The Fall of Juan.

Continued from the previous post (below this one) in which I relate how I am having an affair…

It’s all over with Juan, my aging pool-boy Lothario. By Thursday it was clear that we were growing apart.

“We’re growing apart.” I said to him.

“Yes, ever since Thursday”, he agreed. “Was it my contention that most modern people are leading lives of quiet desperation?”

“No, I don’t believe that was it,” I said. “But your pie-charts and mathematical proofs on the subject were very convincing.”

“So… was it the time I showed you my champion giant-pumpkin medals from State Fairs 1979-1989? I knew I should have brought my 90’s portfolio – global warming really started to boost my poundages in the 90s.”

“No, your pumpkins are remarkable, Juan. And who’d have thought there was so much to learn about squash! No, I think, in the end, the thing that told me we could never be together was that evening under the stars, by the pool – the way you stabbed that passing pigeon with a toasting fork and a savagery in your eyes I have never before encountered. No, not even at fresher’s week in uni.”

“Didn’t you like it then, the pigeon?”

Oh Juan – he was delicious and, before we part forever, I must get the recipe for tha marinade and that 11-bean side-salad from you. But, Juan honey, it was really the bit before that when you held the pigeon’s still-beating heart aloft and cried out to the world that you were robbed of that part in the Crest Whitening Strip advert and that this is what would happen to the next visionless director who didn’t hire you.”

“Too dramatic?” said Juan, now slumped and crestfallen, even in a commercial sense.

“Not at all,” I murmered consolingly; after all, I’m not a hard-hearted housewife. “Dave just doesn’t like pigeon-blood in the swimming pool. He’d much rather see their heads impaled on the four letters of the weather vane as a warning to other pigeons that they perch round Casa Problemo at their peril.”

And so, without recrimination or rancour, we went our separate ways: Juan over the fence to Mrs. Mussolini’s swimming-pool (apparantly her filters are in a shocking state and Juan thinks he’s the man to clear them); I, back to the kitchen to rustle-up 11 more beans for a salad.

The ProblemHusband will miss Juan, I ruminated, as I donned my pinnie and checked my always flawless bouffant. He’s grown to really enjoy their discussions about Mrs. Thatcher. But how will he take to Philippe, the new sous-chef I engaged when it all went pigeon-shaped with Juan?

Philippe is much more Gallic and brooding than Juan and can be very temperamental when making sauces. We have decided to give each other a week’s trial of circling around the kitchen-island tossing our chins up contemptuously and saying “Phthoo! You French/Scotteesh kneuw neusseeng about mekking zee sauces!” If that goes well, we aim to start a torrid affair next week. (A trial period will also give him a chance to become familiar with my herb-cupboard and reduction techniques.)

I only hope that Juan never finds out that it was Philippe who finally got the part he coveted in the Crest Whitening Strips commercial. All service industry Californian males between the ages of 25 and 55 are Actors first and will fling aside their hose/spatula/personal-trainee at the first call of Hollywood, even if Hollywood got the wrong number.

They’re a hardy breed though, these seekers-of-fame, and are to be admired. They look upon repeated soul-crushing rejection and disappointment as an emotion they can use in their next walk-on part in The OC. Look carefully and you will see the background gas-station attendants and Dogwalker #s 2 and 3 in such shows, swooning and weeping all over the place. You have to love that. When life hands them lemons they make margaritas. (Although, it has to be said of some of these budding actors, when life hands them swine they will sometimes make ham.)

23 thoughts on “The Fall of Juan.”

  1. A propos of nothing, I did a reduction of red wine tonight for the roast pork. Not half bad. It probably would kick Phillipe’s ass.


  2. Randall, I told Philippe of your reduction and his Gallic pride could not bear to hear that it might kick his ass. “Tell zees Randall zat Ah challende ‘im to zee sauce-off! Egg wheesks at twentee paces!”

    Doccy M, in the pool, out of the pool. Our brief blinding love was so strong that it mattered little to each other where we were.

