A few weeks after Annie moved into the house next door to Stan,he met her when he was seeing his wife off to work.
Why does your wife not have a car she enquired suspiciously?
She is trying to keep slim,Stan told her.
Well,she’s not been very successful,Annie said scientifically.
She might be much fatter than she is now if she drove a car,he stated ponderously
That’s true,muttered Annie meditatively
I am your new next door neighbor.she continued
Yes my dear, said Stan,I have seen you sunbathing in the garden in your bikinis.
How come, she asked scientifically?
There’s a big hole in the fence.
Is it legal to look at women through a hole in the fence?
asked Annie.I know it’s illegal to look into their bedroom windows.
Is it really,asked Stan nervously,I had no idea.
How about women looking at men through a round hole?
Oh,they can’t be bothered to do that,she told him charmingly.
Well,said Stan,clearing his throat,I think I owe it to myself to tell you that I love you.
Wow,you’re quick off the mark,the lady said saucily.
What do you mean,you owe it to yourself?
Nothing,said Stan,I could not think how to word it.I mean I wish to unselfishly love you and admire your ripe body and your cute sense of colour.I love your teal trouser suit.And you sing sos well in the bath.
You didn’t mean you owe it to yourself to take advantage of me?
Not unless you want me to take advantage of you,the gallant old man informed her.
And you can take advantage of me.I make cakes and biscuits,wholemeal bread and I am training my cat Emile to do statistics on an i pad.
How extraordinary,Annie whispered.I didn’t know cats had an “I.” let alone pads.
Well,they have pads on their paws,he informed her intelligently.
True,she said,but where are their I’s?
Where are our I’s ?he responded in a manner to rejoice the heart of Mary Midgley or Susanne Langer two of Stan’s favourite writers on philosophy,logic,symbols and ethics.
Not that he practiced the Ethics but he liked to know what he was doing wrong.It’s more fun that way.If you sin,sin big!
A man who seduces women merrily one after the other may have no idea it might be wrong.Neither might the women.
Why is it wrong?Surely it’s better than killing people or leaving the lid off the jam all night so the wasps get into the jar?
Still,not many men get the chances that Stan got.No-one suspected this kindly,handsome practicing Catholic was a womanizer despite his blue beard,green eyes,white skin and red hair.And his slim yet strong figure clad in navy trousers and white shirts all the year round.Maybe his wife did but she preferred to read Aristotle in bed and dream about mercury… those little silver balls are so cute!
Well,as we know,Stan is about to make Annie his mistress but in such a cold wet summer,where can he take her to do the deed?
The shed?The public library? Cafe Nero?
I owe it to you not to tell you yet.That will give you time to think of a solution for this sweet old man and his naughty but nice neighbour.
Like,how about the confessional in the local Church?
Whatever next?I owe it to myself to keep it secret as you may come along and spoil the fun.
Stan went indoors and washed up in the boiling hot water he kept by him constantly as he owed it to himself to be ready to make a hot drink at any moment he fancied and by gum,he did fancy like no man has ever fancied before.So his daemon tells me.
Next time:Why did God create Stan and why does it matter?