Of course, when one is caught in broad daylight trying to dislodge one’s underwear, one’s cheeks turn crimson. As to the cheeks I am referring to, being a lady with property in Mayfair, I leave it to the imagination of my readers to determine.
I do not have anything against Montrealers. It is simply that I particularly dislike this one. And I am very careful in my choice of words. “Dislike” is the “most juice”, as I believe it is said in the better parts of Paris. (Ypres may need to correct me on that one). Michael Beaconsfield-Outremont was one fashion faux pas away from being immortalised as one of the people I loathe.
Indeed, although I have never been to the French-Canadian metropolis, the fact that Uncle Edward’s nemesis in the umbrella insurance business has his HQ there has generally endeared the city to me.
Nevertheless, when Beaconsfield-Outremont presented himself out of context, wearing the same belt I had carefully chosen, I was unsettled. Like seeing a nun wearing pink high heels. In a flash, I regained my composure.
“Beaconsfield-Outremont, of Westmount, Montreal, what a pleasure to see you again,” I said like a Russian Archduchess on the eve of the Bolshevik revolution. “Have you retreated to New York in defeat after having witnessed me shine in my Lexington Redcoat red summer short shorts?”
Here, I pause for a moment to offer a clarification. Loyal Vasanistas, unless the victims of a forceful concussion, will remember the details of my first meeting with Beaconsfield-Outremont. For them, there will be no need to repeat myself. If you self-categories as such, please feel free to skip ahead. Or better yet, put the kettle on while I recount the circumstances of our meeting for the novice reader. When I say novice reader, I mean as it applies to the series, not to reading in general. I am sure all my readers are literate. At minimum at a primary school level.
I met Michael Beaconsfield-Outremont at the Serpentine in Hyde Park. A water balloon squabble happened to be taking place. I thought it the perfect occasion to debut my Lexington Redcoat red summer short shorts. Evidently, the same thought occurred to the Montrealer, who, despite having hairy muscular thighs, wore the same pair of shorts I had on. (Needless to say, I wore them best). Ypres solved the issue by activating her little grey cells and getting the Canadian to wipe his strawberry stained hands all over his outfit. Unfit to showcase the shorts, he retreated in shame to the Tube. I was left victorious, but in that special British way that pairs victory with sportsmanlike magnanimity.
“The pleasure is mine, Vasa, of Mayfair, London. Are you asking about the shorts because I am wearing this belt with such dapper sensitivity? By the way, where is your aquatic looking friend? The one who threw a water balloon in your face?”
“I will have you know that Ypres threw that water balloon out of a sense of duty to me. She is very devoted. When that water balloon hit me, I greeted it with aplomb. You still have not answered my original question.”
“You have not answered my two, and they are more relevant.” He smiled, flashing the grin he had shown earlier.
As much as I dislike Beaconsfield-Outremont’s odd talent for wearing items of clothing which I choose to wear, on the day and at the time I choose to wear them, the Commonwealth connection that bound us left me unable to forcefully dismiss him.
“Well, sir, as you refuse to answer my questions, I must bid you good day. I have important business to attend.”
“Yes, I saw. It took you quite awhile to rearrange yourself.”
I was in the process of storming off, while giving him a Churchillian stare of resolve, when I bumped into a man.
The man I bumped into, or bumpee, as it were, apologised. I reciprocated. Here, I thought, was a gentleman. I turned to Beaconsfield-Outremont to say as such.
“You see, Beaconsfield-Outremont, this man is a gentleman. I hope you have a small notebook and pen to take notes.”
“As a matter a fact, I do, Vasa. A small notebook and pen I bought at Mont Blanc. At the same time as I bought this belt, actually.”
The bumpee jumped in. “That’s a very nice belt.”
I had to correct the record. “You mean the belt I am wearing.”
The man gave me a look. “Yes. Is it the same?”
“That very much depends on your definition of the word ‘same’, sir”, the two-named Montrealer replied.
“Nonsense!” I declared, in a manner reminiscent of Washington crossing the Delaware. I resumed my Churchillian stare of resolve.
The man gently cleared his throat. “You would not happen to be Vanessa E. Vasa, would you?”
I was flattered that he knew my name. “As a matter a fact, I am. Are you a fan? I do not want to boast, it would be foreign to my nature as a Briton, but I do have a number of fans.”
“No,” the man said introducing himself, “I am Pietro Ducale. I work at UNDO. I am your new supervisor. Your physical presence matches the style of your cover letter very neatly. It was written with such, shall I say, panache. Hence, it was easy to recognise you.”
“Charmed, I am sure, Mr. Ducale,” I replied. Although I was disappointed Pietro Ducale was not a fan, I was eager to get on with my day.
“Shall we go to the office, Mr. Ducale. I will let you lead the way,” I said as I elegantly motioned towards the elevator banks.
“One moment. We also need to collect one more person.”
“An executive in a three-piece suit?” I ventured.
“No. A Mr. Michael Beaconsfield-Outremont.”
The grin that had been wiped off the Montrealer’s face returned with added emphasis.
Vasa and Ypres’s first full-length adventure, Vasa and Ypres: A Mayfair Conundrum, is available on Amazon. If you enjoy Vasa and Ypres, please share on social media. Vasa and Ypres is on Twitter. You can also join over 1255 WordPress followers. Should you be desperate to part with your money, and, in the process, fund Uncle Edward’s Vasa Assurances, a donation button is available on the homepage. Donations will help keep the Vasa and Ypres project going.