Sans-culottes in Sevenoaks

This is an old story I got from Jeffrey Bernard. It appeared in his Low Life column in The Spectator a few years before he finally croaked. I understand he told different versions of it over the years. The setup is that there is a young man who is the son of an affluent bookie in Piccadilly, near Simpson’s. The father has an office party and the son drinks too much…

He was green and inexperienced, ignorant of drink and its attendant dangers. For an hour he mixed champagne with whisky — disastrous. He lost control and inadvertently how can I put it politely? — evacuated his bowels. With a mixture of panic and embarrassment he staggered into Simpson’s and asked an assistant for a pair of trousers. ‘What sort of trousers?’ he was asked. ‘Any,’ he said, ‘Any at all. The first pair that comes to hand.’ He left the shop with his purchase and hailed a taxi to take him to Charing Cross to get the train home. Once the train was moving, he went to the lavatory to clean himself up as best he could. Having done that, and as the train was speeding through the suburbs, he threw his dirty pants and trousers out of the window. And then, with what one can only imagine to have been a long sigh of relief, he put his hand in the Simpson’s carrier bag to pull out his new trousers. The only thing in the bag was a V-neck pullover. He had been given the wrong bag.

This is tight and quite sufficient by itself, but Jeff added a few more lines to fill out the column and to give it a touch of believability:

I presume he put his legs through the sleeves of the jersey, but what I want to know is where did he put the exposed V of the jersey. To the front or his rear? I wonder, too, what the ticket collector thought, let alone the other passengers alighting at Sevenoaks. He is probably a broken man now and gets out of the train either at the stop before Sevenoaks or the stop after in order to go home by taxi. He is now almost certainly a teetotaller. I presume he put his legs through the sleeves of the jersey, but what I want to know is where did he put the exposed V of the jersey. To the front or his rear? I won- der, too, what the ticket collector thought, let alone the other passengers alighting at Sevenoaks. He is probably a broken man now and gets out of the train either at the stop before Sevenoaks or the stop after in order to go home by taxi. He is now almost certainly a teetotaller.

The Manhasset Babysitter

A (male) friend writes, “Did I ever tell you about that time I babysat for a three-year-old girl? Well if I did, it was much worse than I ever admitted until now. I was sixteen, and a junior at Choate. It was Easter vacation and I was home in Manhasset. My parents went off to a party one night with another couple, friends of theirs who lived down the street. Now these neighbors had a three-year-old girl and couldn’t get a babysitter. I think their usual babysitter was off in Florida on a ‘Spring Break’ thing. Anyway they asked me to watch over little Pelissa.

“They had a great house. The kid and I just watched TV and ate some frozen pizza. Then she dozed off, there on the couch, and I went exploring. The best part of the house was the master bedroom, because they had mirrors rigged up on all the closet doors, so you could open them a particular way and see yourself on all sides, multiplied a hundred times, receding into the distance.

“After trying on some of the woman’s clothes (just for the hell of it), I stripped naked and got into some serious self-abuse right there on the floor, in front of the infinite mirrors. I got something to use as a dildo—the woman’s vibrator, I think—and had my legs high in the air. It was all working very well. And then the little girl came in. Very quiet, very sudden. The bedroom door just opened and there she was. She was staring at the bottle of Oil of Olay I had there on the floor next to me.

“‘That’s mommy’s,’ she said.

“I screamed at her to get out. After scaring her off, I tried to think up an explanation of what I was doing in there. I came up with a good cover story, and went to tell her. But she was asleep again, in her bedroom. It was after midnight, the parents were going to be back soon.

“I had to wake her up and tell her my fish story, otherwise she’d be telling her mother the next day about how I was entertaining myself with a bottle of Oil of Olay in front of mommy’s closet.So I went in and woke Pelissa up. And I said, ‘You see, I accidentally sat on a tack! And the tack was stuck to my rear end! And to find the tack I had to take off all my clothes and look at myself with my legs in the air and my head upside down! So that’s what I was doing! Oh boy, it still hurts!’

“And Pelissa just stared at me for a few seconds, then said ‘Okay,’ and went back to sleep.

“For years and years afterwards I tried to avoid these neighbors.”