GRAND OLD OPREY MEETS REALITY TV by Lesley Finnie
It mattered not whether luck or her talents had decreed she be first to arrive, Lindy knew how to exploit her advantage to the max. Understanding the position of each TV camera she squealed with delight on entering, closed the door dramatically, then treated viewers to a brief, heart-wrenching glimpse of her ‘little girl lost’ look.
Pirouetting round the room, making glamorous use of the mirrors, she was coyly suggestive in her choice of bed while ‘unconsciously’ humming a selection from her hit album. The musical performance that accompanied her transfer of underwear from bag to drawer, each frilly item finding itself in need of conspicuous shaking and smoothing, was cut short by the arrival of a second person.
Charles stood in the doorway as the warmth faltered momentarily in Lindy’s welcoming smile but, like the trouper she was, she redoubled the beam, flung wide her arms and drawled, “Well, Howdy! Come on in y’all”.
“Good evening,” replied Charles. “Are there tea-making facilities?”
“Y ‘all just unpack your undies while I have a look-see. I guess I can heat water but you may have to help little ol’me when I get to boiling point. Ditch that starched shirt and join me.”
Moments later Charles entered the kitchen, still wearing his version of smart/casual and holding a pack of Earl Grey tea, a lemon, a teapot and a strainer.
I’ll take over from here,” he informed Lindy as he lifted the boiling kettle and performed a tea- making ritual that left Lindy, and most of the viewing public, astonished.
“Correct temperature at each stage is the secret of success,” he instructed no-one in particular.
“My ol’ gran’pappy was as partic’lar to have his coffee tasting right,” agreed Lindy. “Now I reckon it’s time you an’ me sat ourselves down and got acquainted. Hows about we sit here along o’ the kitchen table all warm and family like?”
“I think I prefer tea in the drawing room, if you don’t mind,” countered Charles.
“We only have bedroom, kitchen and garden to hang out in,” said Lindy, forgetting to drawl.
“In that case, may I suggest the garden,” said Charles as he arranged a tray of necessary items and added the mug of strong coffee he had made for Lindy.
“Ladies first,” insisted Charles as he managed, despite the tray, to open the door for her.
Hoping to regain her comfort zone, Lindy hummed a snatch from her most famous hit as she sat where Charles indicated.
An alert camera caught Charles as his eyes suddenly focused on the past. “I recognise that song!“ he exclaimed. ”That whole album was my only comfort at boarding school. I owe that singer my sanity.”
“You poor boy,” said Lindy softly. “Tell me more.”
With an obvious effort, Charles re-assembled his deflector shields, asserting firmly for the sake of the cameras,” A politician on the verge of re-election looks forward not back.”
“Brave boy,” remarked Lindy looking at him speculatively.
So ended the first episode of Big Brother 2014, a series the critics were beginning to regard as running out of steam.