Long long ago, at the end of the Third Age (2003, to be exact), I was single. Now being single isn’t a bad thing, except for the boredom, the going-out-and-drinking-too-much and the lack of sex. Most men tell you that being single increases their sexual activity, but these men tend to be either liars or dicks. Here’s the truth, in an easy-to-remember form:
Short average single man = not a lot of shagging (Equation 1)
So every time H. was staying at his mum’s place, I would wander about town, covertly checking out the girls and having adventures. Well I tried to have adventures, but they never seemed to happen. You know, a chance meeting on a bus, a few words exchanged over the fruit in a supermarket, rescuing a girl from a fight or from the path of an onrushing train…I never could get it to work. Life’s just not that interesting.
So I decided to make some adventures and went to join a few organisations that would surely have shaggable girls in them. First stop was Médecins Sans Frontières (called Läkare Utan Gränser in Swedish, but the French name is so much more sexier). I tracked down their office, on a warm August evening, and went in to sign myself up.
I fixed a monthly donation, got the start package, and the badge, and the official condoms, and the cock ring (or at least that’s my memory, through a haze of lust). The pretty female I talked to thanked me for joining and on the spot I offered my services as a volunteer. Not a field volunteer but more to help with office stuff, writing, translating, web design, licking envelopes. She was enthusiastic and took my details down with great care (heh heh heh) and promised to contact me as soon as she could.
Did she? No. Here was a willing and able volunteer with specialised skills and a charity could not find anything for me to do. They still haven’t called, and I am still a member, 3 years later and counting.
Later that same week in 2003 I went to my local Amnesty office, a tiny four-man operation, and repeated the above procedure. They were very excited, and started telling me about how their web site needed work, and when their meetings were, and how much they needed help, and how kind and sexy I was, and I went home expecting a call at any time.
They didn’t call either. Never. And then I started to suspect this was something Swedish. Maybe they can’t handle the concept of people volunteering, or they can’t be bothered to sit down and find something for a new person to do. Or, most likely, all volunteers have to volunteer through a special process involving forms, databases and bribes, and just dropping in off the street will get you quickly added to the “lunatic” out-box.
I suspect it’s the last one—everything over here has to follow some rule, some magic method, and when an unexpected situation turns up, instead of being seen as a challenge it is usually ignored. The fear of getting something wrong and getting blamed for it far outweighs the thrill of trying something new. This has happened to me several times, in many different situations—at the bank, at restaurants, in the tax office and so on. If your situation is unusual, or your question tricky and unexpected, then you can be sure it will be swiftly and efficiently ignored.
So I never did get to shag a charity worker back in that long, hot summer, and went on in 2004 to discover Internet dating and meet two…ah, but that’s another story.