April 30 1984
I've been so excited I can't sleep. I've been badgering the Berrows to find out who this beauty is. Yesterday they told me. Her name is Yasmin and – how amazing – she's from Oxford!
Berrow 2 tried to put me off.
“Yeah, um, look, I know she's amazing and lovely but you need to know one thing.”
“What?” I asked. “Is she married?”
“No, Way worse. Her Dad's Iranian. Good fuckin' luck with that. This is way off grid and beyond my pay grade. If you meet her I suggest you take out life insurance. Look, how about these two?” (He produced a picture of two models). “Or what about Cyndi Lauper? I’ve heard she’s keen.”
But I was not listening.
Iranian! How exotic!
I'm so excited! It's tomorrow! I'm going to meet HER for the first time at her parents' house.
What a day! She's so wonderful! I got to the house and was greeted by her father. He was sharpening a knife.
“As-Salaam-Alaikum,” I said. He growled at me.
“Here are some flowers,” I said, offering them. He glared and I felt myself shrinking and his knife seemed to get larger.
“It's lovely to meet you, Mr Parvaneh,” I stammered.
“Ah, hello! Come in!” he boomed. “You must be Simon! I'm sorry, I don't speak Arabic and I'm allergic to flowers. Please come through."
And there she was, the stunning, astonishing Yasmin. She looked ravishing in a full length red dress with a flower in her hair. I know that this is girl I will marry.
I found myself ushered to a seat down the other end of the table from her for the family meal. I was next to her father, who carved the meat with the knife and happily chatted about cars.
“I think that the Mazda FR6’s gear box has a really smooth action and has the edge over the Honda X12, don’t you agree?”
“Mmm, oh yes,” I muttered, whilst glimpsing at Yasmin, who I could see glancing at me coquettishly from beneath her fringe. I must say this distracted me from concentrating on her father’s view of the new plans for the A42 Chippenham bypass.
Having managed to spend no time with Yasmin, I suggested after dinner that we might walk around the garden.
“That would be lovely!” she giggled.
“Yes, I need to water the lawn,” said her father, and followed us out.
The afternoon soon came to an end. Her father handed me my coat at the door.
“So Simon, perhaps we will see you again?”
“Oh yes, sir, I would hope so,” I said.
“Good, good. I am sure you will. But you will remember one thing, won't you?”
“If you harm one hair on my daughter's head I will need to make strong representations of protest to your manager.”
“And I will later break in to your house at night and chop off your cock.”
My first date tomorrow! I asked Berrow 2 where I should go. He just put his head in hands and said he’d make some calls.
What a day!
I got a bunch of flowers and was waiting at our designated meeting point. Suddenly I heard a car horn blare, there was a screech of brakes and a powerful engine revved. There was a strong smell of burning rubber as a yellow, convertible Porches careered around the corner and mounted the kerb.
“Fuck you, you fucker!” shouted the driver at a man in van, showing him the finger. The driver then stood up and looked at me.
It was Yasmin! She stood up with a bottle of champagne in her hand and raised it above her head.
“Let’s hit the town!” she cried. “What’s the plan?”
“Err, I’ve got some cinema tickets,” I said. “Mr Berrow gave them to me. It’s a new film. He said it would be good.”
Yasmin looked a little crest-fallen.
“Come on,” I said. “It’s just around the corner.”
We walked a short way and my heart sank as I saw the crowd of people.
“Oh no, it’s a long queue,” I said.
Just then Berrow 2 appeared, looking rather flustered.
“Holy fuck where have you been? I’ve been looking everywhere,” he said. “Quick, this way.”
He bundled us into a car which drove about 25 yards to the front of the cinema.
“Good luck guys,” he said, as the car drove off.
“Oh Simon!” sighed Yasmin as we walked down the red carpet.
I knew she’d like a Harrison Ford movie.
Simon and Yasmin, 11 June 1984 at the royal charity premiere of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom