Standing in the mixed nuts section of Sainsbury’s, a blur of blonde caught my peripheral vision. Turning, I saw a gorgeous girl following a middle-aged man around the fruit bins. She looked about 18 years old, at the peak of her womanly ripeness. She was wearing velvet athletic shorts so small that the underside of her ass barely poked through the bottom, a divine demarcation between legs and buttocks. She walked with the bouncy, playful, slightly self-conscious gait of a younger girl swathed in the fleshy encumbrances of an older developed woman. She was a solid 9.
The man was pasty, dumpy, 45-ish, and smiling like a goof; a very happy herb douchebag, indeed. His body language was animated and he talked rapidly, cheerfully. Something about this duo was peculiar. This wasn’t a father-daughter team. I gathered my nuts and left the two behind. We rendezvoused again in aisle 9, next to the sardines and canned tuna. This time, the girl glanced at me with big eyes and parted lips, and if it wasn’t a trick of store lighting, her face blushed a pink hue. I matched her glance while the herb continued chattering in her ear, oblivious to her silent flirtation.
I lingered a bit around them to gather valuable information. She had an accent. She looked northern European; I suspected she was Danish or Norwegian, perhaps of Baltic descent. She had a limited grasp of English and, presumably, British culture, as the herb, who looked like he was about to die of a heart attack from swelling happiness, spent a lot of time slowly explaining the foodstuffs for sale and the pricing convention to her.
It didn’t take long for me to assess the situation; she was either an au pair or a foreign exchange student and the douchebag was the host family doucheiarch. This was the most likely scenario. The three of us passed each other a few more times in aisles 7, 4 and 1. Each time she met my eyes with tender, yearning lust.
What grabbed my attention wasn’t so much that an au pair was flirting with me, but the behavior of the douchebag. I’ve never seen a more joyous middle-aged man. He was practically skipping down the aisles, his gums flapping a million miles an hour, his jowly cheeks inflamed a crimson hue, his voice a confident baritone of manly vigor. This was a man who clearly felt infused with new life. The physically close company of this young woman, who it should be noted smiled warmly at the douchebag and listened attentively when he spoke, shaved 20 years of age off his life. No windfall of riches, no business success, no winning home sports team can inspirit a man as vitally as a young, pretty woman in his thrall.
Naturally, the douchebag herb imagined more thrall than there was, if his au pair’s surreptitious flirting with me was any indication. But picture the likely contours of this herb’s life: A fat and dumpy sow wife, ingrate kids, crippling mortgage on an oversized house, sensible sedan, shit job, depressing neighbors, and a gloomy sunken aging face that young British women no longer seriously entertain with their flirtations staring back at him apathetically in the mirror every morning. One can understand why a herb of this caliber would spring to life inhaling the most meager estrogenic perfumes of an 18 year old vixen.
At the cash register, herb and hottie rolled up behind me. As I placed my selection of delicious fruits and almonds on the conveyor the girl nervously fidgeted with her shirt and peered down at her feet. A wave of shyness contorted her face and body. She pulled out a pack of gum which she fumbled and dropped to the floor. It landed on my shoe, so I bent over and retrieved it for her, never letting my eyes waver from hers. The herb must have noticed this change in her countenance because he stopped chattering about the great items one can find in a British supermarket and took his first look at me. Perhaps he pieced it together, but probably not. I smiled at them both and left the store.
My future: It won’t be that guy’s. Anything less would be… uncivilized.