11.30am. In office. There is a new researcher at work who is young, tall,
handsome and flirts with older women. Patchouli and I have therefore
renamed him Ashton Kutcher (as in Demi Moore's youthful husband) This
morning Richard Finch slavered into the meeting, a lascivious gleam in his
eye. "Lewd e-mails!" he bellowed. "There's an inquiry into lewd e-mails at
The Sit Up Britain Team looked on in mute despair as Richard flung
himself, frowning, at the computer as if trying to rework the Iraqi
constitution. "Print this out for me, love, will you," he eventually yelled at
Patchouli, as if she was his secretary. Which, er, she is.
"Love? What do you think this is: the Batley Variety Club circa 1970?
Print it out your fucking self, love," she yelled back. "Oooh! Wrong time of
the month is it?" said Richard. "I'll read it out then."
Is it just me, or is this work environment totally dysfunctional?
Wanted to lay my head on the tabloids and whimper.
"Okay, here we go," said Richard, clearing his throat.
"Titmanfinch@SitupB.org: Jesus I swear to God they've grown over the
Freddo@Cantabile. Can that be humanly possible?
Titmanfinch: You know how, when she's sitting back they just cover the
B on the Sit up Britain sign? Well now they're halfway across the R.
Freddo@Cantabile: You're right. They're usually just teasing the Post
Office Tower from here. Now they're half way across..."
I glanced, mortified, over at my desk. On one side, the wall with the
Sit up Britain sign, on the other, the view of the Post Office Tower.
"This sucks!" Ashton Kutcher leapt to his feet. "What is it with you
guys? Knock it off."
"It sucks?" Richard Finch was dancing around, air boxing. "How about if
I tell you to suck your job off."
"Fine by me. How about if I tell your 'Human Resources Interface
Executive' why?" Ashton strolled towards the door, offered me his
arm and said: "Coffee, Bridget?"
"Don't mind if I do - and fuck you too, sexist fat arse," I said,
admittedly not very maturely, to Richard Finch.
Ashton and I both fell into the corridor, giggling helplessly, then, in
the tea bar, deconstructed Richard Finch's relationship with Freddo. Ashton
felt Freddo was Richard exploring his gay side, whereas I felt it was a
search for lost youth.
"No, that's me," said Ashton grinning lazily.
"We'd better get back," I said, beginning to lose control of my Demi
Moore fantasies. "Nooo," he groaned, folding both my hands in his. "Can we
have dinner tonight?"
I panicked, wondering whether you are allowed to go out to dinner with
youths when you're pregnant.
He looked jokily from side to side then whispered: "Are you really
pregnant?" I was aghast. How did he know? "Don't panic. I won't tell.
We can still have dinner, can't we?"
Maybe it's okay. but isn't there something weird about it? I said yes,
5.45pm. Fantastic day. It's amazing how a new man's interest in you -
however dubious - makes you feel like a new woman. Richard put me on
Charles and Camilla, which merely meant working out exactly what percentage
less of the American people wanted to meet Charles and Camilla than wanted to
shag Princess Diana in 1985, and freed up my mind for rampant Demi Moore
fantasies: Ashton snowboarding with the baby and getting on really well
with Bruce Willis in form of Daniel/Mark etc, etc. Gaah! telephone.
Later. Was reception: "Bridget, your Dad's down here." Panicked again.
Why? How? Maybe Dad was dead. Dashed for the lift, giving an encouraging
"see you later" wave to Ashton and remembering the thrill of having secret
liaisons with people you work with. Was overcome at seeing lovely Dad again
looking all mild, sweet and, importantly, alive.
"Hello, love," he said. "Just popped into town for my annual fishing
tackle re-stock and I thought, 'well! I'll pop in to see Bridget and say
hello'." I smiled, understanding this was bollocks and he'd sensed something was
"Fancy a bite to eat?" "Well, actually I'm going out for dinner, but..."
" Let me drive you home to get ready, then."
7.45pm. My flat. Cowering with embarrassment in bedroom, pretending to
make tea. Chatted to Dad, then, deciding was not right moment to tell him
about granddaughter when did not know result of paternity test and about to
entertain unconnected whippersnapper. Retreated to bedroom to get
ready, while hissing story of Ashton down phone to Shazzer.
Just then, the entryphone rang - 15 minutes early. "It's him, it's
him!" shrieked Shazzer.
"Better get used to it, Bridge. Young men always come too early."
Pressed the buzzer and purred: "Just getting ready, come on up."
Then asked Dad to let him in, and dashed back to put clothes on. Could
hear Dad and Ashton chatting away in the living room. Stepped out nervously
to find it wasn't Ashton, it was Mark Darcy.
His eyes immediately went to my stomach, his face a mess of emotions.
He obviously knew. "You remember Dad?" I absurdly inquired.
"Don't mind me," said Dad, smiling all over his face as if all his
grandfather/son-in-law fantasies had come true at once. "Why didn't you
tell me?" said Mark, tears glistening in his eyes. Just then the doorbell
rang again; this time Ashton pretending to be Richard Finch. "Bridget, my
darling, I've come to see if your tits have grown any more."
"Come on up," I said, weakly.
Dad and Mark looked utterly baffled as Ashton appeared, overwhelmingly
young and vigorous
"Whoa," Ashton said. "You didn't tell me it was a party."
Just then, the answerphone clicked on, and a voice rang out.
"It's Judy from the DNA testing lab..." Dived for the phone, gabbling:
"Can't talk now, thank you very much. Ring you back in the morning."
Banged the receiver down to see three pairs of eyes looking at me,
"Work!" I trilled hysterically. "Story on David Blunkett's DNA clinic
shares! Boring! Boring! Hahahah! Here we all are! Nice to have all the
generations together! Cup of tea, anyone?"
Published: 03 November 2005