Ted and Gary and Brian and Guido

Ted and Gary came round to the café earlier this morning.  They wanted to show off the new addition to their happy family and I’m not talking about their BMW coupe.  He’s a Jack Russell they’ve rescued from Battersea Dogs Home.  He’s called Brian.  Ted thinks Brian is possibly the cleverest dog in the whole of Pimlico if not the whole of Bankside.  The five of us sat in one of the café booths and got to know one another.  Brian was the only one of us who didn’t have a cappuccino, apparently his preference is for a flat white with a raisin muffin on the side.

“I think Brian may possibly be the cleverest dog in the whole of London,” said Ted, unexpectedly cranking up the cleverest dog stakes to the wider edges of the entire capital city.  He looked at Gary.  “He’s so clever we don’t even need to use the leash any more,” said Ted.

“I assume you’re talking about the dog and not Gary,” I said making one of my jokes.  No one laughed.  Brian looked at me and blinked.  I don’t think he liked being described as merely, the dog.  He nibbled his muffin disapprovingly.

“Yeah,” said Gary, “Ted’s been sitting Brian down with picture boards to try to familiarise him as quickly as possible with all the things we think are important in our lives.  Like Colonel Sanders, and a map of Great Peter Street so that if he gets lost he can find his way back to our apartment.”

“That’s hilarious,” I said, “are you guys seriously planning on sending Brian out all alone on a cold dark night to collect a bucket of chicken?”  No one said anything.  “I hope he knows you like your wings super crispy.”  I noticed Brian looked mildly amused.  This was good.  I felt we were suddenly bonding.

“Oh he’s so clever he brings me my shoes when he knows I am getting ready for my morning jog,” said Ted.  I looked at Brian and Brian he looked at me.

“Can he mix a decent Martini?” I asked. No one said anything. Not even Brian. But I suspect he could easily rustle up a Margarita or a Screw Driver if you asked him nicely. It was also around this point in the conversation that Guido began to unfortunately keep referring to Brian, as Brain. After ten minutes we were all doing it.

“Brain is so clever,” said Gary obliviously, “I think he’s worked out my flight schedule.  If I wear my scarf with my airline uniform he realises I’m flying to Glasgow.”

“Brain is so clever if there was a canine Mastermind he’d win it paws down,” said Ted laughing loudly.  Everyone joined in, including Brain.

“Well, if we ever got a dog it would be just be our luck to end up with the most stupidest dog in London,” I said looking at Guido. “He’d be so stupid we’d actually have to call him, Stupid.”

“Yeah,” said Guido,”and when we took him to the park we’d call – Hey Stupid!”  Brain thought this was very very funny.  In fact he almost choked on his flat white.

When the three of them left the café I noticed Ted and Gary turned left out of the door but Brain turned right and seemed to be making a run for it.

That dog is smarter than anyone thinks.

And then he kissed me…

Guido has accused me of all sorts over the years but what he suggested last night in bed was definitely a first.

“I’ve been reading your blog,” he said tucked under the blanket, “and frankly there’s a lot of detail about us having sex but, hey, where’s all the romance? Where’s the passion?” he said flicking off the lamp.

Where indeed Guido, I felt like asking. What did he want us to start doing, live out our lives like tacky caricatures in a Mills and Boon or a Harlequin novel?

                              *                              *                             *  

Jean-Paul stumbled, dazed, into the kitchen. His head was still spinning from last night’s impromptu and unbridled passion. Guido was standing erect before him, his robe loosely tied around his hips. The pale morning light accentuated both his muscular physique and biceps which had pinned him down to the mattress in the darkness only hours before. Jean-Paul’s heart fluttered excitedly – had it all been some fantastical dream? No, every thrust had been real! He should have felt drained but instead was consumed by a tsunami of exhilaration.The kind achieved only from hours of endless love making. Guido’s sexual drive had made it a night Jean-Paul would never forget.

Guido pulled his robe apart and Jean-Paul momentarily caught a fleeting glipse of his raging manhood again. 

“You should rest,” Guido purred, “to regain strength,” then he paused, his eyes scorching though Jean-Paul’s inadequate defences, “so that we can finish what our bodies began last night.”

Jean-Paul quivered at the thought. There’s only so much savagery one man could take. This hunk was an untameable animal. Hungry with a wild sexual lust which pushed Jean-Paul to the boundaries of human pleasure.

“I want you now,” Guido said, his eyes smouldering with insatiable intensity.  It was like watching the incandescent flicker of a flame which would not be extinguished. “I want you more now than I’ve ever wanted anyone in my life before.”

He pulled Jean-Paul closer.  His strong hands holding him like a vice. So close that with those words their lips almost touched. His passion was undeniable and unstoppable. Jean-Paul could smell his musky scent. An intoxicating cocktail he wanted to fill his lungs with and hold in his breath forever.  

