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NOT WITHOUT MY BOPPA – The Acid Test: an Interview at Horsted Place

February 24th, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Diary, International Media, Not without my Boppa, PEOPLE, Short Stories & Cameos

NOT WITHOUT MY BOPPA – The Acid Test: an Interview at Horsted Place

Horsted Place, Sussex

Horsted Place, Sussex

Daughter usually invited her potential hopefuls for an informal inspection by her father at the family home, some 50 miles south of London. But on this occasion she insisted that I viewed the young man, not at home, but at a nearby country hotel. The venue was Horsted Place, in Sussex, an elegant historic manor house, where, in its heyday, the young Queen Elizabeth II was entertained by the Neville family. Now this wonderful Victorian Tudor pile is a country hotel, favoured by Glyndebourne opera patrons. This immensely elegant place, with highly-trained chefs and waiters is offering an impeccable service. I agreed to meet the young hopeful at Horsted Place and asked him to tea.
Lamborghini Little that he knew that on the narrow country roads he had to allow from London a good two hours to negotiate 50 miles. To make things worse, during harvest time traffic formed long queues behind local farmer’s tractors and combine harvesters. Our guest might have made it quicker on a bike, or even on donkey, than in a Porsche. Understandably, by the time he arrived his engine (and himself) was overheated and he was puffing and huffing like a vintage steam engine. On seeing the father of his date being present, his spirit sank instantly, yet to start with he put on a brave face. He tried to impress me that he had a ‘responsible position in an attorney’s office in London’, but it was clear, from the outset, that he had a junior position and that he was attempting to make up a story.

Eventually, he lost the plot and he did what he knew best, to leer at my daughter – not in any discreet manner, I daresay, but

...he did what he knew to do best, namely to leer at my daughter – not in any discreet manner...

…he did what he knew to do best, namely to leer at my daughter – not in any discreet manner…

blatantly, scanning up and down her legs, as if she was a piece of meat on the rack of some exotic butcher’s shop. I found the manner outright unacceptable and inquired if he had:

– … any sister that might have boyfriends and what his attitude was towards them?

I found his answer conservative, yet at the opposite end of what he was doing in practice, that was looking at daughter’s legs persistently, as if she was HIS property…
Eventually, he could not hold back anymore and in a moment of ill-judged inspiration ventured to ask:

– Are you always present when your daughter meets a young man?

To me, this was a God-sent closing line, as I reassured him, in no uncertain terms:

– Not only am I always present when daughter has a date, but you have only five minutes left, before another young man is coming to be interviewed…

He gasped in disbelief… Daughter knew that there was trouble in the air, because she never, ever before, heard me react in this manner…

I got up, signalling that the interview was over, upon which he revved his engine and departed for another two-hours journey, on the small country lanes of rural England, mercifully, never to be seen again.

...he departed for another two-hours journey, on the small country lanes of rural England, mercifully, never to be seen again.

…he departed for another two-hours journey, on the small country lanes of rural England, mercifully, never to be seen again.

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