We move forward several months from the farcical debacle of Miss Underscore's date with the Peter Purves of forensic psychology. In this scene our tragic heroine is discussing more recent Internet dating disasters with potty mouthed best-friend Madam Noir. As usual, there are scones and endless cups of tea.
Madam N: So, come on then, how was the date with the maths professor?
Miss U: (sighing forlornly) Well, you know how I said he was so nondescript and bland that I couldn't even think of a witty nom de plume for him?
Madam N: Yes.
Miss U: He's got one now.
Madam N: Oooh, what is it?
Miss U: Rumple-le-Bon
Madam N: (incredulously) Rumple-le-Bon. What the fuck?
Miss U: I met him outside the Italian restaurant. I felt a bit sick when I saw him trotting up the street. He was like some impish troll from a Grimm's fairy tale: short and rodenty. He looked like Rumpelstiltskin.
Madam N: Was he wearing stripy tights?
Miss U: Worse. This is where the le-Bon bit comes in. He was working a very 1980s look, leather blouson jacket and pointy-toed, slip-on shoes. I felt like I should have been sporting a bubble perm and angora, batwing jumper.
Madam N: Oh dear. And the date?
Miss U: I drank a lot of gin. And ate a lot of pasta. That in itself is a strong signifier of lack of attraction. You know how, when you fancy someone, you lose your appetite? You just sit there gnawing demurely on a toothpick and picking languidly at a green salad? You can't help but consider the fact that you may well be naked later? Well, half way into the date I'd wolfed down two starters and spaghetti carbonara.
Madam N: Dessert?
Miss U: No. I managed to restrain myself. Although, I had to fight the urge for tiramisu. He talked about his ex wife all night. I was battling the tedium with carbohydrates.
Madam N: And the gin?
Miss U: (holds head in hands) Oh dear God. I think I did make a fool of myself.
Madam N: How so?
Miss U: I kept trying to manoeuvre him off the subject of his divorce. I started talking about Dallas, and how I'm working my way through the entire series on DVD.
Madam N: Good idea. What man could fail to be charmed by that?
Miss U: Hmmmmm.
Madam N: Was he not fascinated?
Miss U: Oh. I think I got his attention. I think I got the whole restaurant's attention. (pause). I started acting out some of the scenes.
Madam N: Oh dear.
Miss U: I know.
Madam N: Which scenes?
Miss U: I started with Sue Ellen and JR. You know, where Sue Ellen says (Miss Underscore attempts awful Texan accent but truthfully sounds more Bangladeshi) 'JR, which slut will you be looking at tonight' and he drawls, 'Why I don't rightly know darlin', but she's bound to be more appealing than the slut I'm looking at right now.'
Madam N: That's a great line. I'm sure he couldn't object to that.
Miss U: Hmmm. It was the next scene that mortified him.
Madam N: Which scene did you 'do' next?
Miss U: Jock Ewing's heart attack. You know how wooden the actor who played Jock was? How terrible his death scene was? I acted it out. In the restaurant. I suddenly sat bolt upright, gasped, clutched my chest, went as glassy-eyed as a mackerel and slid under the table.
Madam N: Fucking hell. How much had you drunk?
Miss U: (shaking her head) A lot obviously. Too much for a troll-like professor of algebra to handle. I think I can safely say I won't hear from him again. Mind you (proudly) I did get a round of applause for my death scene from the waiters.
Madam N: Christ. Rumple-le-Bon probably turned up at his ex-wife's house last night, BEGGING ON HIS KNEES to be taken back.
Miss U: I know! I have done him a service really. So, yet another dating disappointment.
Madam N: I am surprised that nothing came of your dalliance with G Spot Joe.
Miss U: Too young.
Madam N: He was only 2 years younger than you!
Miss U: Yes, and that's too young. There is something to be said for an older man. Someone who hits all those milestone birthdays ahead of you.
Madam N: Why did you call him G Spot Joe, you never slept with him, did you?
Miss U: No. He claimed to be particularly talented in that area. It sounded a bit arrogant and boastful. That kind of fringe-benefit is best discovered first-hand. You'd be delighted, wouldn't you, to discover he did have some sort of built-in G-spot 'sat nav'. Twat nav! Ha! Imagine how crestfallen you'd be if, after all that bragging, it wasn't true.
Madam N: He was a computer programmer. I think we can safely assume it wasn't true. The likelihood of him knowing anything about a woman's body is slim at best.
Miss U: I know. He probably thinks the G spot is located next to the ESC key. I like quiet modesty in a man. A man who doesn't have to tell you he is actually a billionaire, or has discovered a cure for cancer or has written a Pulitzer prize winning novel.
Madam N: So, there's no one else interesting you, Miss Underscore?
Miss U: Well, yes, strangely. I just had an email from a man on mismatch.com before I came out. It's all a little bit odd.
Madam N: How so?
Miss U: Well, he's called Rochester. He lives in Bristol, but he's from South Shields originally.
Madam N: Hmmm?
Miss U: He talked about Nick Cave in his email. Nice picture, looks like it was taken on the moors somewhere. Rather Ted Hughesy in appearance. Dark. All scowls, eyebrows and chunky knit sweaters.
Madam N: Sounds promising. What's odd about him?
Miss U: I think it's Senor Boldon's brother.
Madam N: (scoffing) Don't be daft. What are the chances of that happening?
Miss U: I know. But his brother WAS called Rochester, he did live in Bristol. Plus, I saw a picture once and seem to remember that he was rather dark and morose looking.
Madam N: It can't be. Is that the brother who was the notorious fanny rat?
Miss U: YES! He was King of the Fanny Rats. He probably wears a crown of condoms and a garland of garage-forecourt carnations.
Madam N: He'll carry a dildo as his sceptre! You are being paranoid, Miss Underscore. It can't be him. Too coincidental. Are you going to reply?
Miss U: I want to. (pause) I WILL reply. I'll ask some probing questions. I'll ask about his family. It can't be Senor's brother can it? I mean, I know I have terrible luck with men, but the dating fairy couldn't be so wicked as to send me an attractive, interesting man who only turns out to be the brother of an ex. Even I cannot be so cursed, surely?