Loading...
Menu
Ebooks   ➡  Fiction  ➡  Biographical

The Alan Fallon Chronicles

The Alan Fallon Chronicles

(A glimpse into the life of an ordinary man)

by

David Travelyan

The Dating Website Phase

Toby was late. Toby was always late! He would claim that the traffic was a nightmare, and, if Alan suggested that he leave home earlier, Toby would merely reply that by the time he left home it was too late to leave any earlier. And this was, clearly, true. But unhelpful! Alan wondered why he had let himself in for this project. He was alone in the world, certainly, but was a dating website the answer? And was Toby, three years on a dating website without sustained ‘success’, the right person to assist and advise? The doorbell rang.

“The traffic was a ‘mare!” Toby marched in and walked straight into the kitchen. He emerged moments later with two cans of beer.

“Shouldn’t we keep a clear head whilst doing this?” Alan knew this was a redundant question, but worth asking.

“We are dealing with women, made of blood, skin, bones and, above all, oestrogen. Therefore, we need alcohol. And anyway, this is an afternoon for the football, after we have set up an irresistible profile for yourself. Which website have you chosen?”

All these things were true, and there was barely more than an hour to kick-off. Alan was glad that Toby was there. For the moment. “PrimePartners.com” He knew Toby would approve, as this was the site he himself had inhabited, unsuccessfully, for as long as they both could remember.

“Good choice. Success is guaranteed! What will you have as a username?”

“I thought ‘BlueMoon’ would be romantic without giving away too much.”

“Correct. What about a tag-line? The first thing to catch their eye?

“I thought.

 

‘Ordinary Guy seeks Extraordinary Lady’

 

Self-deprecating without being humble.”

Toby grimaced. “A bit ordinary. You have to say you are ordinary, because you are, but try to give the impression that you are more than that. Hidden depths, that sort of stuff. Or, something funny.”

Alan had dreamed up a number of options in order to deal with exactly this response from Toby.

“Regular guy with lots of clothes seeks special lady with small hands and large chest.”

 

Toby’s eyes narrowed. Certainly, this was unusual and mildly amusing. “A bit emphasising the sexual side of things, don’t you think? First contact is a bit too early for innuendo, however subtle!”

“How about something extraordinarily unusual? Maybe a bit quirky, and obviously a joke?”

 

“Po-faced, pot-bellied bed-wetter seeks similar for miserable existence.”

 

“Anything else?” This was Toby at his most dismissive; superior, untroubled by the efforts of lesser mortals. “Perhaps a bit less eye catching. Maybe something to mislead all these gentle ladies into believing that you are not some weirdo from weirdsville?”

Alan comforted himself with the knowledge that this was the kind of response he would expect from Toby in circumstances where he wishes he’d thought of it first. “So, no good then? Why?”

“Ladies tend suspect that there is an element of truth in humorous remarks. You are not ‘pot-bellied’. You are tending to the po-faced, but not so much as would be noticeable. Are you a bed-wetter? That’s probably the worst and they will assume that is the case in the absence of the other two ‘qualities’ that you list. Any other gems?”

“Not James Bond seeks not Pussy Galore”

“Moving swiftly on, if you please.”

“Man with own teeth seeks woman with something to bite”

“If you can accept a man’s success with serenity and his failures with grace you will find true love.”

“Let us show them…..”

“Time is shorter than you think.”

“So, we have the blatantly sexual, the pathetically needy, the synthetically philosophical, the confusingly obscure, and the implicit threat of being left alone and lonely in some geriatric hell. It’s a good job you asked me to help!”

“On a small point of order, I did not ask you to help, you offered your ‘invaluable and crucial experience’ which, apparently was the ‘magic ingredient’ to make my endeavours successful.”

“I could not have put it better myself…”

“True, as that is exactly the way you put it.” Alan knew this banter would cease soon and proper business would then be the order of the day.

“Ordinary Guy seeks Extraordinary Lady. That is the least damaging. Let’s go with that”

“Toby, you know those times when you go shopping with one of the fair sex, perhaps for clothing for her? You find, as you have previously testified, that she will go first to the shop which she thinks is most likely to have the item/s she wants, select said item/s, but then go shopping for something better/cheaper/more fashionable/etc. in another place. And then, after a two-hour search, she will return to the first shop and purchase the first item/s she first looked at. That is precisely what you have just done.”

“It would be foolish in the extreme to just accept the first item without considering other options. That way lies madness! Much better to test the water, see what is out there, be a bit patient, not rush into things. That my dear, naïve friend is a piece of advice essential for you to digest as you embark on the course of action you now contemplate. Let us get on with the tortuous, tedious, nearly impossible task of constructing a profile of you which will attract a discerning lady of quality, class, and style and even, possibly elegance!”

