A little while ago I was thinking about replacing the mast on my sailing dinghy. It's a Mirror 16, well out of production, and the mast is ... well, elderly. So I got onto ebay and searched for a replacement, or at least something that would do. I found one that could be OK, but I needed some extra pictures of it because it was from a different class, and I wasn't sure where the fittings were. In the event I decided not to go ahead with the purchase because it was about 250 miles away and with my Landcruiser's diesel consumption that put the cost up just too much. However, the lady who was selling it, on behalf of her father she told me, provided a couple of additional pictures, sent to my private email because she said she couldn't get them to load on ebay. The pics were pretty average, but in one of them there was a picture of the photographers foot. The right one, petite and female. So I emailed her to say thankyou, and asked if she had another one, foot that is. Daft I know, but that is just my sense of humour. I received a reply confirming that she had another one identical, and from there on the whole thing went:
"Really? Two right feet? Can I have a picture of them both together, please?"
"Oh dear, I meant they are a matching pair." And attached was a picture of two shoes containing feet, taken by the owner.
"Yes, I can see that you have a pair of shoes, but are the feet inside really handed? I'd need a picture of them 'au naturel' to be convinced."
And there I thought it would end. But no, a couple of day's later:
"Attached is proof." The attachment showed a rather pretty pair of female feet, but taken by someone else. They were slightly turned in towards each other, the right in front of the left.
"Very nice, and the ankles are particularly splendid. What are the knees like?"
"I don't think I should send pictures of my knees to strange men. Or you might be a dog for all I know."
"Well, yes, I know they say that about the internet. But a dog would only be interested if they were bony. And if you were wearing a short skirt I'd be able to see them." Provided I knew where to look of course. Geographically that is.
"I'm sure I shouldn't be doing this." And attached was a picture of knees, cropped just above the ankles and showing the hem of a short skirt. The photographer wasn't very good and the exposure differed from the previous one, as did the background.
"Thankyou, those really are nice knees. Not everyone has such good knees. I was hoping there might be a hand showing, just lifting the skirt to show your knees."
And a day or so later:
"Oh, now you are going too far. You have my feet, my ankles and my knees. I imagine you are feverishly using some photo programme to put it all together." As if.
"What? After all this you deny me a picture of your hand? If I were a dog I might bite it"
There was silence for a day or two. And then:
"Are you right or left handed? Hands show character you know."
"I'd give my right hand to be ambidextrous. But in that case both."
"It's very difficult to take a picture of your right hand by yourself."
"Why? You're ambidextrous, and anyway you had assistance with your feet."
Then a break of another two or three days.
"Very well, here you are." There were two attachments, each showing a hand, one left, one right. Badly lit, and inconsistent colouring, but complete with slim wrists. I added them to the montage about where I thought they would go. Well what did you think I was doing?
"Thankyou, thankyou. Really really nice, you must be a very pretty lady. I'm sure your elbows would match perfectly."
"May I see?"
What came back a little later had no comment, just an attachment. It showed an elbow, but more it showed a shoulder and just, could I just see the edge of a breast? I was sure I could. The left one.
"My word, that is perfection. I cannot believe that there is another to match it."
"Of course there is. Do you think I'm deformed?"
"Dear me no. No, no! But..."
A day or so later the other shoulder arrived. This time there was slightly more than the hint of a breast. But I could tell that it was slightly higher than the other due to the pose.
"Might I have something to join them together?"
"I felt there might be a torso, um ... chest, you know?" "Yes, I know exactly what you mean." And there was a picture linking the two shoulders. But it had a jumper on.