Friday, 6 June 2014

Plain Sailing

Bryan has lived a long and comfortable life with Marjory and now in retirement with their two children long since flown the nest there is little to break their familiar old routines except the occasional patter and chatter of grandchildren on their infrequent but always welcome visits. Marjory is happy in the kitchen while Bryan potters around the garden or down in his shed and lately he has taken to leaving Marjory to her soap operas while he has a regular pint or two at the village square pub.

On one of these convivial evenings he regaled the assembled revellers with risqué tales from his courting days; quite the rake was old Bryan in his youth, with many anecdotes about escape from the nearby girls’ boarding school dormitories after lights out and later, during his time in the army, as the Don Juan of Aldershot. Soon his Wednesday night revelations became quite a fixture down the Crown & Anchor, especially as he began to spice up his narrative with more than a sprinkling of erotic detail and advice for adventurous couples.

One night the pub landlady asked him if he would address the next meeting of the Women’s Institute the following Wednesday night, as a guest speaker and so flattered was he to be invited he accepted without stopping for a moment to consider how he would explain this appearance to Marjory. Marjory, you see, had long ago given up having any interests in the bedroom department beyond duvet covers and fitted sheets.

For a few days he prevaricated but he knew that if he didn’t tell her, sooner or later one of the village ladies would let slip and he doubted very much that Marjory would see the funny side. Instead he told her that he had been asked to deliver a lecture about the joys of sailing the Norfolk Broads, as he and Marjory had done on a couple of occasions early in their married life. It sounded a suitably staid and safe topic. Meanwhile, down in his shed, Bryan carefully polished off some of his best old memories and embellished them for effect, come the big night.

Well the village hall was packed and nobody left unsatisfied. In a perfectly pitched talk he brought the house down with gasps at his daring, giggles at his cheeky asides, plenty of nodding and taking of mental notes at his nuggets of marital advice and uproarious laughter at his well-timed punchlines. The meeting finally broke up and the ladies went home in gaggles, laughing and joking and nudging each other with provocative cackles as they went. More than a few married men about the borough were pleasantly surprised at the up-tick in conjugal activity over the next few days.

Even Marjory intuited that something was up. As she went about the village she sensed an air of intrigue and she was sure she heard, on more than one occasion, a stifled snigger, quickly cut short, as she walked into the newsagents or the greengrocer. It was all most unusual. Then, one morning as she took her little dog for a walk, she found the Crown landlady matching her pace and sidling up to her. “Your Bryan is a dark horse, isn’t he?” she said, “Who would have known we had such an expert in our midst?”

Surf's up!
Surf's up!

Marjory was taken aback. “Whatever do you mean?” she asked, whereupon the landlady heaped praise on Bryan’s eloquence and all-round grasp of his subject, making plain her envy for Marjory’s good fortune in having married him. “Well that’s odd,” said Marjory, “As I recall, he’s only done it twice. The first time he was sick and the second time his hat blew off! “

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