NIGEL arrived almost the same time as Sarah, indeed they stood side by side.
He was a scruffy looking twentysomething with torn jeans, faded t-shirt and wayward light brown hair.
“Is this the queue?” he asked.
Sarah, a smart, attractive woman in her early 30s, in a dark grey business suit, white blouse and very sensible shoes, turned slightly towards him and said: “Yes.” But there was no eye contact.
She had short, black hair and possessed very fine features. Unfortunately their effect was somewhat negated by a rather stern, serious look which Nigel immediately regarded as a challenge to be tackled with gusto.
“Not normally as long as this are they?” he queried with raised eyebrows.
“No” was Sarah’s terse response.
“Wonder what’s holding us up?” replied Nigel who was determined that the conversation would have legs.
“Don’t know,” said Sarah.
Nigel thought he’d try a different tactic this time: “Sorry, didn’t mean to be a pest.”
“Right,” said Sarah.
“Oh, so you think I AM a pest then.” Nigel began to feel that this wasn’t going to work out.
Sarah faced him full on and in determined fashion exclaimed: “I’m in a queue waiting to vote, not to indulge in aimless chit-chat.”
If there was one thing you could say about Nigel it was that he wasn’t a quitter. There was a momentary pause whilst he tried to work out his next move. “Is that my cue to zip it?”
“That was meant to be a joke, cue, queue, get it,” he said.
“No it would seem not. What sort of jokes DO you like?” he asked.
“I beg your pardon?”
“If I knew what sort of jokes you like then I could tell one and your face wouldn’t look so…”
Oh well, in for a penny, in for a pound.
“Yes, sort of constipated, like you’re dying for a poo but can’t, like you’ve been trying for ages to evacuate a giant turd and when you get really close your anal muscles can’t do the business.”
To say that Sarah was gobsmacked would be putting it mildly. “Are you deliberately trying to be rude?”
Right, try the smooth smile this time, it might just to the trick, thought Nigel. “No, I’m trying to make you laugh. You’ve got such a pretty face, it’s a crying shame it’s distorted by all this arsey stuff.”
Sarah’s frown remained static. “Is that supposed to be a compliment?”
Nigel nodded, more in hope that expectation.
“Well it’s not worked so shut up or better still shove off.”
“Can’t shove off,” said Nigel.
“For God’s sake why not,” was Sarah’s exasperated response.
“It’s the General Election, I’ve got to exercise my democratic right. One of the first things mummy taught me, that and potty training.”
“Then stop trying to chat me up!”
Nigel again nodded and for a moment picked his nose pleasurably, whilst observing that the queue was moving very, very slowly. Oh well, back to the task in hand.
“Who’s your favourite then?”
“Favourite. Paxman, Dimbleby or that Scottish chap Neil, you know the one who’s pally on the telly with Portillo?”
Sarah was clearly not in the mood to discuss the merits of TV political pundits. “I don’t know, oh, they’re all the same.”
“Come off it, you can’t say that. I mean, as a woman, which one do you fancy most? Which one makes your eyelids flutter in orgasmic meltdown when he mentions proportional representation?”
Her response barely surprised him. “I don’t view politics like that, it’s a serious business.”
“You don’t find it sexy?”
“Come on, politics is power, yes?”
“And power is sexy, yes?”
Ah, could this be the breakthrough?
“Look at Margaret Thatcher, love her or hate her, it’s on record that members of her cabinet found her sexy.”
“So you find Gordon Brown sexy?” she replied.