=======================================================

“Let us deal with the ‘drop-down-menu stuff first. I will be a mere onlooker, charged with avoiding the numerous errors you are destined to make.” This, Alan thought, was most unlikely. The idea that Toby could sit by for more than a few moments without giving of his invaluable advice and opinion was an idea stillborn in the early months of their schoolboy relationship, now more than twenty years old.

“OK. I will read out the question and give my best, truest answer. This is the section entitled ‘ME’. The subject matter would seem uncontroversial.”

Gender………………………………………………Male

Age…………………………………………………..47

Star sign………………………………………………Aries

Location………………………………………………Midlands

Height…………………………………………………6 foot

Body type…………………………………………….Average

Looks………………………………………………Below average

Hair colour…………………………………………Balding

Eye colour………………………………………….Blue

Recent login activity……………………………….None

Has photo…………………………………………..Yes

Marital status……………………………………….Not married

Children…………………………………………….None

Diet…………………………………………………Eat most things

Drinking……………………………………………Occasionally

Smoking……………………………………………Never

Education…………………………………………..University

Occupation…………………………………………IT

Income……………………………………………..Solvent

Country of origin…………………………………..UK

Home language…………………………………….English

Other languages……………………………………None

Ethnicity……………………………………………White/Caucasian

“This completes the ‘ME’ section. All true. All OK.”

“When you said ‘ordinary guy’ you weren’t kidding, were you?” True to his word Toby had kept silent during this most tedious, but crucial, part of the profile. Now he unleashed his full venom.

“I doubt any chick would have reached the final ‘ethnicity’ section. They would either be sleeping or would have lost the will to live. You will not attract a single response with such a boring profile.”

“It is the simple truth, on which any long-term relationship must be based. And we agreed not to call them chicks.” This was Alan’s firm belief, the one on which he would stand firm, whatever jibes and sarcasm were thrown at him. And, of course, he was right.”

“And, of course, you are right! But online dating is like online shopping. Women don’t want a functional item that is available anywhere. They want something exciting, adventurous, out-of-the-ordinary. Not a ten-a-penny IT technician. Here’s a story; a woman went shopping for underwear for her husband. Note, her husband! She said to the, male, assistant ‘I want something young and exciting in men’s underwear’. Now, the fact that the assistant replied ‘Don’t we all, dearie’ is not the point. The point is that she wanted something ‘young and exciting’. FOR HER HUSBAND! Young and exciting is kinky. Old and reliable, stinky!”

Alan considered these points for a few moments. There was probably some truth in what Toby said, but he was reluctant to exaggerate his being just to get some dates. “There is such a thing as integrity and honour.”

“Honour, Shmoner!” (Toby sometimes reverted to bizarre vernacular). You are seeking a date. You are not telling lies at the altar! Get a date and allow your inherent qualities to shine through as time unfolds. Win her interest, and then win her heart.”

“Right, I’m going to leave ‘as is’, and change it after a period of time if nothing materializes. Women are not a homogenous group. There are all kinds, all shades, all outlooks. I’ll try this way and change later, if need be.” It was clear that Alan was determined on this point.

“OK. Obviously, this has to be a time-consuming, futile exercise for you. Let’s proceed to the next section.”

“Right. This is the ‘IDEAL MATCH’ bit.”

“Right. Unless there is some overwhelming perversion in your soul which requires someone with a particular hair colour, or skin tone, or some other physical feature, put ‘any’ for most of the options. Including age.”

“Including age!?”

“Yes. Age is merely a number, and it gives no insight into the character, demeanour, spirit or soul of a person. You can get the fat and ugly at any age. Look at yourself; you have been an infant, a child, a teenager, a 20something, and someone in his thirties, and you’ve always been ugly. So, put either no age limits or a very, very wide set of parameters. Let’s face it, you need to cast your net as wide as possible!”

“Thank you for that frank and helpful vote of confidence. You ponce. Now, let’s get on with it. Probably, in the light of the gentle wisdom you have recently bestowed upon me, the only things that matter are location and home language.”

“Correct. You don’t want to be travelling miles for a hopeless date. And you want someone fluent in the two languages that you speak fluently, namely English and Rubbish.” This section was quickly filled in, and the two friends were able to move quickly to the next part. “This is the ‘NARRATIVES’ bit. ‘Why should people get to know you’. This is the real meat.”

“Yes, sadly. This is the most difficult part for you. Why, indeed, should anyone, anyone, ever want to get to know you, of all people? This is the real challenge; to commit something to paper which is truish, and yet might still attract a live human female.” This was accompanied by a well-used show of histrionics from Toby; head in hands, then thrown into the air in a gesture of hopeless.

