the love report

The evening does not start off well. After gaining entry to Vinopolis, described somewhat ambitiously in the online brochure as ‘The most exciting and atmospheric visitor attraction in the world,’ everybody is handed a unique set of 15 cards with their name beautifully embossed on one side. Except me, of course. Mine are blank for some unspecified reason, so I’m forced to grab a black felt-tip pen and scrawl ‘Fraser’ on each one in psychopath style lettering. The purpose of these isn’t immediately clear, but a little further investigation leads to the discovery of a photographer taking polaroids of all the attendees, images which are then added to a rogues gallery of hopefuls in the main hall. If you spot a face you like, you pin your card to their photo, and at the evening’s end you unfasten the stack of cards attached to your image and can make contact with those people though the organiser’s website.

First up is speed-dating. It’s a bit like having 7 job interviews in 25 minutes, except that you’ve no idea what the job entails. To aid the process you’re given a piece of paper with space for seven names, two colums marked ‘HeadStart’ and ‘HeadAche’ (yes or no, basically), and room to make comments, more than anything else to remind yourself who it is that you’ve just spoken to.

The first girl is cool. She’s pretty, she laughs at my jokes, and I don’t stare at her chest once. Next up is an Amazonian South African, six foot two with hair like Rapunzel. She’s obviously not interested, and doesn’t attempt to hide it, looking everywhere else in the room apart from at me. When she tiredly asks me what I do for a living, I finally crack.

“I’m a biscuit designer.”

That gets her attention.

“Really? What ones have you done?”

“You know animal allsorts?”

“Yes, of course.”

“Well, I did the giraffe.”

At this point our three minutes expire and I move on, leaving her looking her baffled and possibly a little scared. 1-0 to me. The rest pass in a blur. At the end I’ve ticked three boxes out of seven, rather foolishly expressing interest in two girls who I know to be best friends. I can imagine how that conversation will end. Really? You too? Hmmm… I bet he ticked everyone. Creep.

I wander round aimlessly for most of the rest of the evening. The organisation is a shambles – the forty quid may have kept out the dirty mac brigade, but there’s not enough staff at the bar (twenty minutes to get served when I could be romancing), and they don’t have enough change when I finally get a drink. The rogues gallery is so surrounded by onlookers that it’s almost impossible to see the photographs, and when I attempt to find the venue for ‘Blind Date Battleships’ (no, I can’t imagine either) I discover that it’s not marked on the nonsensical map of the venue they’ve provided, nor can the member of staff I ask assist me. “Err… it’s somewhere. Not sure where, though.” Well, gee, thanks.

Half an hour before the end I decide to cut my losses and head for the door. Except that I can’t, of course. The queue for the cloakroom is 40 metres long, so there’s yet another interminable wait before I can finally escape.

Still, at least I didn’t run into anyone I know. I’d hate it if people knew I was doing this. Oh, and by the way, nobody attached their card to my picture.


  1. Gah! Well, at least you have slaves.

  2. Wow that must have sucked for you. But hey, if you die alone, you won’t have to worry about old poeple sex.

    Agh forget what I say, there’s someone out there for you!

  3. Your forty quid may have been better served round the back of King’s X….

  4. Keep at it Fraser – you can’t expect to hit the jackpot the first time!

  5. Ahh well, had you never’ve gone you wouldn’t’ve known. You’ve wandered about wondering if you’d missed a big opportunity. Put it down to experience, and pity the girls there for their loss. Especially Rapunzel lady as it sounds like she lost any kind of personality aswell, which is far worse.
    Also sounds like the organisers didn’t realise how popular it’d be. Proof that you may think you’re alone & single, but you’re not. And further proof that there is someone out there and everything, you just missed ’em so far.

  6. Well Fraser,
    I thought it was a bit of a meat market, to be honest.
    Still, I shouldn’t complain because I didn’t even pay for the ticket or drinks.
    Speed dating after three glasses of champagne was a rather dizzy event thought.
    But, hey, it surely was nice meeing you, you looked splendid.
    Ciao xx

  7. just an idea…

    what if you organise something like that – but way better and smaller….for bloggers only…or for kentish town people only.

    may be the lady just lives around the corner.

  8. Sorry to read it was so shambolic, Fraser.
    It takes a lot of courage to do what you did.

    Hopefully the organisers will take lessons
    from what occurred last night and institute
    the necessary changes.

    They probably viewed it as a trial run ? unfortunately
    you were among the guinea pigs.

    Perhaps you should contact Chemistry and
    inform them of your dissatisfaction – you are
    surely not the only one – you did pay ?40 after all.

    All may not be lost however, you made a
    good impression on the lovely Siria. :)

  9. i’ll have ya fraiser

  10. ooops sorry about the ‘i’, guess you won’t want me now!

  11. goog GAWD! how horrid. i really had hope that something good would come of it. hope! jeesh sorry. and i must say i LOVE what you did to the Queen B of the Amazons! Hazzuh! i don’t know if i’d have been that clever. that part should make you smile when you reflect on the whole screw up. stop looking so hard and she will appear from nowhere…she will fall into your lap. it always happens that way. as soon as you say you will never need or want a girlfirend the perfect person finds you somehow. it’s some sort of cosmic rule i think.

  12. Fuck ’em Fraser!

    They are probably sad old twats anyway.

    X X X


  13. Speed dating? Don’t do it. What with all that gurning and grinding of their jaws, they’ll chew yer cock off.

  14. The ‘biscuit designer’ line is a great one. In fact, I can’t wait to meet someone who’ll ask me what my job is just so I can use it myself (don’t worry, you’ll get a credit if the conversation goes that far). Was it off the top of your head, or is it nicked from the telly, or somewhere?

  15. It’s a line I used to use quite frequently at parties. Don’t ask me why, but it just seemed an appropriate time to re-introduce it.

  16. If only you lived in Toronto. Sigh.

  17. lol. How could anyone turn down the guy who claims to have designed the giraffe biccie?! Great tale. Sorry it didn’t have the desired result.

  18. I know a lady who paints the red end on sweet cigarettes. She doesn’t do speed, so she won’t chew your cock off. I’ll give her your email address…

  19. >I know a lady who paints the red end on sweet cigarettes

    I smoked those for years.. almost ruined me. From 6ys I was hooked.. going through a pack a day. I was young and foolish.

    Tried everything to get off them, patches, hypnosis, cold turkey, always give in eventually. Wake up in the morning, first thing I do is light up.. no controal..

    I’m down to 10 a day.. pray for me!

  20. Speed dating is really exhausting. You’re absolutely correct. Like job interviews, you have to ask the same questions to all eleven or so people. Still, it’s an experience.