Mona ordered angels on horseback i.e. grilled bacon-wrapped oysters drizzled with fresh lemon juice, served on toast, with hollandaise sauce on the side. Angelica decided upon Italian chicken with mushroom and spinach risotto. Mona shifted a little in her chair. I’m always a little bit itchy when I’ve had a shave downstairs, she said. You should use a balm, said Angelica, as she summoned a waiter. I can really recommend ‘Softly Private’, it’s especially formulated for our most tender areas, she continued. I don’t like this, she said to the waiter, who had arrived while she was speaking, and who had made a mental note to check out ‘Softly Private’ for himself. Take it back and bring me something that’s edible, said Angelica. Okey-dokey, said the waiter, and scuttled off to the kitchens, scratching himself down below as he went. I have an itch that really needs scratching, said Mona. Speaking of which, said Angelica, how’s Sebastian? Mona sighed the softest of soft sighs. Oh, Sebastian. I think I’m going to have to let him go. The waiter returned and placed a dish in front of Angelica. What’s this? she asked. It looks like sausages. Is  it sausages? It’s bangers and mash, said the waiter. Oh, jolly-jols, and yummo, said Angelica. Cheers! And she tucked in with gusto. Speaking with her mouth full she said, Let him go? Why so? Well, said Mona, there are itches and there are irritations. Sebastian’s  both.


Conrad Titmuss





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