“Stop being a prat and tell me what you think are my best points.”

There was silence for almost a minute. “Well?” Alan was getting a bit angry by now.

“Well what?”

“What are my best points?”

“I’ve just told you.”

“You said nothing.”

“Exactly!”

“Very droll, Toby. Trouble is, there is only me here, and I’ve heard this script before ad nauseum. It is not the hilarious diatribe you think it is. It was only mildly funny the first time, when Jesus was a lad. Look, it is nearly time for kick off, so stop mucking about.”

Indeed, it was nearly time for the football to start so they agreed to get on with the narratives.

I AM FIT, YOUNG-AT-HEART AND ADAPTABLE, WITH A BROAD-MINDED OUTLOOK AND A LIVELY INTEREST IN PEOPLE. ANIMALS ARE NOT MY FAVOURITE COMPANIONS, BUT I FIND THEM INTERESTING AND A SOURCE OF JOY AND AMUSEMENT PROVIDED THEY ARE AT ARMS LENGTH. I HAVE AN INTERESTING CAREER AND COLLEAGUES WITH WHOM I SHARE MUTUAL RESPECT (I THINK….). I LIKE TO TRAVEL, ENTERTAIN AND GENERALLY ENJOY THE WONDERS OF THIS MARVELLOUS WORLD. I SEEK A LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIP AND HOPE THAT I NEVER STOP LEARNING. IF ANY OF THIS RESONATES WITH YOU DON’T WE OWE IT TO OURSELVES TO MAKE CONTACT? WE COULD EXCHANGE ANY NUMBER OF EMAILS AND STILL NOT DISCOVER WHETHER THERE IS THE ESSENTIAL CHEMISTRY. ONLY A FACE-TO-FACE MEETING CAN ESTABLISH THAT POSSIBILITY. I WILL BE WEARING MY LEOPARDSKIN TIE!

“Do you need the bit about the leopard-skin tie?”

This was a good sign. This was included to enable Toby to fulfil his need to object. The fact he had objected to this wholly dispensable reference indicated that the narrative was OK. “I had intended to refer to my gold lame jock strap!”

Toby grimaced. “OK, leave in the tie bit.”

“Now. ‘My ideal match’. This really is tricky.”

“Just think of a previous girlfriend, the one you regret losing most, and describe her.”

“I can’t believe it is as simple as that. I suspect that ladies do not judge whether they themselves are an ‘ideal’ match, but judge you, the author, on the things you seem to think are most important. Imagine if you said, to take an extreme example, that you wanted someone with lots of money. That would not appeal to anyone, even someone with lots of money. Especially not to someone with lots of money.”

“Point taken and a point well made. In that case I suggest you include some qualities which most people think they have, and just hope that you will get replies from those impressed by your self-description. ‘PrimePartners.com’ does operate globally so you may get a handful of replies.”

“I have a particularly unusual solution to the problem of the ‘ideal’ match. Its unusualness lies in its brevity.”

KINDNESS. EMPATHY.

Toby considered this for a few minutes, while Alan selected the sports channel, and fetched some snacks and a few more beers from the kitchen. He returned to his seat, awaiting the storm of protest and ridicule he anticipated from Toby.

“That’s pretty damn effective. No twaddle, no preconceived judgements, no prejudice. If you are right that people judge you from your requirements, you might need two hands to count the number of replies you get. That should do. Now, come on City.”

Fifty minutes later it was half time in the football match. It had not gone well for City, but there was still hope. Alan switched on his laptop and found an email from PrimePartners.com. It seems that the profile and images of Alan were acceptable, had now been published, and were visible to other ‘subscribers’. He informed Toby of this, and logged into the website and onto his own page. He then hesitated for a few moments. He had somehow to inform Toby, hopefully without provoking a storm of anguished protest, that there had been seven viewings of his profile, and he had received five messages.

Dear Reader,

I hope you enjoyed this brief glimpse into the life and times of Alan Fallon. This may have been fiction. Or, it may have been fact….

Two other books I have written are, definitely, fiction. Please have a look at them, below, to see if they may be of interest to you or your family. They are Codename Hotel, and The Islamist Republic of America.

Both are available as ebooks from Shakespir.com and other suppliers. They are available at US$2.99. each. Happy reading.

DT

THE ISLAMIst REPUBLIC

OF AMERICA

A novel by

DAVID TRAVELYAN


The Alan Fallon Chronicles

A brief glimpse into the life of an ordinary man. The Website Dating Phase.

  • Author: David Travelyan
  • Published: 2017-02-08 19:50:09
  • Words: 2493
The Alan Fallon Chronicles The Alan Fallon Chronicles