The Bed and the Hooker

woody2Being told to lie on the bed and relax was challenging, but what came next was worse.  I wanted to go into a dark room and hide but the ordeal had to be endured and the hooker was persistent.

The week had started well with mild weather fronts and warm winds from the Sahara.  Perfect golf weather.  The clocks had been moved back an hour, the days were shorter and the evenings long. Tee times became a precious commodity as golfers fought for daylight. Autumn work started on the greens which were hollow tined and dressed with sand.  The Green Staff blew the autumn leaves into piles and tendrils of smoke and the smell of bonfire drifted up through the gold tinged boughs.  Wayward shots played hide and seek with the falling leaves as Taylormades and Callaway Blacks nestled next to red toadstools and falling pine cones.

The Golf Police had a list of urgent errands. We needed a new bed.

Some beds are hard and ours was beyond that category. Forget the Princess and the pea hidden under the mattress. This was a cross between Table Top Mountain and the dining room table. Add into the mix a back row forward and the nights were long. It was not a bed on which to dream of winning The Open.  More a bed which lent itself to the nightmare of missing the putt to win the Ryder Cup. Shakespeare left his second best bed to his wife.  He would have put this one on the fire.   I wanted a bed as soft as a fall of fresh snow.  I wanted to stand on the tee and not feel as though I had slept on a plank.

“You have had all summer to source a bed” said The Golf Police. Summer means golf but the Golf Police was correct. I would have to sort the bad bed. In order to sleep and keep the peace, a game would have to be sacrificed.

“Leave it to me” I said.

The clubs were put on hold once more and the shopping trip planned with military precision. It would have to be done in one hit and then Friday the clubs could be slung in the boot again. The list was not long.

Bags/Bank/Building Society/Bed/Binoculars/Batteries/Birthday card

My list was even shorter:

Boots/Butter/Book

I took my B List and joined the early morning traffic.  There were no gridlocks, the car park was quiet and I headed to the Bank. The queue moved slowly and the clock ticked. The queue was even longer in the Building Society and I turned the volume up on the IPod. Snow Patrol – ‘If There’s a Rocket Tie me to It’.  By the time it got round to Track 14 – Daybreak, the transactions were completed and another task ticked off the list. The batteries were bought with the birthday card and the binoculars put on hold. The bags were tricky.  Very size specific and tracked down to a small outlet which sold obscure items. Time for my favourite department store where the staff smile and just for one day, you feel special and not lost in the crowd. I met the MD once. He walks the floor anonymously with eagle eyed attention to detail.  A single figure golfer and oval ball chaser. They have the right man at the top.  I see him on the way to Boots and Shoes with his sharp suited entourage.  We trade smiles.  Fairway walkers in the shopping mall.

A text pinged through from Daughter No. One (Tinks):

Can you get me a bra. Black xx

I added it to the B list.

Boots were next on the list. Same store. Different floor. Ankle, calf and knee.  Smart, casual and trampish.  One pair caught my eye. They were Italian.  The sort of boot seen in Knightsbridge, Mayfair and First Class.  Even one boot was beyond my price range. The shoe section led onto computers and televisions.   I dallied over the lap tops, ran my fingers over the keys and chatted to the techno man.  I tried to look intelligent when he spoke about double layered super drives and Intel core duos. I listen intently to the monologue and by the time he had reached search engine optimisation and back links, I had glazed over and was back on the fairways.

“Any questions, Madam?” he said.

“Does it come in any other colours?” I look at the price. It was about the same as a set of irons and a good putter.  I could only stretch to the software and the case and it was put on the back burner. The book was out of stock and that only left the bed and the hooker.

“Can I help you madam?” asked the Man in Beds and smiled

“I need a new bed” I said.   Those five words led me into a world of sprung and unsprung mattresses, divans and solid frames. Scandinavian beds and Rolls Royce beds.   Mattresses with memory and ones without. Hand stitched seams and beds of dreams.  The Bed Seller wore a pink tie and his name badge with pride.

“Just lie on the bed, put your hands under your hips and relax” the Hooker said.  I tried. It was not easy.  I had pink socks on with black and white cows and people walked past and stared.  I wished I had worn navy socks.  I tried to concentrate and relax as the Hooker enthused on the bed next to me.  We spoke of tight head and lose head props.  It was not a Bob Dylan Big Brass Bed moment.

“Now turn over and lie on your side” he said.

The ex hooker was familiar with the black arts of the front row. “You don’t want to know what happens in the front row” he said.

“I know a hooker.  I think I can guess” I said.  I had a good idea of the punishment metered out away from the view of the man with the whistle.

“I told the other team’s prop he had it coming”.  “Punched him after the line out. Got a red card” he said.

I wondered how an ex hooker had ended up in the Bed Department.  Maybe the man at the top filled the store with second rows, hookers and backs.

“There’s a bed here for everyone” he said, bouncing up and down on the springs. I tried the premier bed and the de luxe bed. It seemed to be going well. Too well.  He explained the mattresses came in soft, medium and hard depending on weight category.

“Think of it like boxing” he said.  “You have your light, medium and heavy weights”. He told me the different weight categories for the mattresses.  I fitted into the lightweight. Just. But then he delivered the knock -out blow.

“You would be medium, Madam” he said.  There was nowhere to go and nowhere to hide and I rolled off the soft mattress of my dreams. Soft as a fall of snow. I put my boots on and covered up the pink socks with the black and white cows.

“Come back with your other half, Madam” then you can try out the beds together.  Bring a book and take your time”. I could picture the back row forward and ex hooker with me in the middle.  A threesome talking springs and scrums and reading a book on the intricacies of putting.  I smiled and left him to his beds.

I needed some retail therapy after the weight category incident in the bed department and went ‘off list’.  It didn’t begin with ‘b’ but it was brown.  A snugly gillet in chocolate brown.  Ideal for the coming cold winter days on the fairways.  I was torn between two sizes. My size or the next size up. Maybe the larger size was the best option. More layers for the winter.

“Can I help you Madam” said the Lady in Fashions.  We discussed the different sizes.

“May I suggest we go up one more size” she said with a bright smile.

“I will self harm if I have to go up another size” I said.

“Wait there Madam. I’ll pop up to the store room and get the next size up”.

She said it was the better fit.  I wandered around the store with it on my arm and when she went for her tea break, I went back and swopped it for the smaller size.  And then I had to escape from the crowds. The buggies, the pushing and the noise.  I had to trade the marble for soft grass and sky lights for the clouds and the breeze.  The crowds were not my crowds and I longed for a four ball on the fairways and the banter on the tee.  The sound of the ball falling into the cup and the feel of a favourite pitch repairer in the palm of my hand.  Writing down four on the card and knowing ahead laid the back nine and the honour of the match. The bed and boots and hooker would have to wait for another time.   I got the black bra, bought a salad, forgot the butter and found the car.

When I got home I googled ‘boxing’ and ‘diets’, ate the one chocolate biscuit and put the shopping away.