By Paul Lester
November 27, 2008
It's been a busy week.
I interviewed Glen Campbell for a national newspaper, and Johnny Marr, late of The Smiths, for my book on influential (ie no one's heard of them) art-punk band Wire. I even taught Spanish to some schoolchildren (it's a sideline I have). All very impressive, I'm sure. But still no women, or indeed woman. What to do? As it says in the Torah: "A man without a female at Chanucah is like chicken soup without matzo balls." That was the Torah, wasn't it? Maybe it was my friend Simon after one too many mint Aeros.
And then it hit me in the face like a piece of cold gefilte fish - the local golf club! No, I'm not labouring under the delusion that the 18th hole is a great place to pick up girls. I mean the singles-night disco they hold at the aforementioned haven for wannabe Tigers and Torrances. For years I had driven past it and seen the tantalising white banner: "Over-30s parties, every Friday night". Even, if I was honest, while I was married, I'd pass it and wonder what manner of hedonistic thrills and Dionysian excess lay within.
Well, I finally went this week - with Simon the Aero addict, because no sentient being likes to walk into a crowded room alone, at least not without the aid of illicit intoxicants. Before you start kvetching, I know it was Shabbas, but I did light the candles before I left. And I knew that half the clientele would be Jewish, so we could maybe say a blessing or two over a glass of Palwin's No 10 by the bar.
The first thing I noticed, once I'd got past the bouncer on the door and been through the gruelling membership procedure (was it necessary to give a phial of blood?), was that it wasn't quite the all-out orgy I was anticipating. Over-30s? I'd be surprised if there was anyone there under (whisper it) 50. Instead on the dance-floor, swaying geriatrically to music from the Neolithic era, there were several blue-rinsed old dears squeezed into glittery outfits better suited to the, shall we say, more junior miss, and a smattering of men bearing the sort of expressions last seen on the faces of the inmates in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. If I'd had a notepad and some crayons, I could have drawn a picture of resigned despair.
Simon and I, on the other hand, cut through the room with suave élan. Have you seen the film Swingers? We were, in the parlance of the character played by Vince Vaughan, "money". As it got later and more attractive - and younger - women arrived, we decided to do what any self-respecting ex-public schoolboys do when faced with a room full of hot babes - we sat in the corner. And stayed there all night. We did get the come-hither from a group of ladies on an adjacent table, but they looked as though they could snap us in half, plus they were downing pints. Of vodka. So we politely declined and remained stuck, terrified, to our seats.
Still, the Brazilian cloakroom attendant was nice. Unfortunately, she was married. That's what she told me anyway. According to Simon it might have been a ploy because the only bit of round metal about her person was the ring through her nose.
Lucky we're lifetime members and can go back whenever we like. What's Hebrew for "when Hell freezes over"?