A funny thing happened on my way out of the office... As I was crossing the road I was approached by an attractive young woman who said hello. Now, I'm getting of an age now, and I'm finding that if I see a half-familiar face in an unfamiliar context I'm often at a loss. Being a friendly sort, if somebody smiles and says hello I'll say hello back to be on the safe side. And so I said hello.
We got to talking about the insularity of the natives and the problems you can have socially in a new job because most of the people you know are either above or below you in the line management chain. This gave me the opportunity to try and find out where I should know her from.
"What job are you doing now then?"
"I'm working in the riding stables up at Spadespit."
So I didn't know her after all. Still, we kept talking and the conversation raised all sorts of interesting and charming coincidences. A middle-aged man's fantasy come to life.
"Shall I give you my 'phone number?" she asked.
"If you like."
"We'll just have to go over to my car. It's parked just over by Kitty's."
Kitty's is an interesting establishment just across the road from the STD clinic. What we used to call a knocking-shop.
"I'll walk you over to your car, but I've got a bus to catch, unfortunately."
"That's a shame. How about a kiss just to say goodnight?"
"I think that would be a bit forward of me."
"You really should let your hair down a bit."
"I know, I'm hopeless."
We parted amicably. There's no objective reason for me to think she wasn't just a lonely soul stranded in Helminthdale and there's no reason for me to be embarassing or insulting.