once we were done I was ready for more action so I went back to Northbridge. Must have been about 2 am that I made it onto the club strip.”
“You did what?”
“Yeah, I figured I shouldn’t waste the night, so I wanted to see if I could find any more lovely ladies. But, it didn’t work out. I checked out a few clubs, made a few moves, but I didn’t make any scores so I headed home at six in the morning. Now this is where it get’s really funny.”
“No. So when I got home, I put my hand in my pocket and found I had two sets of keys. One of them was the chick!. You know, the one from the pub! Ha, can you believe it? So it’s now 6.30am and I have to drive back to her house, knock on her door and…”
“You knocked on her door?”
“Yeah, I knocked on her door and…”
“Why didn’t you just leave them in the letterbox? Or under the doormat?”
“Oh I didn’t want to be rude. So I knocked on the door and, you know, she answered and I gave her the keys. She didn’t say anything, but I know she appreciated it. Meeting me was a stroke of luck. After all, I showed her a great night!”
Stunned by his candour, the snoops laughed nervously and shuffled out of the kitchen and back to their offices, where they spent the morning emailing each other about Friday’s events.
This is the Chronicles of Creepy Pants.