During the 80's, I was partnering in a finance company, stationed right in the beating heart of St George's Terrace, Perth. Lunchtime was a haven amidst the daily grind, and I had my ritual of trying out diverse eateries around the place.
One fine day, my business partner, Alan McKenzie, took me to this small café on Murray Street. The café itself was nothing to write home about, but there was this waitress, and boy, was she a bombshell! I mean, she was the real deal, the kind of girl who walks into a room and suddenly, you forget how to breathe. Needless to say, I was hooked, line and sinker. So, I went back another day, this time alone, hoping to get another glimpse of this enchanting creature. Luck was on my side - she was there, and gathering my courage, I asked her out. Much to my delight, she agreed.
Now, you've got to understand that this girl, as gorgeous as she was, was a bit rough around the edges. Her origins were humble, her language was far from refined, but oh, did she have looks that could kill! So, when it came to planning our date, I was a little wary. The last thing I wanted was to stand out in a crowd at one of my favourite posh spots like the River Room at the Sheraton, or The Garden Restaurant at the Hilton. I was a bit concerned that her colloquial chatter might raise eyebrows. So, under the guise of it being an intimate and romantic setting, I proposed a picnic by the river one evening. Sounds romantic, right?
Fast forward to the day of the date. I packed some scrumptious picnic treats, picked her up in the Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, and off we went to the tranquil banks of the Maylands Peninsula, near the police training academy. It was a beautiful evening, warm and inviting, just perfect for some romance. As we settled on the checkered woollen blanket, sharing food, champagne, laughter, and sparking the initial flames of passion, little did we know of the wet and wild adventure that was about to unfold.
Things were escalating, the air was thick with desire, and there we were, getting lost in each other amidst the serene beauty on the banks of the Swan river. But then, the serenity of the night was punctured by the unexpected sputter of a machine springing to life. It began as a subtle hiss, like a slowly deflating balloon, escalating into a rhythmic chorus of chattering clicks as the sprinkler heads emerged from their daytime slumber.
Then came the signature sound - a forceful swoosh, intermingled with the crisp pitter-patter of a thousand droplets of water being flung into the air, transforming the once tranquil setting into a sudden, unexpected storm, turning our hot date into a very different kind of steamy encounter.
The timing could not have been worse, both caught in the throes of passion, teetering on the precipice of an intense shared climax. Panicked and, quite frankly, a bit deflated, I sprang up, hastily gathered our things, and took off towards the car, leaving my date behind to fend for herself. I'd assumed she was right behind me, but when I glanced back, I saw her about 50 metres behind, struggling to keep pace with her pants still around her ankles. I couldn't help but chuckle at the sight, even though I felt a bit guilty. By the time she made it to the car, drenched and looking far from impressed, the mood had taken a 180-degree turn.
The ride home was quiet. The incident had left us both a bit shaken and, needless to say, we didn't see each other after that. Looking back, I'm not exactly proud of how I reacted. I was a bit of a jerk, leaving her to deal with the sprinkler situation on her own. It's one of those life lessons that teaches you about respect and consideration for others.
Despite the embarrassing end, that evening has been etched into my memory for its absurdity, passion, and the lesson I learned. In retrospect, I was immature and thoughtless, leaving her behind while I saved my skin. The incident, while amusing in hindsight, is a stark reminder of the importance of empathy and consideration, traits that I lacked back then but have since come to value.
Every once in a while, I think back to that night on the Maylands Peninsula. Each memory is accompanied by a twinge of embarrassment, a lot of laughter, and a warm feeling of nostalgia. That picnic date gone wrong was just one in a series of life's amusing anecdotes, each one a chapter in the novel of my life. And while some stories are embarrassing, some are joyous, and some are sad, each one has played a part in shaping the man I am today.
And as for the bombshell from the café, well, wherever she is, I hope she's found her happiness, and if she ever thinks back to that night, I hope it brings a smile to her face, just as it does to mine.