Short story 17

Bernie met Dick at one of George’s dinner parties. He appeared as a revelation to Bernie. “How does he get such a beautiful girlfriend?” he said, staying on after the dinner, “Let’s face it, he’s fat and has what can’t be called a handsome face.”

Bernie felt the unfairness of it. He was fat, and automatically assumed that women would not be interested in him.

“It’s all a matter of self confidence.” explained George, “Women like confidence.”

“I suppose it must also be because he’s clever.”

“But you’re clever too. He knows nothing about cars, whereas you are a great engineer.”

“That doesn’t count.”

“Of course it does.”

“He’s been to university.”

“You know just as much as he does about literature and art, and politics, without going to university. That’s much more commendable.”


“Look at your assets. You’re confident with me.”

“That’s different. You’re not a woman.”

“Women are human beings. They suffer from at least as many insecurities as you. Treat them as equals, not as mystical beings and you’d be surprised what a difference that makes. Approach them with confidence, as someone dealing with personal problems like they have to, and you’d be surprised what a difference that would make. Show them that you can handle life, and they will warm to you.”


It was a month later when Bernie was stopped by the police for speeding. The policeman was surprised that such a sit-up-and –beg car could do 75mph, however the law was the law.

“Watch this,” said Bernie to Katie, the young lady in the passenger’s seat he had recently met in The Witches Cauldron. “Don’t say anything.”

“I’m sorry officer. This young lady here beside me has just accepted my proposal of marriage, and I got carried away.”

“Oh well. I suppose that doesn’t happen every day. I’ll make an exception this time. Regard my letting you off as a wedding present, but don’t let it happen again.  Good luck.”


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Thank you, Keith Beal