Love Boat

Love Boat.
I remember a good friend who thought he would join one of those introduction schemes in order to meet a nice and good woman. This was many years ago when meeting someone was still done in real life. Today this is done by the push of a mouse or keyboard in solitary confinement in front of a screen. Women advertise on line in various modes of (un)dress and men inside various vehicles or even behind maritime vessel’s steering wheels. I have yet to see a man in those romantic love advertisements photographed behind a book or hewing away at a piece of marble, or playing outdoor chess. Art is out and rugged maleness is in.

Even so, there seems to be an almost insatiable need for couples still to meet. If you go to ‘face book’ (please note I don’t abbreviate it into FB and I hate the assumption of so many IT people abbreviating everything in a couple of letters) one can’t escape numerously languid looking females enticing the FB fan to meet up.

One advertisement stated Natasha wants ‘B Bs only.
Well, I am more of a T S E boy, so, Natasha can cut me out.
The ads are overwhelmingly by girls with breasts generously splayed over the edges and males splaying over their steering wheels of expensive cars or leaning casually against a yacht.

Anyway, all those many years ago, this good friend of mine, his name was Otto, did the right thing and joined a group of similar minded people wanting to meet others through this introduction agency. A ferry was hired and all would get aboard and each would bring food and drinks. I wasn’t there, but I suppose even before boarding, people would have already been coyly scanning each other on the quay side. There is always so much hope invested in meeting the right one, isn’t it?

Otto told me he had bought a small piece of raw steak and a large bottle of Fanta orange drink. He wasn’t fond of alcohol. I thought he could have packed something a bit more romantic for on the ferry, but that was Otto. He was deadly honest in dealing with people which often came out either hilariously funny or somewhat clumsy. Otto was a good man, and as stated before, he wanted a good woman.

I was curious how it all went. Oh, he said,” it was terribly boring and the worst was I could not get off the bloody ferry.” Yes, but did you meet any nice ladies, I asked? Oh, not too many. I went and offered bits of my steak around, but no one wanted any. They were all eating cubes of cheese and gherkins with ham around it and sipping Cold Duck Champagne. One man had brought a complete chicken in a basket with bread-rolls. No one brought steaks! The chicken in the basket man, ended up with a nice lady and towards the end they were kissing.

Otto remained a bachelor his whole life. He did never seem to meet a ‘nice’ partner, someone who could see past his rather practical and utterly unromantic demeanor. I suppose we all dream of the unattainable, the sexiest, the utterly devastatingly masculine, the supine languidly feminine, the ultimate Eve and apple giver. I reckon, personally, the long lasting relationships are those made in the kitchen of ‘give and take’ with the mortar and pestle of love, grinding it all together into a most delicious and enduring everlasting paste of togetherness. Eternally cooing pigeons springs to mind but that is perhaps overstating it a bit… The readers on this blog are not into purple prose.

The ones wanting the unobtainable and unattainable love potions prove themselves right each time, hence the incursion and flooding of all those ‘meet the right partner’ ads on FB and so many other IT pages.
What do you think?
B B= Big Boys
T S E= Thomas S Eliot


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18 Responses to “Love Boat”

  1. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Another that made me laugh. How you think up these posts is beyond me. All are so original with marvelous language skills. I bet if Otto had flashed some money around he’d have gotten off that boat with several women attached to his body.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      They are all into memory lane. Otto was unique, he never regretted not having found the right one. Perhaps his bachelorship never impinged on his happiness. He always focused on others and wasn’t much into himself. He was always good at laughing at himself as well.


  2. Lottie Nevin Says:

    Oh dear, poor Otto. I have to admit that Fanta is not the way to my heart either. Actually that bright orange fizzy drink sounded the death knoll of my first marriage come to think of it.

    My grumpy husband got back late from work the evening of our first wedding anniversary (to my mind a significant and special occasion and an evening that I had been anticipating for some weeks) and when I asked playfully, (assuming that we might be doing something by way of a treat to mark the occasion he said ‘Oh, so you haven’t made any dinner?’ After a few tears and no doubt a tantrum thrown in for good measure he finally agreed to take me out but only on the condition that we went to a place that accepted the luncheon vouchers that he’d saved from work. A pint of Fanta and a small margharita pizza from Pizzaland was how the day ended. After Otto’s and my bad experience with the beverage, I truly think that Fanta is cursed.

    30 years down the line and 2 further marriages I’m finally with the right man and just in case you were wondering, no, we never drink Fanta but we have been known to pop the odd bottle of fizz 😉

    Lovely post Gerard, thank you for making me smile!


    • roughseasinthemed Says:

      Lottie that was a post in itself. Perhaps you should write it and call it ‘Fanta – stic’ ? (Groan)


      • Lottie Nevin Says:

        hahaha!! – regarding the -stic part, I did actually stick with one for 18 years but I never went to Pizzaland again and I’ve never drunk Fanta since 😉


      • roughseasinthemed Says:

        I have to show off. For my first wed ann, which I think is paper yes? I got a full set of tyres for my car. What more could a woman want? Shed load of dosh compared with pizza and fanta.

        For our 25th three years ago we ended up at an Indian. We’d not planned on going out but after a lovely morning around Gib, suddenly cooking lost its appetite.

        We went somewhere where they knew us, reminded us we could always take the dog (and this is inside, mind) and it wasn’t expensive. Brilliant!


      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Otto would be impressed by the full set of tyres. He would probably look you in the eye and ask “how many cylinders?”
        Was it Oscar Wilde who said ‘happiness is finding two olives in your martini when you’re hungry?’


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Glad the post made you smile. Otto would be happy too. Yes, he never made it into the joys of conjugal bliss but also escaped some of the marital whip-lass that so many also go through.
      H and I have been together and blessed with so many good years, it surprises both of us, leaving us gob-smacked.


  3. Andrew Says:

    I am afraid I always confuse Fanta, Tango and Lucozade. Perhaps that was Otto’s problem I am sure if he had painted himself orange and run around in nothing but a pair of shorts shouting “You’ve been Tango’d” he would have met the woman of his dreams. Lucozade was my grandmother’s favourite drink and I find it mildly bemusing that it is now the drink of athletes (allegedly). Raw steak reminds me of Gerard’s encounter with steak tartare – how can a woman resist such an offering? Maybe the problem was his name. If he had called himself George as in Looney or Robert as in Redford or even Sylvester as in the cat…… but I struggle to think of what Otto might conjure up in a girl’s mind. There is actually a wikipedia page of famous Ottos. I recognise a few but mostly they are either Otto of xxxx (fill in country / state) or Holy Roman Emperors. I think he should have changed his name to Fritz or Hans. Lottie, you have unrealistic expectations of a man. What is wrong with Luncheon Vouchers? Now I accept a pint of Fanta is probably a little mean. A quart maybe for special occasions. And the pizza could have had more toppings. But hey, it was only number one. If you had hung in there you might have done better on your second anniversary. Do you think Gerard and I could set up an advisory service for lonely hearts?


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Otto did regret his name and even accused his parents of having chosen that name. He was of mixed genetic (Dutch-Indonesian) background and only spent a few years in Holland before he migrated to Australia.
      He worked on the Snowy Mountains scheme and in mines. Yes, I often thought of setting up an advisory agency. There is a very good one in Sydney. Thing is that the lady who runs it never ever found another ‘good one’. Perhaps for some ‘a good one’ is and remains elusive, forever…


  4. auntyuta Says:

    Gerard, I very much love your post and all the comments your blogger friends have made so far. Brilliant! 🙂


  5. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Hilariously funny Gerard. My first anniversary was back 66 years, so I really don’t remember if he even remembered it. He might have just gone out with “the boys” at that time. But I can tell you Otto really did go about it in the wrong way. But I did get a lipstick for one birthday! However, at some point, birthdays and anniversaries became somewhat more important, and have included great trips, sometimes just with me and my daughters! So the tradeoff is pretty good. Too bad Otto gave up trying, he might have learned something from his “maiden” voyage about wooing one of these voluptuous beauties. Even if it was just that we don’t like bits of steak and Fanta to wash it down.


  6. gerard oosterman Says:


    Yes, we are fortunate and 66 years ago, you must have found a good one too. Our friends remind us now when the wedding anniversary comes around. It wasn’t an easy task then. Finland was particular and I remember my mother in Australia running around getting al sorts of paperwork done including an extract from the Police finger-print department in Sydney.
    It took a long time. We finally, after many months getting the paper work over, that we got the ‘go ahead’ that we married in an office and then retreated to a snow covered cottage on the side of a frozen lake and spent a winter of -30C – being the norm. Boy (and girl), did we keep warm.
    Here is that cottage;


  7. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    Entertaining post and thank you for the translation at the end!


  8. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Hope the eye surgery came out well. I watched (and listened) to the wonderful film clip again. What a beautiful land. Perhaps a little harsh in some areas but very beautiful. We visited Helsinki a few years ago and thought it so pretty it gave us incentive top travel further afield, which probably won’t happen, but I’m happy we were at least there.


  9. Patti Kuche Says:

    What you do for research!!! And thank you Gerard for clearing that up about the BB’s. What a GSOH, LOL! (Please know how much that last sentence hurt to write . . . )


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