He could be Tinkerbell’s Grandfather. Tiny and sparkly, he leaves a trail of fairy dust wherever he goes.
Maybe 5ft in heels , and I am sure he has many, he is barely 4’10” in flats which he is wearing today. Many hours and many more dollars have been spent on his appearance, but it has been worth it. A remarkably good looking perfect miniature of a man. Two hands could easily reach round his waist, and I am sure a great many have done just that. It is only his slow and deliberate walk that gives away his age. He must be 80.
He makes his way to our table and deliberately arranges his miniature self with his back to me, transitioning with that one simple move from Tinkerbell to the Wicked Witch. His voice is very soft and pitched rather high.
“I am Scott” he squeaks to Gordon “I have been admiring your suit. You look wonderful in it”
“I would never have the nerve to wear anything like that” he continues, “ but I thought you might like to see the shoes I am wearing” Really! As an opening line, it sucks, but he sticks with it as he points his tiny foot in Gordon’s direction. It is encased in nothing but black sequins, somehow shaped into a shoe. Something a doll might like, but not a grown man. Even Cinderella would have had second thoughts about trying it on. If he has the nerve to wear those he certainly has the nerve to wear Gordon’s suit.
He beams with pride and adds “I saw them in a shop window and they spoke to me” What the hell could they have said to make him buy them?
Assuming that his opening gambit had been a winning move, he gets straight to the point
“Would you like to have dinner with me one night?” he asks Gordon.
What Gordon should say is “No, we only eat with fully grown men”
But what he does say is ‘WE would love to” as he gestures towards me
At this point Scott reluctantly acknowledges my existence.
I stand up to introduce myself, and feel like the Goodyear blimp next to him.
I sit down again.
Desperate to get away, I improvise. “Gordon, we are late for our dinner reservation” I say
We get up and head for the restaurant careful not to squish Scott underfoot as we go .
We appear to have exhausted the supply of gay men on board, but now the women move in on Gordon. They are so much easier to deal with as there are no sexual overtones to their admiration. Plus they always have a husband in tow who can never understand their wives’ fascination for gay men.
A very elegant woman of a certain age that she has no intention of revealing, touches Gordon’s arm as he goes by. She is tall and slender, dressed in a long red evening gown with a plunging neckline. A single gold chain with a simple glittering pendant is all the jewelry she needs. She looks as good as her money and her surgeon can make her.
“Your suit is wonderful” she says to Gordon “so stylish.”
“I don’t have anything like it in my closet” she adds
Gordon, never short of a good line when needed, replies “ I haven’t been in the closet for years”
She throws back her head, and shrieks with laughter.
“Oh my, you are a riot” she says, still laughing.
Then she turns to her husband and says “Darling, isn’t he a riot?”
Her husband clearly doesn’t think so, and unable to say anything nice, merely grunts, hoping his wife will take it as a grunt of approval and knowing we will take it as something quite different. He takes her arm and walks her away.
An Australian woman is next to approach. She is dressed to the nines, but being Australian, it doesn’t help at all. A riot of colour, loud and vibrant and impossible to ignore. I leave it to you to decide whether I am referring to her or to her clothes.
“Daaaaarling” she screeches, as if she has known us for ages “ that suit is just too much”. And if anyone should know what “just too much” is all about, it is this woman. “You are with out doubt the best dressed man on the ship”.
Gordon is of course loving all the attention. Me, not so much.
But then this lovely Australian woman turns and smiles at me. Finally someone has noticed the insignificant other, and is actually about to talk to me.
“Oh you poor dear thing. How do you manage to keep up with him” is what she says.
I am so excited to have someone talk to me , even if she is Australian, that I gloss over the fact that it may not have been the nicest thing to say. If she had stopped right there, she would have made my evening. But sadly she doesn’t. There is one more sentence to come out of her mouth.
“Well, perhaps you don’t even try” she adds, looking me up and down.