Is Any Woman Worth Loving?byEgmont Grigor©
Darkness is falling as Blake Irons enters the bar, quite prepared to feel disgusted as in this small town women have access to all bars.
This ought to be the time when a man can tuck a few drinks away in quiet reflection without being hassled or having high-pitched laughter raping his ear channels.
Blake is a thinking man, so does not come to such conclusions lightly or with bias. With sensitivity, he is aware that people may not share his preferences and opinions.
Some women, for example, will quite likely be inherently unhappy that the town's watering holes exclusively provide mixed sex drinking. It stands to reason that not all females will enjoy raucous male laughter or having to avert eyes from men returning from the restroom still groping with their zip.
The funny thing is that it's the pitch of laugher that gets to Blake. The deeper laughter of males presents him with less bother than female frenzy; it's as if his head divides the sound waves, allowing them to substantially pass his ears and drift on harmlessly.
Feminine laughter, however, has a cutting edge to it and the impact behaviour is different, in his experience. Sound waves of feminine laughter seem to collide with his head, reform in their invisible composition to then drive into his ears like a rabbit down a burrow.
This presents a problem at the best of times, but with alcohol passing over the lipstick the problem is magnified – often, substantially.
Oh Blake, you poor miserable bastard! Why don't you stay at home and wallow in self-pity in an atmosphere of perfect peace, he chides, being really hard on himself. That could insignificantly make the world a better place; bar patrons of both sexes will benefit by the absence of your presence.
Good thinking; not Noble Prize winning quality but bound to appease.
Home hiatus presents a problem: his home does not possess a good range of pressurised bulk beers. It's one of life's joys to enter a bar (devoid of women including behind the bar) and to hear a deep voice male say invitingly: "Your preference is our pleasure, sir" or similar verbal caressing.
"I'll have a pint of Dick's Dark Ale, thank you."
"Coming right up, sir. It's pouring with a lovely head on the finish this evening, sir."
"Ooooh. I wait in anticipatory ecstasy."
Contrast that to this bar, women all over the place, not a corner free. Yes there is, around the far end of the bar – a good two metres of elbow room.
Blake sits down and catches the eye of the barman, who lifts his little finger on making eye contact, signalling that Blake is his next pour. But up struts a saucy little number who simpers, "Yes dear?"
"A Dick's Dark Ale if you have it, please."
"Charlie," she screeches, do we have Dick's."
Half the bar slips into deep silence, waiting for Charlie's response."
"No Sue, it's the Opposition's brew."
Robust conversation resumes, these regulars assured that the Opposition hasn't managed to get a toe through the door.
"Sorry, sir. Tap water, gin or a suck on the nipple," giggles Sue, enormously proud of her wit.
"A suck of the nipple please," Blake says straight-faced.
"Charlie – we've got a right one here," screams Sue, looking at Blake nervously.
"Come on Sue, lighten up," says barman Charlie, putting the baseball bat back under the bar.
"This poor guy is in remission – he's been here almost ten minutes surrounded by all this beer but still hasn't got one in his mitt."
Only a male barperson is capable of making a clinical diagnosis with such profound professionalism.
The barman looks at Blake: "Sir, for you I would recommend Harbour Lights Double Malt – a really lovely drop that will put more tickle on your lips than Sue's pussy."
"What was that?" screams Sue, the sound waves assaulting Blake's ears like a hot meat probe passing through butter.
"I said a really lovely drop that will put more tickle on his lips than Sue's kitty."
"Oh, you had me going for a moment. I thought you were referring to my pussy."
The bar erupts into laughter and Sue swishes her hair back, really impressed by her wit.
Blake had just nicely frothed his moustache line when the first woman attempts a hit.
"With all this female genitalia around untouched, you must be in remission through the lack of sharing in some?"
The quite nice looking woman, beautifully dressed, stands like a 1930s Hollywood film siren with an arm under an elbow (hers) holding a cigarette with a lipstick reddened butt. She looks very relaxed, yet in control. Regrettable, she's right in Blake's space.
"Look, do your trade elsewhere, ma'am," he says, and off she goes without offering to buy him a drink.
"You got rid of her with sophisticated aplomb," says the next prostitute, taking the stool between Blake and the wall.
"Fuck off," he snaps.
"Oh dear, what a disappointment I thought we had a gentleman of class in our bar, which would have been a change."
"Yes, my husband and I – or should that be my husband and me? – own this bar."
"Well, what a delightful revelation. It's so nice to talk to a lady who's not interested in my body."
"I'm interested, very interested, but we'll go upstairs later. First I must ply you with liquor because that's how we make our money. As for the other I charge nothing, unless you ladder my stockings or wish to carry off my panties as a souvenir."
"Excuse me, I must go to the Gentlemen's"
"You go, dear, but you're not coming back, are you?" sighs the co-proprietor.
"No," said Blake, heading for the door.
So far, Blake has downed two sips of beer. Women really are spoiling his night.
He walks to another watering hole. This green-door corner bar sounds quiet – probably a few guys drinking beer, eating peanuts and watching sport on TV; splendid!
Blake walks in confidentially, spots that the barman is male and then sees three women looking at him stoically.
Oh damn, is this women's night with a poor turnout? Then he notices the backsides and upturned shoes of men underneath the dresses of two of the women and the third is beckoning to him.
I'm out of here, Blake triggers to his brain, and exits in express mode.
