It was Derek, of course, who came up with the idea of internet dating after Bernard told him he had been checking out some sites.
“Come on, mate. It’s made for you. I’ll help you set it up.”
The wig, a no-expense-spared creation in dark brown, did something to make Bernard look a little younger and from a planet nearer home. Normally, his drawn and slightly lined face, together with jug-like ears and baldness, had given him a difficulty with those used to making snap judgements, a characteristic brought into sharper focus on the web and often on dating sites.
“Your age,” said Derek, “I think we need to shave that a little.”
“What do you mean shave?” asked Bernard, not as familiar with bending perceptions as Derek.
“Forty two is a little old in the tooth for our prime market.”
“And what is our prime market?” said Bernard, feeling he was drifting further outside his comfort zone. Of course Derek had the answer. “Look, Bernie,” he said – he used to shorten his friend’s name when he was being especially cajoling or manipulative, “the world of dating is not one of hard facts.”
“But I just want a normal girl. You know. Someone to walk with, watch films with, who can cook and laugh at my jokes.”
“What jokes are those Bernie?” replied Derek. “I’ve never heard you tell one.”
Bernard wracked his brain for some gem with which to make his point, but then just shook his head.
“I think we’ll go for thirty-two,” said Derek. “You could get away with that in the right lighting, and the wig knocks years off you. It opens up the market. Women in their thirties are a bit on the guarded side, and we don’t want that do we?” He smiled and flashed his polished teeth at his old chum, who was losing the will to argue. “Let us continue with our creation.”
“Alright. Thirty- two.”
He would be a surveyor rather than a quantity surveyor. It never did to be too precise about professional backgrounds.
Before Bernard could reply, Derek was already describing his tastes as ‘eclectic.’ That should give off the vibe of someone who had thought things through and was open to all art forms. More and more, Bernard found himself to be the subject of this profile but not the creator of it. Indeed, the guy with brown hair who was looking at him from the page with a range of vigorous hobbies was so different from himself that he started to abandon all sense of realism.
“Loves skiing, sailing, and the ocean,” he suggested.
“You’ve never been skiing in your life,” said Derek, and then they both started laughing.
It was not long before Bernard was a well-read man of thirty-two with a decent experience of life, broad ranging interests, and an appetite for outdoor sports who was looking for a lady of twenty-two to thirty-five to ‘join him in life’s adventures, both inside and outside the home.’
Bernard thought that suggested an undercurrent of intimacy without being too forward and was likely to attract the eye of any discerning women. Derek was delighted to see the way his protégé was entering into the spirit of their enterprise.
Soon, they were working on a name. “With this profile,” Derek promised, the only outcome is success”
The Above is an excerpt from my book “Living Life Backwards” which, despite demands from the discerning public, is still on sale through Amazon and other mysterious sites. Click on the image next to this post and be sure you will receive not less than one cup of cyber coffee from the Countingducks foundation as a mark of our gratitude.