Will Seymour

WILL SEYMOUR goes speed-dating, and assesses a cavalcade of eligible speedy women for potential life-partnership.

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Following last week’s calamitous expedition to London, I was no closer to finding my soulmate. When I arrived back in Cambridge, I sought to redouble my efforts to find The One.

The pamphlet for “Generous Sam’s Speed Dating” promised me I’d find The One “faster, more easily, and with greater accuracy than ever before – or your money back!” I didn’t want my money back. I wanted The One. So three minutes before nine, I stepped down from the bus into Cherry Hinton, and from self-pity into suave.

In my left arm was a meaty copy of Chaucer’s Complete Works. “Ladies and girls alike swoon at the sheer size of that throbbing tome of verse,” I recalled from the Cambridge Companion. (Earlier in the evening, I’d pondered that for a moment and wedged a second copy under my right armpit, filled my trousers (I was obviously now wearing cargo pants) with individual editions of The Canterbury Tales, and donned a tasty period headpiece). Cometh hither, womman-kynde!!!

Date One

“Hark ye!” I proclaimed, using the full range of my facial muscles for extra charm. “You look like you could be The One,” I then quipped, both in my head and (I realised) out loud. “Do you do a lot of reading?” Date One asked me. “No,” I replied, “I’m just carrying all these books for exercise!” But I’d forgotten to do my *sarcasm voice*, so around the remains of my blunt and expressionless statement, an uncomfortable silence began to congeal.

Date Two

Date Two told me that she was a speech therapist. “That’s amazing!” I shouted. She told me to use my indoor voice. I told her I was sorry. “Pardon?” she asked, “I can’t hear you.” As Patty taught me volume control, I plotted to use it on someone better looking.

Date Three

Two dates down, and I was visibly drunk (I was beginning to regret that crate of Fosters on the bus). Recalling a scrap of advice, I launched into the preamble of an hilarious joke. But when I looked up from a pause in my monologue, the chair in front of me was painfully empty.

Stumbling towards a sharp-suited woman and her clipboard, the booze in each step taking me deeper into a film-noire death scene, I demanded to see Phil. “If Phil’s so generous,” I dribbled pathetically, “he’ll at least give me a kiss.”

Only then did I see this woman’s beauty. In my hallucinogenic woe, her face looked softer than Neville Chamberlain in a onesie. I wanted to climb inside her skin and help operate her limbs. She would never get tired again! Not with our bodies operating in unison under one epidermis, like some biological power steering device.

She finally met my eye. With the grace of pity, she threw her clipboard aside, placed her perfect hands on my unsteady shoulders and whispered, “I am Sam. Now kiss me you fool.”

The cold night air brought a sense of reality. I hadn’t found The One. But I had managed to pull a woman three times my age. Untying a nearby horse with one hand, and my conquest’s bra with the other, we began our bare-chested getaway. The whinny of our galloping steed was matched only by its riders’ ecstatic midnight screams.

By the time we arrived at my place, we were both severely naked. Passionate love ensued, and was eventually enveloped in giddy sleep. But as morning arrived, I saw that Sam had already departed. I thanked the Horse for waking me up, and, once dressed in more than post-coital defeat, listlessly rode it towards the Sidgwick site, hoping to traverse the world’s judgment from my improved, equine, vantage.