Any day the component parts of which include champagne (lots of), the opportunity to wear hot shoes (multiple pairs) and men in uniform (as many as you can shake a stick at) is likely to be a day I enjoy.
Which is just as well, as that was what was on offer at Renowned Military Academy when I went to see Speckled Lad commission into the Army.
Barring a slight hosiery issue and the non-starting car, the day started fabulously, with a couple of hours spent in the brisk spring sunshine watching strapping young men, all decked out in their finest, shiniest blues, marching up and down the parade square.
Of course, as impressive as it is that the Adjutant can get his horse to climb steps, the real event of the day was the Commissioning Ball.
Roulette, a fairground, dodgems, several hundred bars and a marquee decorated to look like its ceiling was covered in thousands of tiny stars were the backdrop for a truly fabulous night.
We were a fair way into the night when, whilst sitting at a table to give my feet five minutes’ rest from the day’s second pair of skyscraper heels, a new officer came up to me and asked me to dance.
He was tall, and attractive in that way that everyone in the room that night seemed to be. Mess dress, whilst leaving exceptionally little to the imagination to such an extent that a fair few boys were suffering from VBL (visible boxer lines), does add a whole new level of loveliness.
There was a little terrible dancing before one of his friends came up and tapped him on the shoulder. A good ten minutes followed in which I was interrogated in a manner of which the secret service would have been proud whilst it was ascertained that I was not, contrary to the rumour apparently circulating, Captain W---’s sister, and that it was okay to be flirting with me.
Drinks, dodgems and a little more dancing later, and Brand New Officer was brushing my hair away from my face.
“So, can I take you for lunch sometime?”
“Um, yes - that’d be nice,” I said slightly distracted, thinking that it should be compulsory for all men to wear mess dress, at all times.
“Can I give you my number?”
“I don’t have my phone with me,” I said, having left my clutch in the possession of one of Speckled Lad’s friends, also still resting her feet.
“Oh, don't worry, I have a card,” Brand New Officer said, reaching into his jacket.
Huh, I thought, slightly surprised. That’s rather organised and forward-thinking for an Army type.
He pulled his hand out of his inside pocket, and did indeed bring out a card. A playing a card. A six of hearts, in fact. A six of hearts on which he’d written his number in biro. But not just any six of hearts with his number on it in biro: a six of hearts from a pornographic deck illustrated with pictures of deeply unattractive, naked men displaying vile moustaches and viler penises.
Opinions amongst the gals have since been split between it being nose-wrinklingly sleazy that he came prepared with such specimens, and it being hysterical that he came prepared with such specimens.
I’m reserving judgement. But not calling.
The Ethicurean, near Bristol
9 hours ago