“But…,” Jean-Paul started to stutter, almost finding it too impossible to find the words, “…but, you’re a chef. You’ve got mouths to feed out there.”  It seemed futile. Guido pushed him against the coffee machine. It wasn’t the only thing bursting to let off pent up steam.

“No,” said Guido masterfully, “After making love to you I’ve realised there’s more to my life than just stuffing a zucchini.”

“We can’t go on like this…” Jean-Paul tried vainly to protest but in reality he knew they wanted the same thing. It was too late for breathless words.  Guido lifted him onto his chopping board and thrust his legs apart.  Jean-Paul saw an undeniable throb of emotion advancing towards him and gasped in anticipation.  He felt like his own loins were about to spontaneously combust. “Take me,” he moaned orgasmically, “take me!”

                        *                                 *                               *

“How come my manhood only gets to throb but your loins spontaneously combust?” Guido asked me in the morning. “Just asking.”  

“Well if you want to combust then you’ll have to start writing your own blog,” I sniffed, “Just saying.”

Honestly some people are never satisfied.

Guido takes off

Guido is utterly fearless. On a scale of one to ten in the fearless stakes I’d say he’s a solid nine and a half. You need look no further for evidence of his fearlessness than to witness Guido in the café kitchen decapitating a prawn or cooking multiple orders of French Toast. Naturally it will come as no surprise to anyone who regularly reads this blog to know I’m generally the opposite to fearless.  I’m a total scaredy cat. On the terrified of nothing scale I barely register.

My irrational fear of all things silly began when I was very small and I accidentally confused the top of a tomato for a tarantula. Yes, back then my life as a tiny child was fraught with fears and danger. Like worrying about being accidentally sucked down the plug hole at the end of bath-time or some random ant crawling into my ear at the park and deciding to stick around and set up an entire colony in my brain. It was also around this time I developed my fear of men playing the bagpipes so I’m pretty sure it’s why as an adult I’ve never seriously considered dating a Scotsman. It was simply too risky as you never knew when he might suddenly start enthusiastically blowing into something.

Fears, particularly the stupid variety, are difficult to shake off. Escalators, for example, still make me panic. Every time I climb on one I fret about what would happen if my shoes laces got trapped in the inner workings and my body was agonisingly chewed up in the middle of the shopping mall.  Fear makes my thoughts illogical, especially if something unexpectedly weird happens in our street and I’ll start to imagine I’m being secretly filmed for an anarchic episode of Candid Camera. Although I do realise being publically humiliated on national television could be worth getting jittery over, it’s nothing compared to being eaten alive by a staircase.

The great thing about fear is, it’s never rationed, there’s always plenty room for more. And so it goes on. Like worrying about whether my abnormal craving for Boston Baked Cheesecake means there’s actually a tape worm inside me the size of a fireman’s hose, or, like when I lay awake at 3am stupidly pondering what the chances are of me being falsely accused and convicted of murder.  I’m a complete whacko. Obviously I’d appeal.

So when I got home last night I discovered Guido’s fearlessness in a new and daring way which involved a visit to the barber and a crew cut.

“I felt like a change so thought I’d be fearless with my hair,” he said running his fingers through absolutely nothing. Once I’d got over the initial shock I rubbed the back of his head where his man-bun used to live.

“You look like a USSR cosmonaught circa 1966.” Which I have to tell you in a post Glasnost way I was actually finding quite hot. “What time is the next Sputnik blastoff?”

Guido looked at his watch.

“According to mission control it’s T minus 30.”  He started motioning upwards with his index finger. “How do you fancy coming into orbit with me upstairs in the loft? I could do with some practice with my re-entry.”

For some strange reason I did not find this worrying at all.

An emoji is not enough

I really like to text message.  If someone asks me what my hobbies are I invariably say texting and wallpapering.  Eating peanut butter as a hobby comes a close third because there are only so many seconds I’ll ever have on this planet so relish nothing more than spooning great lumps of it straight from a jar onto the middle of my tongue and then licking vigorously so every last sticky morsel rubs off.  Sometimes, when I’m having a particularly good day, I find I can actually text, wallpaper, and lick all at the same time. But if someone held a colt 45 to my head, said I had 30 seconds to live and I had to pick one, then I’d definitely text.  I’d type a moving epitaph in my dying seconds, something simple like “Good-bye Guido, thanks for all the chorizo.”  

