Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Introduction Of Flip Bishopson

For a man of a certain age to find a young lady of a certain disposition in the late stages of the game, he must be prepared to take steps that would have seemed alien to him at the dawn of his fecundity. It was with this fact in mind that I sat in the waiting area of The Two Hearts Agency, an upmarket firm dedicated to the placement of those looking for a partner in this murky gravy we call life.

I was both nervous and exhilarated in my Modern International horse hair suit and Bulgarian silk ascot. I sat quietly but expectantly, buttocks splayed on a hard plastic seat designed more for form than function, while I worried the brim of my Regent Colonial bowler hat with nicotine stained digits. My double walled, Marksman Inc. suspenders were cutting something cruel across a chest swollen with pride and angina. My customary breakfast of 3 Cavendish bananas, 2 Presbyterian ounces of cabbage juice, and a slice of pate was exerting its not inconsiderable weight upon my diaphragm. I wondered, not for the first time, if a lighter meal would not have served me better today as I sat here groaning with potassium and goose fat.

I was roused from my thoughts by a lady with a clipboard and a broad, welcoming smile. "We are ready for you Sir, if you would care to step into the interview room." Her tone was as welcoming as her smile, so I extricated myself from my seat, to the great relief of my buttocks, and allowed her to direct to an interior chamber. I sat in an inviting chair before a stylish metal and glass desk while she took up position behind same. "Well Mr. Bishopson", she began, "I have your application so this is just an informal interview so we can, as they say, get a feel for you, before we set up some introductions." "Please call me Flip my dear", I responded. "And please let me make clear that I am not here for a prostitute, although I respect the oldest of professions, I was in the army after all." She seemed to digest this and said, "Let me assure you Mr. ...um ....Flip, that we do not make such arrangements for our clients, and we offer only to introduce people for dating, or, or....friendship....." "Please young lady, let me assure you that I pass no judgements on the fine women of the negotiable affection industry, in fact before I met my dear Rockie I was no stranger to the smokey, velvet walled, houses of the orient, but these days I do not find myself with those type of itches. A nubile young temptress such as yourself would prove too much for a man of my years, in fact I could not even pass the physical at this point. Think of your insurance premiums if nothing else. I doubt your waiver covers thrombotic episodes or stress fractures for a man of my years." "Sir, please, we offer no such services. Let us please move to you application to determine you compatibility with one of our clients."

We moved on to discuss various aspects of my application, which I had spent the better part of the previous day filling out in great detail, going so far as to add several loose leaf pages at my own expense. "Now Flip, your education and certificates section reads, Doctor Of Physical Cultures And Champion Of The Registered Assessments Of Manliness And Sundry Feats." "Yes" I began, " I majored in train car pulling pulling for two years before taking a split major in steeple climbing (Catholic) and donkey boxing with a minor in backwards running. I had a six year undefeated streak in the savory science of donkey pugilism until my last match, in which I was leading 8-nil, was declared a no-contest when it was discovered there was an unmarried lady in the spectators gallery. That young lady did not stay unmarried for long for she was my sweet Rockie, who snuck in to see her man take the East Boston Championship from the feared Cincinnati Mauler, the four legged draught animal of doom and spokes donkey for Kellogg's Corn Pipe Tobacco. I was regional indoor men's wagon lifting finalist six years running before finally taking the Golden Boot during the Great Tin Shortage (made famous in the song of the same name by Jim "The Jew" Slater on his ragtime record Cardiff Delights). I went on, with Rockie taking over as my trainer and cut-woman, to set the Harvard Deep Knee Bending Society indoor record for eight years straight. With my studies taking up most of my time Rockey took a jobs as a cigarette girl at First National Bank, and part time rail splitter while earning her degree in chemical warfare.

My interview went on for some time like this and the young lady was joined by several of her colleagues who sat open mouthed as I regaled them of the stories of my youth. They asked me many questions about my time in the army, and although I understand that times have changed, I was rather taken aback by the 'blue' nature of their questions and the riotous laughter my stories prompted from this group of respectable young ladies. They squealed with glee when I told them about young Private Jensen and his education at the hands of two French nurses and his consequent admission into the priesthood. One dear girl was fascinated with my sweet Rockie. "Why did she make her own pants? How did she become the first girl to capture the West Texas Mule Skinner Of The Year Award? Did she really knock out a prized show pony with one punch to win a bet with a Gypsy?" Silly questions really. Everyone knows that they did not make pants for girls and I defy you to skin a mule in a skirt or engage in any sort of equine combat in petticoats.

Well needless to say, between the company of these ribald girls and the rekindling of so many memories, I found myself unwilling and unable to give any thought to meeting someone else. They have asked me back next week and maybe I'll go. Maybe I'll bring some bananas. Some of them looked to be in dire need of the potassium.

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