Well, the new year has barely started, but my Unsuitable Man count is already off to a healthy start…
Travelling alone always seems to bring the young, single men out of the woodwork, and today’s blog post comes to you from the east coast of Australia, where I’m currently sunning myself in the way that only self-employed (and self-indulgent) people can.
Travelling alone means that you tend to strike up conversations with all sorts of people that you wouldn’t normally encounter, such as the rather buff Dan, from the good old US of A. He’s been travelling around Australia, I learn, but now he’s stopped on the Gold Coast, taking the chance to earn a few dollars before he gets back on the trail.
He’s whaffing down Jack Daniels and coke from his very own bottle that’s perched on the table. I’m in awe of the amount that he can drink, and he’s in awe of my ability to drink the Jack neat. It’s a match made in heaven. If only he were not 21.
Now, I admit that I look at 21-year-old travellers with a mix of reverence and benign affection: I’m hugely impressed at their ability to haul themselves round the world at such a tender age, whilst keeping themselves in one piece. But I never once look at 21-year-old travellers as potential snogees, because it would be bordering on child abuse. Shame no one’s told Dan.
As the JD goes down, he gets freer with his affections. He is, as I said, pretty buff, but he’s TWENTY-ONE. Loathe as I am to reveal my age, I see it as the only proper course of action.
“Dan,” I say. “I’m not going to come clubbing. I’m 35.”
“No way!” he explodes, in mock-indignation, “No way! You only look, like, 25!”
I hate to point out that this is probably down to the JD that he’s been inhaling, but anyway, the cruel truth doesn’t seem to have dinted his ardour. He’s insistent that my evening can only be enhanced by grooving and gurning with him and his mates in the local sweatbox.
However tempting the offer may be, I’ve got a bus to catch at 6am, so I stand firm and am rewarded by several long and overly-sentimental hugs, while his bored mates look on.
Twenty-one. Bloody hell. I’m not sure whether to be flattered or appalled…