One woman's week, with Karen Fenessey

It was my birthday last week and my new boyfriend came over with a very special gift.

“Happy birthday, babe” he said as he strolled in. The recently divorced 49 year-old father of two was six feet three inches tall with a distinctive tattoo of a burger on his forearm. He carried a gift bag which was larger than a toddler but smaller than a car, so naturally I was thrilled. I tore it open and froze. It was a harpoon.

“It’s for whaling!” he announced, all pleased with himself. Did this man know nothing about me? Sure, I enjoy the thrill of the hunt – when you’ve been hurt in the past, you toughen up. But if he’d paid any attention to my pillow talk, or taken a moment to investigate the contents of my car boot during our weekly Waitrose trip, he’d know I already have an arsenal of weapons for all those times I think I can see a whale.

It’s a lonely existence on the front line, but don’t feel sorry for me: I’m a strong woman who easily outmanoeuvres anything nature throws her way, just like Anne Frank. I tossed it away sobbing ‘you’re just like all the other men!’.  He went on the defensive, saying I was an ungrateful brat and he was going to take it back to the shop. He added that my breasts looked like the berserk ginger eyes of a fifteen foot Viking which unblinkingly glared at him when he was trying to watch the Bake Off.  What the hell was he getting at? This is exactly what I hate about poet types, they’re always so cryptic.

Anyway, his words bounced off me like bullets because I’ve been told this by countless men.  And – sorry to disappoint you, boys – but every time you say it, you just make me stronger. Not many people realise, but I am almost catastrophically mentally damaged so any man I let into my life should count himself very lucky indeed.

He looked deeply into my big, sad brown eyes. “From the very first moment I saw you,” he said calmly, “I never felt such emotion.”

He took my hand and continued, “I’m walking on air, just to know…” then he trailed off.   

“Just to know?” I prompted.

“You are there,” he said. We both burst into tears and entered a passionate embrace. He sees now that I’m an intelligent, good-natured and hardworking person – an asset to any team. He bit his lip and poured out his heart. “You’re so intelligent but also somehow so good-natured and hardworking.” He didn’t need to say the team part as we had reached a level of understanding most couples can only dream of.

“I knew then, he might be the one…” I murmured.  

The phone rang. “My God!” he exclaimed as he hung up. “Your unsuccessful sister, Elaine, has been kidnapped by Zolo in Cartagena, Columbia.” I was gobsmacked! It looked like the inexpensive harpoon would come in handy after all. Why does he have to be so good?


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Your astrological week ahead, with Psychic Bob

Libra (23 SEP-23 OCT)
They say that ‘comedy is tragedy plus distance’ so why did nobody laugh when you prodded that grieving widow with a blackboard ruler?

Scorpio (24 OCT-21 NOV)
Remember when everyone compared themselves to characters from Friends? Right now your life would be an episode called ‘The One Where You Go An Entire Week Without Talking To Anybody Except The Guy Who Runs The Off License’.

Sagittarius (22 NOV-21 DEC)
This week, why not tell everyone you’re going to clamp down on energy companies at a big important meeting before closing the door to your office, having a bit of a cry, slowly unbuttoning your trousers and telling your secretary that they can come in when they’re ready?

Capricorn (22 DEC-19 JAN)
As a Capricorn, you will have an overpowering urge this week to buy a reasonably-priced book chock full of hilarious spoof news stories as a Christmas present for all your friends and family. No, not the Private Eye one, you fucking arseholes.

Aquarius (20 JAN-19 FEB)
I imagine your group of anti-capitalist, smash-the-system protestors will be telling the cathedral’s chancellor how organised religion is just a misogynist bunch of paedophiles any day now, yes? Or has access to a rather spiffing camp site changed all that?

Pisces (20 FEB-20 MAR)
After paying twelve bastard quid for a comedy based on a credit card advert, you look forward to your next trip to the pictures, maybe to watch a three-hour psychodrama based on the webuyanycar adverts.

Aries (21 MAR-19 APR)
Following a lifetime watching soap operas, you’re disappointed this week when your wedding goes through without a hitch and you realise you’re just going to sort of carry on being married for the foreseeable future.

Taurus (20 APRIL – 20 MAY)
Online shopping is a great invention – in the old days you had to physically post a gift voucher to send a not-arsed gift to somebody but now you can increase your level of not-arsedness by just emailing it to them.

Gemini (21 MAY-20 JUN)
Work’s been getting you down recently – nobody asks a Samaritan how their day was, do they? Selfish twats.

Cancer (21 JUN-22 JUL)
You got ninety-nine problems but a bitch ain’t one. However, number 39 is ‘a bellend shaped like Danny DeVito’, so it’s not all plain sailing.

Leo (23 JUL-22 AUG)
Visualise your goals. Grasp the achievable. Be 100% you, 100% of the time. If you think you can’t, you can’t. Act like a winner and you will be a winner. But for now, can you at least put some fucking trousers on?

Virgo (23 AUG-22 SEP)
You describe your poetry to your writing group as ‘stream of consciousness’ but in truth it’s the kind of stream you’d find slowly oozing away from a Ukrainian battery factory.