  3. Daphne, yes, and cruel. All that beating, battering and whipping of the eggs, fish and cream. Mother issues, I’ll be bound. ” No! No Philippe! I don’t mean tied-up bound – it’s a figure of speech, you French idiot!”
    (Smoothing apron) My Philippe, of course, is nothing like that. He is terribly thoughtful and is, as I type, devising a new cream-sauce for the Problem Husband when he returns from MN on Wednesday.

    Randall, I think in a certain kind of Las Vegas hotel, they leave condom-mints on the pillow.

  4. Wowie, I miss all the good stuff when I leave you kids unattended for a few weeks… oh, and I think it’s official — Sam, you’re my hero.

  5. Joe, Philippe and I shall never part. This evening, whilst caramelizing onions for a port wine reduction, we gazed at each other across the Jenn-Air and promised each other never to caramelize onions with anyone else, ever ever ever. And we pinky-swore it too. Then I batted him about the head for the Jenn-Air had set his eyebrows on fire.

    Lindy gal, welcome back. My superhero name is HorridMessCleanUpGirl as I have emerged from a weekend of multiple midnight sheet-changes and disinfectant. Poor wee ProblemChild # 2 has had a spot of rotavirus. She’s on the mend now, but I’ve qualified and got my supercape and everything. Wherever there’s a horrid mess to clean up I’ll be…erm…I’ll be…wroking somewhere towards a more glamorous super-cape. Something in a lovely yellow would be good.

    SafeT, shed no tears and breathe no sighs for Juan. It turns out he was a rotter all along and had been pilfering our pool chemicals to sell on Ojai’s Skid Row as injectible drugs. Some of these poor folks have been mainlining chlorine for weeks. It had little effect on such leathery constitutions except that it made them think of fish and toe-bandages and it’s turned the piddle-stains on their breeks a funny colour. It’s grown quite popular actually. We call them “pool-heads” or “trunkies”.

  6. “your pumpkins are remarkable, Juan.”
    I-snarf snarf- I really liked… tee-hee, oh dear, I liked that line a whole lot, a whole lot, you hear?

  7. Ooh! I love the comment about being in the pool and drifting apart. I fricken love reading your stuff. I laugh all night. :)

  8. fmc, oddly enough that’s the line the Problem Husband liked the best too.

    Dana, the author of the comment you liked is Dr. Maroon. He’s not posting as regularly as he used to these days but he pops up weekly and is well worth a read. You won’t be disappointed.

    Joel, you did indeed, but I am one of life’s fools and have to learn everything the hard way. Almost every time, I’m afraid.

  9. Mr. Nanas, it’s true, you never can tell with some of these act-ors. It’s not true, however, that you are just a simple gorilla.

    Juan may indeed have been wont to launch into Judy Garland songs and he did have the most fabulous toe-nail polish, but I preferred to think of him as a metrosexual. Actually, I think I would prefer to take a friend of Dorothy as a lover, rather than a metrosexual. There’s nothing more unseemly for a man to engage in than a bathroom tug-of-war over the Oil of Olay.

  10. I would have given him another shot. If only because “leading lives of quiet desperation” is one of my all time favorite expressions.

  11. Men, there’s always some teensy thing that annoys, isn’t there? That spoils the romance. Like clipping toenails on the carpet, or flinging dead pigeons in the pool. And Juan did sound a trifle cerebral for fling material. Can’t you find a nice simple type to have a fling with? Alas, I fear George W Bush isn’t on the market for extramarital sex at present, but someone similiar maybe? Just a thought.

  12. Sam I’m worried about the atmosphere that must be permeating your abode – what with the 9 bean salads – never mind the thwarted lovers.
    And what position is Joeinvegas talking about? Is it one I don’t know?

  13. I would never pry but I do have it on good authority that Phillipe once practiced his culinary prowess at the local Carl’s Jr. And, worse yet, he wore a hair net. Sorry PCB…I hope this doesn’t rock your world.

  14. Oh, Mom101, I did give him another shot but he swiped the whole bottle.

    SafeT What do you know of the chlorine. Another demon eh, old buddy?

    Emma, a Count! Blimey! I hear Vienna does a very good line in counts these days.

    Pat, you can probably find that position on the internet somewhere. Ivan would be the man to ask, I think/fear.

    Joel, nothing surprises the world-weary, my friend. But you know, in the right light, a hairnet…

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