Larry came to dinner last night, with his girlfriend Dink. Maude had invited Larry a couple of days earlier and he had made no mention of the probability that Dink would be around. I called to collect him from his lodgings just as he and Dink were returning from a game of tennis in the local park (the courts are free). I discreetly phoned Maude to check that it was ok to bring Dink along. Larry has a strange habit of forgetting that he is in a relationship and literally forgetting Dink. For many years he was inclined to absentmindedly leave Dink in cafes and on trains. I was often asked to collect Dink on Larry's behalf (a full afternoon of giving ukelele lessons often left him badly fatigued).
‘I’m sure there’ll be enough food to feed little Dink as well,' Maude reassured.
Unlike Larry, Dink now drives. This means that, these days, being forgotten is less of a practical problem - she remembers herself and takes herself home. She followed me back to The Villas in her reconditioned ambulance. Larry shows no desire to learn how to drive.
‘But Dink can drive, I don’t need to. We would only argue if I was able to drive and sat up front commenting on her driving. I’ve seen so many couples do that. It makes more sense for me to lie in the back.’
Dink must have taken a wrong turn at some point as she followed me and it took her and Larry an extra half an hour to reach the house.
‘So nice of you to join us.’ Maude kissed Dink and pushed Larry towards the dining table.
It emerged that Dink had taken a detour to buy a delicious chocolate cake for all of us and Larry had taken advantage of a 'two for one' deal on pale ale to buy two bottles for himself.
As Maude brought the dinnerware in, Larry blurted ‘No potatoes!’
Maude had made some of her excellent potato dauphinoise.
‘I think that you meant to say ‘No potatoes for me, thank you’. Why ever not?’
‘It came up at the top of the list when the food man tested me. I get so much mucous that I can hardly breathe, I nearly choke.’
‘Only nearly? Probably far too much energy in them for you.’ Maude smiled and created appetising piles of potatoes on all of our plates.
Larry was slightly piqued and consoled himself with the lion’s share of the boeuf bourguignon. He smiled sweetly at Dink as he scooped a mouthful of the casserole onto her plate, before scraping the remainder of the dish onto his own.
‘Better leave some room for that cake eh Dinky?’