I’m no lothario but I’ve had the chance to date a few women since moving to London, mostly thanks to number swapping in dodgy Clapham based venues such as the legendary Infernos or the affectionatly titled Slag and Bison.

They’ve been, in general, inoffensive affairs, going through the motions of establishing some common ground, but 9 times out of 10 I’d already decided that for whatever reason(s), be it physical attraction, personality or a Geordie accent (I would honestly turn Cheryl Cole down), I wasn’t going to be spending any more of my dollar getting to know this girl.

This probably makes me a prick – but fear not, karma was ready to balance the scales once more.

I met a lady, who we’ll refer to as ‘Ruby’ for the sake of anonymity, at a recent after work function and things were progressing nicely. Unusually for me she ticked the three most important boxes – she was funny, talkative and attractive.  Fuelled by Presseco I was on fire (at least in my head) and by some fortune I managed to procure her phone number.

We arranged to meet in the tasteful setting of Highgate for some wine in the park – a nice change of pace to central London bars, another tick in the box – but after being rudely interrupted by a rain shower we headed back to Ruby’s place where I had been invited for toad in the hole with her housemates.

The housemates proved to be friendly (ever so slightly crazy in one case) and refreshingly eagar to talk about pretty much anything – I quickly settled in. Sexual escapades were shared with wilful abandon, former boyfriends evaluated. I realised that a few guys had sat around this same table but as the banter continued I got the feeling I’d gotten further than most.

Frank the Tank

Frank the Tank

A delicious toad in the hole has been consumed and suddenly Ruby and I are on our own – we settle down to watch one of my all time favourite funny films, Old School. Just one problem – she’s on one couch and I’m on the other. Hmmmmmm I suddenly realise that I’m on a date with a fit girl and a panic I haven’t felt for sometime begins to grip me. My confidence evaporates and I question everything. Am I laughing to loud at Frank the Tank? Why am I wearing this T-Shirt!? I don’t have any guns to show off! Should I be sitting next to Ruby? Stop fidgeting on the sofa and do SOMETHING!

The DVD player begins to skip – I leap to my feet and give it a useless tap opening a window of opportunity – I squeeze on to Ruby’s sofa. Hmm I don’t think that was particularly welcome but I’m under her blanket and that’s the main thing – she’ll warm to me I’m sure.

She’s beginning to look bored and I’m trying my best not to fidget.

All of a sudden I need to go and drain the lizard but I’m under the blanket and moving would be making to much of  a nuisance. “It’s alright” I tell myself “I’m a big boy and I can hang on till the end”. Ten minutes pass and all I can think about is the toilet and I can tell that Ruby’s getting uncomfortable. I decide that I can’t take it anymore and get up to go when one of her housemates takes the bathroom. CRAPBAGS. I’ve allowed my body to believe it will be soon relieved of it’s burden and realise I may be in a spot of bother.

To try and cover this predicament to a clearly concerned and worried Ruby I do the first thing that comes into my head.

I pretend I have cramp in my leg.

At least I have an excuse to walk around like a loon and try and take my mind off my screaming bladder. Another ten minutes pass (how long do you need in a fucking shower!) and a Ruby who has indefinitely decided to never see this strange man again has found me some tiger balm – “rub this on your leg” she says “it’ll help relieve the cramp”. Right you are Ruby – I apply copious amounts of tiger balm to a leg that doesn’t really have cramp running up and down it. I suppose it kills another minute or two.

I can’t take anymore – enough’s enough and I race to the locked bathroom door and began to bang upon it like a mad man. “what are you doing?!” exclaims the third housemate (looking as concerned as Ruby now but that has ceased to concern me). “I need the toilet!” resisting the urge to lose all sense of self control one more time. “There’s one downstairs!” she replies. I throw myself down the stairs and I can tell you that was some sweet relief.

Harry Potter's Time Turner

Needless to say the ambience isn’t the best – not even Will Ferrel can save me now. I drag it out for another half an hour but finally call it quits. An awkward goodbye (“we should sort something out soon?” I say with possibly a hint of desperation and hating myself for it) leads to thoughts of Harry Potter’s time turner and what I’d do for one.

Walking down Holloway Road, I think back and laugh – I still live in London, I’m young(ish) and there’ll be other Ruby’s.

The scales just needed to be balanced…

“Let it never be said, the romance is dead”
Ruby – The Kaiser Chiefs