Melody and Butch

Because I’m out of good books to read, completely out.
And because sometimes it’s good to switch your brain off.
And because the body needs sugar. Or saccherine.
And because it’s the only romance I’m likely to see this side of the Coronation.
And it’s my day off, and I’ve finished the newspaper. And I’m bored.

That’s why I’m reading cheap romances. That’s why I’m all bound up in the world of Mills and Boon (or harlequin, I think theyre called now) That’s why the ‘should I? Shouldn’t I?’ relationship of Melody (young winsome secretary, shiny tawny-red hair and hazel eyes, wronged in love before, 158 wpm) and Butch (ex-cowboy, now brash chief executive, with a winsome smile, a piercing gaze, a well-cut suit and a throbbing purple manhood, I should think) has got me all addicted.

The ‘plot’, although quite obviously pap, hasn’t quite come into its own as yet. I’m not even sure what the general theme of this one is yet. Not that I’ve read them before. It’s called ‘Rash Intruder’, which leads me to think, depending on the emphasis, that it’s either about someone that rushes into situations quickly, or someone who gets excited by the idea of Thrush.

Last year, just when practically everyone on the island seemed to be falling in love, I found somewhere that was selling these terrible novels cheaply, and bought a dozen, distributing them to any friends whose lives were lacking in romance.

The problem with Mills and Boon, quite frankly, is there’s no sex to them. Two people meet, she naïve and virginal, he worldly and masculine, they dance around each other for a while, have various misunderstandings, petty jealousies and meaningful glances, and then realise what fools they’ve been all along, not realising they were so perfect for one another, at which point they share one world-shaking embrace and get married.

So quite a lot like life then, in many ways, leaving out all the drunken revelations, people-already-being-married glitches, the realisations of incompatibility six weeks into the relationship, the shagging and the shouting, the silliness, the unpoetic moments of magic, the insecurities, feelings of inadequacy and anything that goes toward making us 3D people.

I had a look to see if there were any more racy ones anywhere, but there weren’t. In the theatre I used to work in, we would have readings of books left in lost property. There’s only one phrase I remember from one of them, just after the main protagonists, Desree (servant girl) and Lord Tarquin St John Benedict Leo Franklin Ralph Geoffrey Randlington-Yaddayadda-Smythe (ponce), had had their wicked way with each other in the stables;

‘He lay back, and sighed, like a warm tiger.’

As opposed to ‘shivered like a cold tiger?’. How does a warm tiger sigh? Which bit was like the tiger, the lying or the sighing?

Oh, I don’t care anymore. I’m going back to wrap myself in the strong arms and inhale the musky aroma of my teddy bear. And read my terrible book.

Let’s face it, it’s the closest I’m going to get to a Shag.
Apart from the dead one I trod on earlier on the beach.
But that may have been a Cormorant.