My friend Rosey and I met at the Bicycle Inn the other evening. Just a quiet drink, a nibble to eat and a quick catch up kinda' thing. Somebody, a woman we didn't recognise walked in holding a bunch of flowers and went to the bar. She asked if there was a Rosemary in the pub. Julie who was in the middle of pouring a pint said that there was a Rosey sitting in the window seat and nodded her head in our direction. Rosey as usual was listening to what was going on; she’s always more interested in other peoples conversations than ours! I stopped what I was saying as I was clearly wasting my breath. Rosey who had a fork with a foot or two of dangling sauce-laden spaghetti en-route to her open mouth stopped. I really mean stopped, like she was frozen in time. The spaghetti however decided not to take part in Rosey’s game of statues and slid from the fork and down the front of her crisp white blouse.
The mystery lady walked over to us.
‘Hi, my name is Joy’.
‘Hi’ said Rosey.
‘Hi’ said I.
‘Five’ said the joker at the next table as he raised an open palm in our direction.
We ignored him. She sat herself down and apologised for interrupting our meal.
‘I’m actually called Rosey’ said Rosey. ‘But I seem to remember the vicar at my christening calling me Rosemary as he flung freezing water all over me’.
‘How do you remember that?’ I asked.
‘Well’ she said ‘It was cold. You’d remember it too’
‘No, not the water’ I said ‘how do you remember your christening?’
‘I was seven’ she said ‘and Mummy and Daddy wanted me to go to a church school so I had to be…done’.
‘OK I get it’ I said. ‘Now Joy, what do you want with Rosey?’
'I thought you were expecting me' she said 'but it matters not' She then started blurting on about a bloke who was infatuated with ‘Rosemary’. She aimed the flowers in Rosey’s direction. ‘He wants me to give you these; he really likes you a lot’.
‘A posey for Rosey’ said the joker at the next table. Once again we ignored him.
’He’s smitten with you Rosema…..Rosey, in love in fact. Flames of passion are burning in his soul. The memory of your first meeting forever sticks in his mind and will forever more’ She had suddenly become a full blown actress, her hands held to her heart as she gazed skyward.
‘Whoever he is, he obviously likes you a lot’ I said as I gave Joy a polite hand-clap. ‘So, who is he?’ Rosey looked in my direction and gave me one of her quizzical frowns. ‘It’s not me ‘I spluttered ‘I’m old enough to be your Dad!’
‘And that would stop you?’ she said. Then she started listing some of my previous infatuations counting on her fingers as she did.
‘No, no’ said Joy ‘I can’t reveal his identity as he fears rejection. I need to exercise discrimination. All I can say is that he is a handsome and noble creature who sent me to test the temperature and pave his way so to speak’. I got back to eating my ham egg and chips. Rosey nudged me as she felt eating was inappropriate at that moment. Her sudden action sent a fork full of my chips hurtling over to the next table.
‘Can I have some salt for these’ chuckled the joker. We took no notice.
‘I have to go and report to your admirer. I can tell that you will just be perfect together’ said Joy as she got to her feet ‘and in a few minutes your beau will be here to introduce himself to you formally’ With that she bustled out.
‘Weird’ I said.
‘Weird ‘said Rosey.
‘Weird’ said the joker.
As Joy walked out another lady walked in. She went straight over to the bar where Julie was pouring another pint. ‘Hello’ she said. ‘My name is Rosemary. I’m here to meet someone called Joy but I’m a bit late’
‘I think we ought to go - now’ I said. Rosey agreed.
‘Any chance I can have the rest of your spag boll Rosey babe?’ asked the joker. I just managed to stop her pouring it over his head!