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Opportunity Knocks

I have many reasons to be cheerful on this sunny Friday morning. In fact, the only cloud on my horizon is my husband, Alex. He seems reluctant to leave for work and keeps on drifting in and out of my workroom.

"You haven't forgotten about tonight, have you darling?"

Here he comes again, reappearing like Banquo's ghost.

Alex is the senior partner in the second largest accountancy firm in our city. He is also a member of some club for business types. The name always escapes me, but it's something to do with Camelot. The 'tonight' to which he refers is their annual Ladies Night. A rare treat indeed, as wives are spared the excitement of their regular meetings.

"Of course not darling. I'm really looking forward to it."

He continues to hang around behind my desk chair. I sense there is something else on his mind.

"It's just that Peter Haskell is our guest speaker and because I'm Chairman this year, he will be joining our table for dinner."

There is nothing new so far. Alex venerates successful entrepreneurs in much the way teenage girls moon over pop singers.

"Word on the street indicates that Haskell Precision Engineering are not altogether happy with their current accountants."

At last. The doors of perception are flung open and the light of understanding floods in.

"So, if you wouldn't mind..."

"You want me to be nice to him?"

He looks relieved. "Oh, could you? That would be marvellous."

At which he makes his final exit and minutes later I hear his car crunch over the gravel.


It is almost nine o'clock at The County Hotel. Minestrone soup,  Beef Wellington, and profiteroles have been distributed and consumed. Peter Haskell is halfway through his speech:

Brexit - Opportunity Knocks 

A catchy title and he's an engaging enough speaker. Though to be honest, I'd be happy to wait for the movie. Alex of course, hangs on every word.

"That was brilliant stuff, Peter."

"Very inspiring," I add.

Looking pleased, Peter resumes his seat at our table. The excitement has clearly affected my husband's bowels. He excuses himself and wanders off in search of the facilities.

"I hope you'll find the hotel comfortable, Peter. I hear the refurbished rooms are wonderful."

"I have one." He leans towards me, sending brandy fumes down the rift valley of my cleavage. "Perhaps you would like to see it."

"Oh yes, I really would." I let him leave his paw on my thigh, even after Alex returns.

The lift proves a tight squeeze for three. I am certainly aware of Peter's presence behind me.

The room, is as expected, magnificent. They even have a top of the range Fracino coffee maker. I love shiny things. I get excited inspecting the kitchen utensils in the supermarket. While the men talk, I put the lovely machine through its paces. As the steaming black liquid flows from the chrome nozzles, I see Alex take the contract from the inside pocket of his dinner jacket. Placing two cups on the low coffee table, I stand behind Peter's chair and watch him scrawl his name. Then Alex sits back contentedly sipping his coffee while Peter unzips my dress.

The engineer is easily the hairiest man I've ever seen; it's like being mauled by a bear. But there is only one thought in my head as I prepare to grease his piston.

I wonder what delivery is like on that coffee machine.


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