On Sunday, I went on a blind date. I was fully prepared. My 17-year-old daughter had texted me my instructions: “Dad, don’t be on the phone the whole time — in fact don’t even take your BlackBerry. Don’t talk about yourself the whole time. Don’t try and be funny the whole time. Don’t be late”.
I got there one minute early and I’d only just got off my Vespa scooter when my phone rang.
I managed to wedge it under my helmet.
“I’m behind you!” a woman’s voice said.
“ What! Where? Who is this?”
“It’s me! Your blind date!”
“Wait a minute… how do you even know what I look like? It’s a blind date… I’m meant to be a surprise! I’ve got a big white crash helmet on my head!”
Perhaps she’d got there at dawn and staked the place out. Did she have binoculars? Was she in a tree?
Suddenly, out of nowhere, a very attractive young woman appeared. Was my date a female version of David Blaine?
She smiled. “Hello!”
“Where did you just come from?” I asked.
“I was at my doctor’s round the corner… I go there all the time,” she said.
“You were at your doctor’s on a Sunday? I thought it was impossible to see a GP even on a weekday, let alone a Sunday. Are you ill?”
“No, I’m perfectly fine. I see him all the time. I’m a hypochondriac,” she said.
“Really? You’re a hypochondriac? That’s not really a great thing to tell me,” I said. “Not in the first five seconds of our first date. Trust me. Take a tip for the future — maybe you should think about waiting two, possibly even five minutes if you can hold it in, before announcing you’re a hypochondriac. Not ‘Hello, good morning! I’m a hypochondriac.’ It’s a little, you know…”
“A little what? Weird?”
“Yes, precisely. It’s a little… weird”.
We were still standing on the pavement, when my phone rang.
I totally forgot my daughter’s instructions. I answered it. Unbelievably, it was my doctor.
“Hi, Peter! I’m in South Kensington… do you want to meet for a drink?”
“Sure,” I said, “why not?” I told him where we were and hung up.
“OK… look, you are not going to believe this, but that was my doctor. He’s a very good friend and, by chance, he’s round the corner. He’s coming to join us for a drink. You don’t mind, do you? Do you want to invite your doctor along as well? Make up a foursome? That way, if either of us gets food poisoning it could save a lot of time. We’ll have two doctors with us. No waiting for hours at A&E. What do you think?”
“What do I think?” she said. “Do you really want to know what I think? I think you’re weird”.
“Me weird?” I said. “He’s really very nice, you’ll like Dr Chris, are you quite sure you don’t want to invite your doctor?”(Probably not to be continued.)