The shop assistant is blonde.

I approach her, coyly.

Do not get me wrong. The fact that I have mentioned that she is blonde is just there to set the scene, and to give readers a vivid sense of place. Although it is accepted as a stereotype, it is not at all necessarily true that girls who are blonde are more ‘up for it’ than girls with other types of hair, and judging people by the colour of their hair is foolish in any case.

Although it is true that you never, ever, ever see blonde nuns. So it might be that more dark-haired females are taken away from the sexual marketplace, thus meaning that on a purely scientific and mathematical average basis, girls who are blonde are more up for it.

I am a bit nervous about speaking to her. Recently, I seem to have lost all my confidence when it comes to speaking to women, as if the past twentyish years never happened and I am in my mid-teens again. It is not that I am particularly shy, it’s just that the only topics I can think of to talk about are the late thirtysomething equivalent of programs for the ZX Spectrum and the meaning of Jethro Tull lyrics, viz bowls and chickens.

I clear my throat.

“Have you got anything for athlete’s foot?” I ask.

She looks at me with beautiful eyes.

“Is it powdery and flaky, or gungey and weepy?” she asks.

The conversation is already out of control – I am sure there is nothing in the ‘how to stop being a sad loser and get off with shop assistants – GUARANTEED’ self-help books about this.

“Erm – gungey and weepy I guess,” I reply. I have blown it already.

“This is the most popular thing we have,” she offers. “It comes in a cream or a spray – which would you like?”

I hesitate. She has asked me a ‘closed’ question – a sure way of terminating the conversation. But if I am clever, I can keep her going – I do not have to reply with a simple single-word answer.

“Well it’s between my little toe and the one next to it, so I think a spray would be a bit difficult. I think cream would be better?” I reply, raising the pitch of my voice a little at the end to indicate a question, which will both extend the dialogue between us and flatter her by asking her for an opinion.

“Cream it is then,” she replies flatly. Damn!!!

I leave the shop with my cream. I am not currently in the market for dating, strictly speaking, but it is always good to keep your hand in – just in case. As I go, I remember that I have forgotten to play the sympathy card – this is how out of practice that I am.

I administer the medication on my return home. It is very, very sore and hurts a lot.


  1. Oh well done, Jonny. The rest of the world has swine flu and you get trench foot. Too much bowling in sweaty trainers?

  2. You should have got it out and shown her.

  3. Don’t worry, you can go back when it doesn’t work and try out your hindsight

  4. Ew. I didn’t know athlete’s foot was even available in a “weepy” variety.

    Hell,I didn’t even know you were an athlete.

  5. It’s really acute athlete’s foot, spazmo. A really rare strain that only top athletes get.

  6. I venture to suggest that there is nothing remotely cute about your athletes foot….

  7. Mujja – you are just playing hard to get.

  8. It’s not a very attracitive ailment but one up from athelte’s c—-h I suppose.

  9. attractive and c—-h

  10. The dashes aren’t working; there should be 4.

  11. “It is very, very sore and hurts a lot.”

    And how’s the foot?

    “C****h” Pat? Are you seriously bleeping the word “crotch”? How sweet is that! Mind you, first time I skimmed it I thought you’d written c**t, which shocked me a little I don’t mind telling you. I dare say you toyed with the idea but thought better of it. And we salute you for it…

  12. >The conversation is already out of control

    beautifully put

  13. 1. How do you know she was a real blond?
    2.Does it matter. & Try stuttering.

  14. Athletes crotch is actually better known as ‘jock itch’, and is treated by the same method as it is the same fungus, which may explain why Jonny didn’t ‘get it out and show her’. Now doesn’t that paint a different mental image!

  15. “Is it powdery and flaky, or gungey and weepy?” she asks.

    NO! You idiot. Powdery and flaky, every time!

  16. You could’ve asked her to rub the cream on your foot for you.

  17. Well, at least that would’ve made you memorable.

    In some sort of way.

    Oh, I’d always thought that people got athlete’s foot from dirty socks. But I know better now, thanks for telling us the truth, isn’t the internet a wonderful place? We learn new things everyday.

  18. If I ever used the expression ‘LOL’, Cliff, I would use it in regards to your comment.

    Oh dear. I need to post an update on this.

  19. “I am not currently in the market for dating, strictly speaking…”


  20. Blazing: thanks for that – at least I can spell Jock (being married to a Scot. Apparently I can’t spell the Ath**** word.

  21. You might find yourself booted into the “market for dating” sooner than you expected, if you keep this up.

  22. With regard to dark-haired women and up-for-it-ness, surely the nun-type dark-haired women becoming nuns when nun-type blondes are excluded from the nunning trade means that those dark-haired women who remain are more-up-for-it than blondes, as the latter has a lower up-for-it quotient due to the presence of nun-types (who can be assumed to be less up-for-it). Or have I got it wrong?

    I hasten to add that this is a purely theoretical discussion as I, too, am not currently in the dating market.

  23. An excellent analysis, Funky Si. Are you Salvadore Vincent in disguise?

  24. To catch a girl’s eye, take a dog for a walk.

    No, chickens do not work.

    Not that you’re in the market for dating, mind you.

  25. Not even in disguise as a nun. I’m just Funky Si. Quiet observer. Social commentator. Expert in the application of mathematical probability to selecting potential chat-up-ees, and the subsequent squandering of mathematical advantage through lack of art.

    If only people would behave in the way they are supposed to….

  26. Shy when it comes to talking to women? That doesn’t count email communication then I presume? You seem perfectly capable of expressing yourself via email as per the eloquent quote “what the *+”* are you going on about?” unquote missive I once received.

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