Blake detours into a strip bar, desperate for a beer. There will be women in here, grinding against poles or up on the catwalk shedding their gear, but he is not required to pay attention to them.
"A dark ale, please," he says to the barman, and gets a pint delivered.
In trickles down a treat and Blake feels free at last, away from the oppression of women pushing into his space.
The entertainment in this bar is to his likening: so appalling that no one is clapping, whistling or even laughing. Even more congenial to his soul, the males outnumber the females other than those on the catwalk or poles 30:2. This is bloody brilliant.
"Eeh-hee, eeh-hee, eeh-hee," screeches a loudmouth woman coming in on the arms of two men who look spaced out (obviously lobotomised by her constant screeching). Madam appears little better; madam pops some pills (for her headache?) and lurches over to Blake.
"Hullo, darling. Fancy providing me with a little warm-up? My companions appear to be a little out of stoke. Eeh-hee, eeh-hee, eeh-hee."
"Sorry, ma'am. Got a flight to catch," says Blake, taking flight.
This is becoming one of his worst nights ever. Perhaps he should just buy a crate of that watery muck in bottles they have the audacity to call beer and drink at home in perfect peace.
Right, one more try at success – make it a good one, asshole, he urges.
What he wants is the perfect bar, where people gather in small groups, chatting nicely and sipping their drinks in genteel fashion. An establishment where men sit, gently rubbing the toe of their shoe up the leg of their own partner, and the women smile, rather than hee-haw. Such a bar has to exist.
Well, he'd been to Hank's Hideaway before and it was okay – the women seem to disappear when it's time to serve the kid's meals and get hers and her fella's.
Men, of course, would go home early and perform such chores, but motor-mouths always have to be in for the kill. Most men are good cooks – if they aren't, it's because they'd had it stomped out of them.
Surprisingly perhaps to some, Blake is a ladies man. They served a purpose in life, just like men, and he recognises that.
It's just that the modern woman seems to have lost her sense of refinement – it's questionable whether most men ever had it. Those women who frequent bars socially seem bent on learning to shout conversationally and to laugh with a built-in grating edge that other women never seem to notice. Most peculiar.
He walks into Hank's Hideaway and there in her half-dressed glory is Mavis from next-door, who always is trying to drag Blake into her bedroom and presumably into her bed.
She uses tactics like, "Could you please change the ceiling light bulb in my bedroom; it appears to be stuck" (response, 'Sorry but I'm not an electrician') and "Could you check behind my bed-head – I think I might have a mouse" (response, 'Sorry I'm not a cat') before high-tailing with a maniacal laugh.
Perhaps Mavis is the perfect example of why a man like Blake borders on believing that no woman is worth loving. She spends half an hour each evening playing Chopsticks on her piano, although capable of beating out a few impressive tunes. She laughs with a shriek and finds it impossible to open drink bottles, work a can opener, change a car tire or put out the trash. Her main topics of conversation (even to Blake) are the weather, the behaviour of modern children, animal welfare, women's magazines and British Royalty.
Her husband Alf would have left her years ago but she has total control of the purse strings.
Mavis comes over and gives Blake a slobbering kiss, and then she's gone; she's spotted Alf talking to the Morrow woman (their neighbourhood tart) and the next second Alf is under tow through the door and on to the sidewalk.
Blake chooses a two-seater, right by the entrance to the restrooms. That's smart because women don't fancy this position.
The waiter, a nicely spoken young man takes Blake's order and returns with an excellent pour of Dick's Dark Ale. Blake sits back very pleased, at peace at last.
"May I have a sip please, Blake?"
Christ, someone he knows, female, who actually still possesses a honeyed voice!
A long arm flows over his shoulder to pick up his pint, two rather nice softies (well it seemed like one and a half, actually) press into his back, and perfume floats intoxicatingly into his nostrils to start resuscitating his neglected penis. Who is this bimbo!
"Well, well. Di (22) from accounting," he says in greeting.
Blake (37) and thrice divorced, is in computers. She had the nicest ass in the entire office, at least that's Blake's opinion, and he's studied it enough to have a fair idea.
"Are you able to take me home to your bed tonight, Blake?"
"Yeah," he grins. "Good one, Di. You're one of the biggest lessies in the office."
"For God's sake, Blake. That's just a front to stop you guys trying to dick me all day."
"Of course. I'll admit to having freelanced in that direction once or twice, but never with butch girls. I'd rather die that let them have me."
Blake shared that view. Time to become proactive.
"Well, what do I have that you desire?"
"I'm horny, and just popped in to see if anyone I knew was here. You, lucky boy, have walked in and get possession of quite a wet pussy."
So, does Blake win the girl and age through to death, thus avoiding further divorces?
Nope, that's a storybook ending.
You'd be right in guessing that within three weeks of Di shifting in with Blake she starts closing up on him, instructing him to do this and that, and her soft laughter adopts a piercing shrill tone.
She's so pleased with her new habitat that she's laughing (piercingly) dawn to dusk thru to midnight.
They row; she departs after cleaning out Blake's bank account and leaves him with clap.
This story ends with Blake happily back in the nearest mixed bar to his home that serves Dick's Dark Ale.
He's happy because accumulated wax at last totally blocks his ears. Drinking Dick's and being as deaf as a post has presented Blake with a charmed life.
He's also decided that no woman is worth loving so has perfected the art of masturbation.