I am no Don Juan. Casanova would probably squirm in his grave if someone compared me to him. My charm, erudition, politeness and keenness may be bywords in the circles that I frequent - but remarks on my way with women often provokes a hiss or a peal of unrestrained laughter from the worms who happen to be my comrades-in-arms.
I can well imagine this conversation between an egg, a bean and crumpet who know me.
The egg says, as the three of them nestle close to the electric heater, ‘Ah, Siddhu! That’s a gentleman. Doesn’t miss a thing!’
The bean nods sagely in concurrence as he quaffed his fifth whisky down in a hurry, ‘Oh yeah! Ol’ eagle-eye Warrier about sums it up. Even if he does make pathetic attempts to imitate that chap called Wodehouse that slips my mind.’
The crumpet then speaks, ‘That’s all very fine. But what about his luck with women – or should I say, his way with women!?’
(Egg, bean and crumpet roll on the floor laughing, until the crumpet burns himself on the heater coil. Serves him right, the bastard!)
But the egg, bean and crumpet – even if they are struck down by lightning or eaten by bears for their blasphemy – weren’t too far away from putting their finger on the nub of the whole thingummy, as I illustrated yet again a couple of days ago.
I was all a-twitter. I was off to watch a terrible movie that is better left unnamed simply because a little chickadee, so to speak, was supposed to be watching it as well. After gelling my hair, adjusting my glasses for the umpteenth time (wait a second, I don’t wear glasses – so let’s skip that bit), and spraying enough deodorant to create a sizeable hole in the ozone layer, I walked away toward the bus stand.
Having become unaccustomed to getting anywhere on time during the course of 21 misspent years, I reached the bus stand to take in the wafting stench of diesel as the bus sped away – without me.
After a long, arduous journey which involved walking half a kilometer to find a cab, I managed to reach where I was supposed to meet the aforementioned popsy – to find that there was no popsy waiting.
It was a perplexing puzzle. I deduced that if there was no popsy where there was, technically, supposed to be a popsy, something was wrong. With my immense powers of ratiocination, I divined that any of the following could have happened –
The popsy had not arrived yet.
The popsy was sick of waiting for me.
She had been abducted by aliens who were in cahoots with the Iraqi insurgency.
After having dismissed the third as impossible, primarily because there are no Iraqis left outside Guantanamo bay and Abu Gharib, I began to consider the first two possibilities in all seriousness.
A swift glance at my watch told me that I was fifteen minutes late. After listening to a few well-chosen words from my friend whom I had dragged along for the ordeal, I got onto another taxi to go to the theater directly. The cost incurred by self appeared to be assuming terribly monstrous proportions – the monstrosity of which grew with every ‘tick’ of the taximeter. I finally arrived at the theater – five pounds in the red already – and met the damsel I have spoken in such glowing terms over the past two pages.
I don’t know what it is about female temperament that makes a fifteen minute wait intolerable. And the damsel was displayed every sign of the female temperament that has befuddled philosophers over the ages.
Trying to make amends, I offered hastily to buy the tickets, and rushed ahead towards the counter butting a woman in the stomach on the way.
‘Er… two tickets, please’, said I, in my most suave, debonair and charming manner.
My friend who had reason to remonstrate with me previously tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to get another two for him and his friend.
‘Er…another two tickets, but he’s paying for them.’, I muttered to the rather retarded chap selling the tickets.
The retarded chap, stung to the quick, told me to conduct my business dealings first and then rejoin at the end of the queue. Which I did. As I walked back to the end of the queue, I noticed the damsel muttering something to her friend - harsh words which were indubitably not coated in milk and honey.
Ticket counter again. No mishaps, this time. Until the retard asked me for the money. I paid him what my friend had just handed me, and then took my wallet out with a flourish.
It was empty.
‘Don’t you have the cash, mate?’, asked the ticket seller, now looking more like a gorilla than a retard.
‘Er…I think I accidentally forgot to visit the cash machine. Can I pay by card?’, said I, very sheepishly.
‘Sure, mate.’, said he, smiling once again – if one could call that vacuous expression he had on a smile.
After handing the card over to him, I leant on the partition with the confidence of a man who knows he’s ahead of the game. It was as I was musing on nothing in particular that the chap rose up again, looking like the Angrezon ki zamane ka jailer (which was probably what his grandfather was).
‘Your credit card has exceeded its credit limit.’, said he, coldly, and pushed the card back to me.
The damsel came hurrying, wondering what all the commotion was about.
‘What’s wrong, Siddhu?’
‘Er…a trifling logistical issue. I seem to be experiencing a slight, temporary liquidity crunch!’
‘You mean, you don’t have enough money.’
The idiot behind the counter piped up, ‘That means he has no money, Ma’am. Can you please pay for him?’
With a stare that Roget would call baleful, malevolent and sinister she paid for her tickets – and mine.
After everything, we walked into the theater where, thanks to what the damsel called ‘my dilatory tactics’, there were two pairs of two seats separated by an abyss wider than the grand canyon.
‘So what do you want to do now?’, asked she, tapping her foot in irritation.
Then, her friend resolved the situation by saying, ‘I can’t sit up front. I’ll sprain my neck, and then I’ll have spondylitis, and then I’ll have to wear a collar, and then I’ll be in a wheelchair all my life. (er…she didn’t say the last bit)’
It was then that I was struck with the biggest brainstorm to hit a human being since when in 2003 Dubya decided to ‘liberate’ Iraq in two weeks.
I said, ‘Okay, myself and my (male) friend will sit up front. You can sit up here with your friend.’
The friend who expected spondylitis giggled rather loudly as I walked downstairs.
As I walked down, I heard my friend whisper in my ear, ‘Douche!!!’
And then it struck me! Goddammit! Douche was right!!
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Douche, I may be, but such a big douche I definitely am not.
Note: People can be as big douches as this. Trust me!