Subway romance

A correspondent sends me a heart-warming story from New York City. A young man notices a girl writing in her diary across a crowded subway carriage. Smitten by love, or possibly something stronger, he knows that he must speak to her. But alas! – she alights from the train before he can pluck up the courage to do so. In an agony of heartbroken remorse, he constructs a website displaying freehand drawings of the girl and himself, imploring the good citizens of the metropolis to help him trace her. And mirabile dictu, one of the girl’s friends clicks on the site and recognises her! Mr Patrick Moberg meets Miss Camille Hayton and they appear together on a TV chat show. After basking shyly in their brief moment of fame, they stroll off into the sunset, arm-in-arm.

Love at first sight is a curious concept for a gorilla. It implies that a fellow would fall for Cruella de Vil if her soul were packaged in the right body. Perhaps Ms de Vil would have been more lovable had her physical attributes been suitably appealing. But somehow I doubt it. The pages of history are littered with ladies who were beautiful but bad. The goddess Kali stuck out her tongue at her mortally wounded husband; the lady Messalina trounced Rome’s leading prostitute in a bonking content; Madam Mao Zedong was accurately described as “the baddest bitch in Beijing” by Chinese rap singer Ho Man Fuk. The sad fact is that a woman’s appearance tells you very little about her character, although I am reliably informed that the ones with tattoos make more noise in bed.

One thing that will have surely surprised young Patrick is that comely Camille is in fact Australian. Now, personally, I have yet to meet an Aussie girl I didn’t like. In general, they are easy-going, fun-loving ladies, with bottoms of above-average firmness (for humans). But will Miss Hayton be right for a romantic, sensitive lad such as Master Moberg? How will he respond to being called “a pillock” or “a drongo” in a spirit of playful banter? And how will she react to Patrick reciting poetry while they’re gazing at the New York skyline? Hopefully it will melt her heart, but what if she thinks he’s a poofter? The opportunities for cultural misunderstandings of this sort seem endless.

The picture of Camille drawn by Patrick suggests that her plump and rosy cheeks were a big part of the attraction. I don’t blame him for that. I myself have always had a weakness for women with chubby cheeks. There were several in my circus days who granted me the privilege of pinching their delectable face cushions. (I have similar ambitions for a couple of my female readers, who shall be nameless.) Hopefully Camille will be tickled pink at having a boyfriend who can’t get enough of her tasty chops. Looking at her photograph, another question comes to mind: Is there a polite way of asking a girl to massage your back with her chin? Having been a recipient of chin-to-back stimulation from female gorillas, I can assure you that Camille would be capable of grinding a man’s spinal cord into a state of transcendental bliss.

Perhaps the most amusing aspect of this uplifting tale is that Patrick received e-mails from young ladies who had no knowledge or interest in the whereabouts of Camille, but wished to present themselves in her stead.

“You’re so adorable!” they typically gushed. “Pick me instead!”

This reminds of a circus clown who prominently displayed a large portrait of his sister in his trailer. Visitors always asked him who she was. If he was with a woman he fancied, he would say that she was his late fiancé and break down in tears. Nine times out of ten, he ended up blubbering into their bosoms.
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