Never before did I ever think I’d be writing so enthusiastically about my humble thumbs.  Physically I’ve not go that much going for me in the looks department but I’ve got to tell you my thumbs are pretty great.  I think they could possibly be the fastest texting thumbs in the whole of South London if not the whole of the UK.  If there were speed competitions, I’d win. I should probably carry a donor card. On the day I finally get run over by a psychotic London taxi driver crossing the Old Kent Road I’ll give full permission for everybody to forget about fast tracking my vital organs into a cool box.  Just save the thumbs.  I consider them my gift of life to another soul.  However there will be strings attached to say that transplantation can only take place if the recipient agrees to undergo intensive sessions of texting etiquette, including a promise to limit the use of emojis.

Guido hates to text and he hates reading my texts.  Though, as a precaution, he does keep me on vibrate just in case there’s an emergency. He tells me he’s way too busy chopping garlic to ever answer me.  He uses his phone – and get ready for this one folks – as an actual telephone which he talks into.  Ha! Ha! Ha! Can you believe this guy he’s hilarious?  On very rare occasions, usually during half time at a Millwall Football match, he’s been known to reply but they’re the shortest text messages on the planet. Picture it.  There I’ll be, tapping my heart out to him about some interior design trauma.  I use 10 words when I could use 3 so my Part 1 text message to spark his interest will be swiftly followed by an enthralling Part 2.  And you know what his response is?


That’s it!  Not even a “x” kiss.  Sometimes he avoids text of any kind and instead he’ll just insert some random emoji of the most inappropriate kind.  Like a smiley face with dark glasses on, or even worse, a thumbs up sign. 

So imagine my surprise last night when I was home upstairs in the loft leafing through the latest edition of Homes and Gardens when my phone bleeped.  It was Guido texting me from the café kitchen downstairs.  The message read, and I quote:-

“Hey sexy it’s guido@thestove.com. Paella almost ready.  Plenty spicy chorizo as U requested Y not cum down and #chew it – if you know what I mean? 🙂

The future’s not what it used to be

Picture it.  Tuesday night and Guido and I were in bed.  I was having one of my eureka moments.  No, not that kind, I’d had an idea.  For some strange reason all of my best ideas happen in our bed.  And I don’t mean those sorts of ideas either. Lights were out so all I could hear was Guido doing the weird thing he does with his lips just before imminent sleep.  It’s a funny puffing noise as he blows them apart. 

“Would you like to know what’s going to happen in the future?” I asked him from my pillow in the dark.  “What I’m saying is, would you like to know what’s going to happen to you

Guido slowly sat up rubbing his eyes.  I cut to the chase. 

“Let’s hire a psychic.” There was an ominous silence. I ploughed on regardless.  “We could build a themed café night around it.  Finger Food and Fortune Telling!”  I added one of my legendary exclamation marks for added drama.  “Throw in some prawn balls and I reckon we could be onto a real winner.”

I should explain.  I’d seen an advert in the window of the newsagent’s the other day.   Madame Valma Predicts.  Unlock Your Future Potential.  Groups Welcome. That’s all it said, except for a mobile number.  I ask you, who could resist dialling?

“What I’d really like to know is what time you’re going to let me get some sleep tonight,” said Guido picking up the alarm clock and squinting.  It was gone twelve thirty.  “If I’d known I’d be having a nutty conversation with you after midnight I’d have stayed downstairs in the café and done something more meaningful – like baked a ham.”

Naturally I called Madame the very next day to check her availability.  What, after all, did we have to lose?  Only our fragile reputation, according to Guido.  She answered straight off and when I explained there’d be a decent café crowd on a Saturday night and potentially free shrimp involved she said she’d come straight round to discuss her vibrations.  Of course when she walked into the café I guessed exactly who she was.  There aren’t many raven haired vampires residing in Bermondsey that I know of. Frankly, I was surprised she’d managed out at all in such bright daylight.  Some customers actually stopped mid-bite ciabatta as she swept by them.  

“I can feel a warm aura emanating near me,” she said.  This wasn’t entirely surprising as she’d sat down right next to our baked potatoe oven.  She rubbed her fingers into my palm.  “You will marry a woman with auburn hair who will bear you four handsome sons.”

Goodness, I thought, suddenly predicting something altogether different myself.  Trouble. Fortunately Gary stopped by for a latte so I introduced them.  He was still wearing his flight attendant uniform at the time. 

“I predict you will travel extensively,” was all Madame said before closing her eyes and going into what looked like a trance.

“I mean really, no shit Linda Blair,” said Gary talking to me out the corner of his mouth, “is the Pope Catholic?”

“Maybe she’ll cancel,” I said to Guido in bed yesterday. 

“I sure hope not,” he said, “I’ve ordered a shed load of prawns and can you honestly imagine how ridiculous we’d now look putting a sign in the café window which reads –

Psychic Evening Cancelled Due to Unforeseen Circumstances.”