Thursday, November 19, 2009


I was reading Mr London Street’s excellent blog yesterday, and I’ve been thinking about the perilous social journey he has embarked upon.

He’s started internet dating for the purpose of friendship. He has recently been out for dinner with three fellow bloggers (all ladies, I notice) and written about what they were like. Each dinner constituted Mr LS’s first meeting with the lady in question. He has provided an eloquent portrait of the three ladies in question, which you can read here.

Out of respect for their brains, as I noted yesterday, he has neglected to let us know whether or not they were fit, like the three big-haired babes pictured on this post. But that’s the genius of the man’s craft, because now all I can think about is whether or not they were fit. I would speculate that Mr LS understands literary suspense so well that he could probably get a job writing the last ninety seconds of every episode of Neighbours.

I have to say, readers, I have very mixed feelings about all of this. I thought internet dating was supposed to be about sex, not friendship. I’ll be honest with you, I did go through a spell of the old internet dating some years back and it had its moments. Gill and I were having a trial separation and, well, I had a few cans of cobra one night and fired up the old laptop and, before I could say GSOH, I was present on a dozen different sites. And whenever I was looking through the other ads and I saw the words “looking for friendship and maybe more” I wrote them off. Likewise “Bubbly f, young 45, 4’10”, likes cats and cuddles”.

I didn’t take it seriously all the time. I put one ad in the Guardian Soulmates that just said: “Sick Sikh seeks sick Sikh for sick sex”. You may or may not be surprised to know that this ad received more than 170 responses. I was taken aback, but then I realised I’d put it in the ‘Women seeking men’ section by mistake. Lol!!

Anyway, the top line results of this research (that’s a phrase I learned at work, recently) were that there are plenty of women out there who are dying for a bit of the old rumpo, just like us chaps. Who’d have thunk it? Well, it was rich pickings for a time and, once you’ve accepted that they’re lying about themselves as much as you’re lying about yourself, you realise there’s only one important question when you settle down on the squeaky vinyl of a booth seat at Jimmi’s Wine Bar with a glass of off dry Chateau Desperateau: “Shall we cut to the chase?”

That was a period in my life during which I spent a lot of time on night buses (I’m a rolling stone, and don’t sleep well in strange beds), asking myself some really tough questions about man’s needs, both emotional and physical, and how to reconcile the two. Are we a beast burdened with intellect, or an intellect burdened with a bestial legacy? A night bus is a sobering place for these kind of exploratory sessions, especially when you’re panicking about going bareback with a rather grubby looking lass you only met a few hours ago! (Just to let you know, ladies, I got the all-clear and have been belt and braces careful ever since!)

I did hit something of a low at one point, when I thought I’d found a lady that might be just right for me. For a start she was from Lincoln, and at the time I was feeling a little bit homesick. Second, she said in her ad she liked cooking and long walks and third, and most importantly, the last line of her ad ran: “I’m an open minded woman of the world and I’m looking for a man to treat me right – and a little bit wrong!”

As you can imagine I was pretty excited. I let her have my number – which was a prepay mobile I’d purchased specifically for the negotiations of these trysts and when it rang at the appointed time my heart was beating pretty fast. I answered in my deepest voice and when she said hello I felt a thousand kinds of disgusting. It was Mum!

I put the phone down and spent 45 seconds waiting to see if I was going to be sick. I wasn’t sick in the end but I nearly was and, happily, this proved to me that I was no Oedipus. Oedipus had the hots for his mum, and decided to fly away with homemade wings, which melted, and he died. Very Freudian; the sun was his Mum, basically, and he died because of his messed up desires.

I shoved it all to the back of my mind and I didn’t speak to Mum for a month. Thinking about that ad now, and thinking about Roger, well… I just try not to.

I suppose in the spirit of laying it all bare under the harsh fluorescent glare of this blog, which in the being-honest-with-yourself sense is something of a virtual night bus, I should own that part of my hesitance in endorsing Mr London Street’s attempts to widen his face to face social circle stems from envy.

I’ve always thought of myself as quite a popular guy but, lately, I’ve been forced to reassess this view. Technically Dave the Roofer is my best mate. But he’s married to my ex and they’re starting a family. I’ve got a flatmate, but he’s my boss and everyone knows you can never be friends with your boss. Steve and I, well we don’t see a lot of each other since he got me barred from the Harvester, and there’s not too many more. There's Peter Andre, of course, but our schedules always seem to clash.

I would dearly love to meet some fellow residents of the blogosphere. It would be grand to go out on the tiles with Mr London Street, and drink some Cobra, or perhaps a lager of his choice. I’d love to meet Mr Coleman, and Mess, Tennyson ee Hemmingway and all the rest of you. The idea of a blogger party sounds wonderful to me; like I’m finally a part of something – or I would be if I was going to the party.

The problem is that I need my anonymity. I’m not like Belle Du Jour, in the sense that I can’t out myself (it won’t surprise you to learn that Newsdesk is not my actual surname), and also in the sense that I’m not a £300 an hour tart and because I’m not good at science. (In another life, perhaps, I'd be both those things!).

No, it’s just not possible. But I do have an idea. If anyone’s interested, I could name a pub in town and tell you what time I was planning to be there. Then you could come and have a drink in that pub at the same time and in a way it would be like we were there together. If anyone’s interested, let me know and I’ll give you the details. Hell, you can choose the pub yourself if you like, I don’t mind.

Yours in friendship



  1. If only you were attending the blog party I'm going to on Saturday. I'm practically the only man there!

  2. MLS forced me to read this. And I am glad he did. Nice work, sir.

    I don't drink beer, though, so I will have to decline your generous offer.

  3. Tell you what Baz. Go to the Hog in the Pound in Mayfair. I used to work there, so it'll almost be like you're having a pint with me because I'm so gosh darned awesome, my prescence is still all over the place.

  4. Thanks guys, and hello Bag Lady. So MLS goes swanning off with other lady bloggers and then when he gets home he 'forces' you do read the Newsdesk? Listen, it's none of my business but you do know that the days when men were allowed to force their wives to do stuff are long gone - at least in this country, right? I like MLS, and I don't want to get caught in the middle of someone else's dark power games. Who knows what goes on behind the curtains of so-called respectable middle class dwellings on the M4 corridor, where all the techies live... So I'll just say this: Tomorrow could be the first day of the rest of your life. Just a thought. Maybe I shouldn't comment. It's just because of the way Dad treated Mum. I'm sensitive to women's issues like this. Be safe, Bag Lady.

  5. Hi Blogleader,
    What a great idea - a lot like Spy v Spy! How intriguing would it be to look around the chosen venue and try and guess who we all are - especially as we would be making our guesses on the (possibly wildly inaccurate) picture and assunptions we have built up of each other based solely on your blogs and our comments!
    Sadly, I was actually in London over school half-term giving the family a flight on the Eye and doing loads of other touristy stuff (like trying to make the sentries outside Horseguards laugh), so won't be in town again until I have saved up lots more pennies. However, can I suggest the Lincoln Lounge at King's Cross as an apposite venue remembering your home town?
    I'll raise a virtual glass to the success of the evening.
    Cheers, Mr.C

  6. Link to Lincoln Lounge


  7. Came here through MLS's blog and I am so glad I did.. loved reading this post, and plan on reading a few more just to catch up.. yes, this is why they pay me $$$ at work - to read blogs.. well that isn't true but I tell myself that to rid myself of the guilt of blogreading at work..

    I am jealous of blog parties too, I am completely anonymous and would like to stay that way.. but I like your idea of the "pub meet".. it won't be possible for me to come since I am all the way in the middle of nowhere (Canada) :)