‘Looking for love?’ said a junk-mail invitation to join an online dating site free of charge. They’d hit the nail on the head. I signed up and followed the step-by-step instructions to compiling and posting my profile. First I had to describe myself in at least 28 words. Then I had to tick boxes about whether I eat meat, or smoke, or want children and so on. Finally I had to display a photograph of myself.
I have few downloadable digital photographs of myself and resorted to a snap of me taken on holiday in Guyana. I’m stepping out across the savannah at first light on the trail of a giant anteater. My luggage hadn’t turned up at the airport, and I’m wearing a yellow flat cap with ‘I love Guyana’ embroidered across the top; a shirt comprised of the red, yellow and green triangles of the Guyana national flag; and a painfully tight pair of swimming shorts; all of the above hurriedly bought in a department store in Georgetown. The username I chose for my profile was ‘the Thurrock Mangler’.
Amazingly I had a nibble almost immediately.
Queen Tracy left a message in my inbox saying that she thought I looked very smart and quite handsome. She had also registered herself as one of my fans. In a fever of excitement I went to her profile and looked at her photograph. It was a head and shoulders shot. A mass of blonde hair, big blue eyes, tanned skin, and drop-dead gorgeous. I couldn’t believe my luck.
In her profile, Queen Tracy described herself as ‘warm’, ‘tactile’ and ‘sexy’. She was looking for anything from a quick fling to matrimony. To describe her occupation, she had ticked the box next to Arts/Creative/ Writing.