My posts during April form part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. My theme this year is Jazz and I've selected a variety of classics from across the board. I've mixed up the performers a bit though ...
"Noooooooo. Really? Is this what you meant? I am so dying of embarressment!"
Lena was babbling. She knew she was babbling, but truly this was one of those times when it was not only OK to babble, but truly - hideously - appropriate. Paul was still laughing. Not quite the huge guffaws he'd been unable to hold in before, now he was doing the alternating straight face with falling about thing. If she'd been trying to get him laughing, she'd have been in heaven. But that hadn't been the plan ...
Paul, was one of those lovely posh blokes. Not floppy haired like Hugh Grant, but kinda of that school. They'd met at Lena's new job. A job she really liked, despite finding it difficult to get to grips with the humour. She was used to the down-to-earth humour of her south London lot, but this lot were all dead posh.
Still, it seemed they liked her, Paul especially. So when he told her that Paper Moons were one of his favourite things and asked her to bring him one, she took her mates' advice. Having fulfilled his request, she found an inter-office memo on her desk inviting her to a private picnic in the garden of one of those posh London squares. Assuming it was all all office memo, she'd gone for a funky rather than sexy look and grabbed a bottle on her way there.
As she walked up, she could see a gorgeous warm glow coming from the gardens and the sound of soft - jazz was it - being played. But there was no chatter. "Quelle horreur! Had she broken some unknown rule and arrived too early?" But no, there was Paul at the gate, smiling and saying "perfect timing, come on in."
As she walked through the trees, she could see there were blankets and cushions scattered over the grass, a bucket of ice with some fizz nestling in it, two glasses and a little selection of nibbly things to eat. "Oh" was all that she could manage and sat down. Paul busied himself with the popping the the cork, so Lena took a look around. The glow she'd seen was coming from lots and lots of those paper chinese lanters, hung from branches of trees, on strings strung between trees, on any and everything possible really.
Handing her the glass Paul gave a toast to "Paper Moons ... my favourite things" as his free hand swept around indicating the chinese lanterns. And then went into his back pocket from where he pulled out what she'd left on his desk the day before "and this." Lena tried to grab it from him but "no, I'm keeping this as evidence. So when I tell the story of how you asked me out to our children and our grand-children, you won't be able to pretend it didn't happen. I'm wondering whether to include it in my speech at our wedding too. What do you think?"
Lena started to laugh. It was funny. Really it was. He'd wanted another lantern for his collection and she'd given him a photocopy of her arse. Classy Lena, dead classy!
© 2017 Debra Carey
I'd originally selected a version by Nat King Cole and the Quincy Jones Big Band. But when I came to write the story, they seemed a bit too proper for a story about Xeroxed bottoms, so I went for a bit of Frankie and the Rat Pack. I can just see Sammy Davis Jr throwing his head back and laughing at it!
A true jazz standard written in 1933, it somehow ended up as an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Also the title of a Peter Bogdanovich film starring Ryan and Tatum O'Neal, which won the younger O'Neal an Academy Award.
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