It was the start of another year Down Under and with it, yet another new job. Not that I was complaining, the funds were low and more importantly, the cellar was dry. Wayne was to be my trainer for the next month. The plaque at his desk was emblazoned with “Best supporting actress.” He had apparently won that esteemed award at the Christmas office awards. He was a friendly guy. Now, I’m not being big headed or anything but I reckon he was attracted to me big style.
The sly looks at me from behind his pink-laden desk and his excuses to come over and engage me in a conversation about my plans for the weekend on the Monday were two of his more subtle approaches. I took it like a man as he was good for the coffee run and extra smoke breaks. The gas thing is I don’t even smoke!! Each weekend I would come in and tell him an elaborate tale of illicit misdemeanour involving a lucky lady but my attempts to highlight my obvious masculinity only seemed to make him more interested in the fascination that is Paul.
I was nearly a month into the job and the “training” was coming to a grinding halt. In fairness, he was brutal at his job. He let me at it after lashing through one claim while allowing me to watch. Hardly, a man who takes great pride in feeding the next generation of hungry insurance claim technicians? I was lucky that most of the claims I was to be processing were fairly similar i.e. cars hitting kangaroos.
Getting through the screens seemed to be the qualities required for this job. Luckily for me, I’m a past master at defying screen after screen, a by-product of my computer playing days. While getting through another screen, my inbox lit up. Well not so much an email but a couple of menus Wayne had invented. Being a backpacker, he had done his homework and knew that the way to ensnare me was through my stomach!
I was tempted but I turned down his kind invitation to join him in his pad for a lavish banquet. Not being one to take no for an answer, he played what I refer to as the “persistent card.” He accused me of being homophobic and cut back my smoking privileges. Being the proud man of all seasons that I was, I finally relinquished and agreed to go along to his pad for a soiree as it were. Sure, it wasn’t like he was going to hop on me or anything?!
Straight after work on Friday, he drove me up to his humble abode and gave me the guided tour. Amongst the “highlights” of the tour were an immense DVD collection, a beautifully cultivated patio and picture frame images of gay icons. Fantastic!! He then hands me the biggest wine glass ever seen in the world and decants half a bottle of fine wine into it. I’m thinking all the time, “What is he up to and what the hell am I doing here?” I manage to push all these thoughts to the back of my mind as I tuck into a well tasty cut of beef.
After finishing the tastiest meal I have had since I don’t know when, Wayne invites me to choose a DVD for viewing from his proud collection. I pick “Blow.” I just like the film, it wasn’t like I was trying to be suggestive and all!! I hadn’t been converted yet?! Had I?! So, anyway, I sat on the couch facing the TV while he lay out on the other couch against the wall. As the credits go up on the screen, Wayne hits the lights without warning. I’m thinking this isn’t in the script!!
A pair of disco balls appear over my head and the multi-coloured light emitted by them bounces all over the room. Tis pretty impressive, can see this guy being a major player on the gay circuit. He’s not getting on my “circuit” though!! At this point, I knocks the light back on and while he casually proceeds to produce a CD. This is where it all gets a bit ropey!!
The CD is like the sound of running water that has a very soothing effect on the listener. He’s obviously brought out the big guns in a final attempt to tempt me to the dark side! In a bizarre, well more scary as hell, twist, he seats himself on the carpet using the bottom of my couch as a back support. At this point, everything appears to happen in slow time. He rests his fingers on the back of my heel and starts drumming away. Rather than jumping up, screaming and fleeing the violation zone, my rational side kicks in.
I had cut a deal with my knee that if he decided to move his fingers over knee level, I’m calling it a night. Had also agreed to sleep over in his spare room in my wisdom. I was determined to show him that I was the least homophobic man from this side of the Equator. I showed him alright?! Sure enough, he starts to inch his thin, clammy fingers up the back of my leg. Fear and trepidation are put on hold. I have taken myself away to an island were dusky maidens are on hand to satisfy my every whim.
Boom!! His index finger has grazed the back of my knee. I throw back the remainder of my drink and stand up in one fluid motion. I thank him for the “enlightening” evening and make my way towards the spare bedroom before he has time to adapt his game plan. I slip into the bed and manage to make it through the night without anymore fingering!! I genuinely think he respects the fact that despite all his best moves coming at me, he hasn’t been able to sway me from my allegiance to the female form.
I wake up in the morning to find him making breakfast with his pigeon chest on display. Tis a sad, fleeting attempt to seduce me but I’m not biting literally. I eat my breakfast in relative peace as he accepts that his “chances” with Paul have gone down the proverbial swanny. Before he drops me off in town, he leaves me with the parting shot, “You’ll have to come back for dessert.” I’m thinking, “What kind of mentalist are you?” Work was “interesting” after that……….