In a previous life, I postulate, I must have been a mole. Cold and damp and dark is how I like it.
If I had known a little more about the weather on the Right Coast of the Youessay, I would have volunteered to be exiled to a place with a more moderate climate – say Papua, New Guinea.
No one told me about the heat and the humidity. In Washington DC you could fry an egg on the Iwo Jima memorial. Actually you could fry a full English breakfast on the Iwo Jima memorial. But then you would probably prefer to eat an American breakfast – a choice of cereals that come in colours better suited to yoga pants followed by a seven inch stack of maple syrup waffles washed down with Coke. Make that Diet.
In one week the thermometer ricocheted between 48 degrees and 88 degrees.
Yesterday was the kind of day Americans described as ‘gawgis!’ About 80 degrees, i.e. in my book deeply unpleasant. (When I used to cover the International Marlin Fishing competitions held in Mauritius I was happy to loll about on yachts while large fromages attempted to catch large fish, but being a server in the heat is another kettle of fish to mix metaphors.)
Being a ‘gawgis’ day is the clarion call to set up outside. This involves cleaning the tables of purple squirrel poop and carrying everything we need outside: chests of ice, water pitchers, glasses, cutlery….of course the bread-warming oven is inside, as is the coffee machine, so every time someone says ‘I think I’ll have another cup of coffee’ you have to scuttle back into the kitchen.
It’s as convenient as dragging a fridge around Ireland.
The most annoying people are the one’s who insist on sitting outside because its a gawgis day. Invariably they are the ones who hooked up on Match.com and this is their first date.
Last night I waited on one such couple.
SHE: ‘How lovely to finally meet you!”
HE: “You’re even more amazing in person!” (Subtext – that’s an impressive boob job).
Because they are so engrossed in the initial stages of the mating ritual they ignore you completely. It is only when the wine he brought proves to be corked that you are hailed like a London cab.
Miss Match.com is swathed in perfume. Her toe-nails are painted a fashionable Prussian blue. When she flashes me a false smile I am dazzled by veneers.
I smile back but my heart isn’t in it. My teeth, by comparison look like cheese straws.
(What IS it with Americans and Those Teeth?)
She is doing her best to look winning and engaged (at this stage in a manner of speaking) – tilts head slightly to right, nods slowly and encouragingly, eats like a bird etc etc.
Predictable, her perfumed bare legs become the focus of gnats. She starts to slap them, unobtrusively at first, but her agitation is incremental.
HE: “I think we should move inside! Miss? MISS!’ (Miss is what younger men call older women – i.e. an insult.)
“Can me move inside? My friend is being bitten….”
And so the feast becomes a moveable one….I have to lug everything inside to the safety of the air-conditioning.
Time was when I was the one being wined and dined. But times change and so do turn-ons.
When I stagger down the lane and open my front door and my Pomeranians tumble out to greet me my heart is filled with rose mist.