I'm not sure about love, it may only have been lust, but whichever it was it happened at first sight. She was simply the most gorgeous thing I'd ever encountered, big and beautiful, still lovely in her advancing years, almost glowing with vitality and health, although there may have been a few cosmetic tucks here and there, who wouldn't expect that for an eighty year old? I had to have her, I was infused with determination, I would possess her. There was, however, just one small problem; my dear wife. She took a bit of persuading, cajoling, even bribing, but eventually she saw things my way and I became the proud owner of the most magnificent 1930 Buick 47.
You may feel that my reactions are a tad over the top, but if you have never felt that glow that comes from contemplating a fine piece of machinery from a golden age then you must be a dull fellow. The warmth you experience when you sit behind the enormous steering wheel luxuriating in the velour upholstery, the sensual pleasure that you get from the musical beat of a six cylinder engine, and the sheer visual delight of contemplating the glowing crimson coachwork. If you are one of those people who cannot contemplate such delights then your reaction may well be similar to that of my dear wife.
"What on earth are you going to do with that?" she demanded when I tentatively suggested acquiring the car.
"Weddings," I told her, "that's what."
"And you make enough money to cover the expenses of running that hulking great petrol drinking monster?"
I winced. "Well," I replied. "I haven't been into it too deeply, but yes. There is also the fact that you just have the money sitting it the bank and it isn't even earning enough to cover inflation let alone the value of the pound itself, whereas this will hold its value and even increase over a period of time."
That got her thinking, but she wasn't entirely satisfied.
"You haven't told me how much you get for weddings," she repeated the question.
"I've only done a small amount of research, but it appears that the idiots are prepared to pay between five and eight hundred pounds, depending on whether it's just a drive to the church, or on call for the entire day."
You've seen the Tom and Jerry cartoons where for whatever reason there is a 'ker-ching' and pound signs come up it the character's eyes, like a cash register? Well it was a bit like that. If there is one thing that turns her on it's money. If I wrapped a ten p'note around my willie she'd grab it like ... well there's a thought.
"Fuckin' hell!" Honestly, there are times when her language can be rather unladylike.
"Oh, I do hope so," I said, "it's where I'm going for sure. I've no wish to go to heaven, that's where good girls go."
"Shut up and don't be silly!" she exclaimed. "What about spare parts and that sort of thing? Are they reliable?"
"Yes, spare parts are generally available and yes, pretty reliable. They were built to cope with American roads in the thirties. There is something else too..."
At this point I should say that my wife and I have been building up a small business over the last few years and had recently received an offer for it. The major problem with the offer was that the guy wanted to pay half of it in cash. Now, that may sound great, but what do you do with a shed load, alright a dolls house, full of cash. Most of you won't know, although I daresay you can guess, that HMRC - that's Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs are a complete set of arseholes who strongly object to people dealing in cash and not paying tax on it, and I can agree with them wholeheartedly. When it's other people. And selling a business is a capital gain and attracts capital gains tax. So paying the cash into the bank is not an option because someone will ask questions. Not might ask, but will ask.
"Why have you paused? Tell me what else there is."
"You remember that offer from John?"
"Yes, of course I do, and we can't take cash."
"But if we did..."
"We wouldn't know what to do with it."
"Except we could buy the car with it."
"I am probably being particularly thick here..."
Oh, as if.
" ... but I haven't got a clue what you are talking about."
"Look, it's simple. The car is advertised on ebay from a private seller. If you pay him in cash..."
"Nobody's any the wiser ... yes, I see. Are you sure that'll work?"
"I don't see why not, we're not talking about a lot of money, and I could draw out from my ISA in cash this time and see if anybody asks questions."
The curious thing was that as soon as I mentioned the car to our friend Sarah, she immediately booked it. Oh, not for a wedding, but for her daughter's prom, and it was a year away, but nevertheless...
"It's at a really fancy hotel, only one way, arrival is the thing," she told me.
"Oh right, they book a room at the hotel for after, don't they?"
"NO THEY DO NOT, I'LL BE THERE TO COLLECT HER."
I told her about my idea of dressing up in a charcoal chalk striped suit, black shirt, white tie and my black hat, and spats of course, and she thought it would be great. Then I told my daughter and she said that for proms I'd need a chaperone and she'd be happy to dress up as my moll, my wife being a bit old for that, and there we were, all set.
I did a bit of advertising and spread the word about and in no time I had a booking.
On a lovely spring day the Buick looked immaculate, and I looked pretty good too. The bride look sensational although her dad was a bit of a scruffy herbert, but you can't have everything. You'd have thought that morning dress would have forced you to look smart, but he managed to make it look as though he'd been gardening in it. Off we went to the church. I sat around during the ceremony, and through most of the photographs, but then the bride wanted to be photographed with the car, and the driver of course, and then most of the other women did too, even the bridesmaids although I had to pick up the smallest one.
Then it was on to the reception. I had to stay for this too, because they wanted me to take the happy couple away at the end. I had a good stack of reading material.
After about an hour and a half a lady that I recognised as the bride's mother came out. I was sitting in the back reading.
"Hello," I said. "Are they leaving already?"
"No, it'll be a while yet. I wondered if you wanted a drink?"
She had quite obviously had one. Or two or three. As she leant in through the open door I could see where her daughter got her looks from, and her figure too for that matter since I was peering down the gaping top of a blue silk suit jacket, and apart from a camisole she had nothing else on and it was a very attractive view.
"No, thank you. Not alcohol anyway, not when I'm driving."
"Quite right too," she agreed. "Is it comfy in there?"
"Come in and try," I said, putting my book down and moving over. She sat alongside me.
"Mmm ... it is nice."
And suddenly I had my arms full of woman as she launched herself at me. We were immediately into a deep snog, tongues battling and hands roving in all directions. She broke off after a minute or two and headed south.
"Weddings always make me randy and Ralph," I assumed that was her husband, the scruffy herbert, "always drinks too much."
She freed Percy from the confines of my underwear.
.... There is more of this story ...