tinylittlelovestories are a series of short stories, dumb-dumb. I mean: obviously. They are by Joel Golby and just hellaciously pretentious but jeez, they're only short. At least there's that.

The Elevator

You ever seen sex in movies? Lots of neck kissing. Lots of billowing net curtains. Rose petals come out of nowhere and flutter through the air. Plus they do a lot of fucking in lifts, and so to that end he jammed the emergency stop button in the elevator they were travelling in and did it Benecio Del Toro-style with his secretary. “Unf,” they said. “Ah.” Sexy, right? Hot.

Thirty minutes later the lift still hadn’t moved and the inside of it smelled hot and wet, like a savoury sauna. Like someone had left a load of sausages in a metal bin in the middle of summer. Like someone had sweated into a hot duvet.

“Gary,” she said. “Gary. Have you called the building manager?”

“Yeah I’ve called the building manager, yeah,” he said. “God.”

“Well?”

“Can I just say that you are totally harshing my post-lift sex vibe?”

“Can I just say that if I stand here any longer with my legs crossed I will get a piss infection and it wasn’t even that good anyway?”

“LIAR!”

“NO GARY!”

Anyway eventually, at ten minutes to midnight and five hours after they did it, firefighters managed to fight their way into the lift using hydraulic claws and an industrial cutting torch. “Woah,” they said. “Haha. Stinks in here.” They looked at them. “You fuck or something? Smells like the dirtiest sock. Smells like someone sat on a packet of prawn crackers by accident. You fuck? You fuck or something?” They paused, the firemen. They paused and looked around. “Seriously though someone should spray Glade around or something.”

The Fridge

It was 15 years in the future, and humanity had everything it could possibly need: hovercars and fuckbots. Why would you ever work a day in your life if you had a hovercar and a fuckbot? “I could be hovering somewhere right now,” you’d be thinking. “I could be either fucking or getting fucked.” Filing? Nah. Accountancy? Nope. Nothing got done. Everyone was satiated.

But it wasn’t all so perfect. Like: you ever have your laptop break for no reason? You ever watch it close all your browser tabs and shut down? Imagine that, but you’ve got your dick up it. Imagine that, but it is ploughing you. This happened, frequently, and long story short a lot of people had to end up calling the hover-ambulance service.

"Yeah," he told the doctor. "Hella frigid. My fuckbot is hella frigid." He pointed to her Real Feel™ touchable boobers, her Lube-U-Like® interchangeable junk. "May as well call her ‘Fridgebot’. May as well use her like a fridge." He leaned close and whispered. "Sometimes her clam opens and snaps shut like a CD-ROM drive." He leaned back. “Can you do anything about it?”

"Well, I’m no doctor," said the doctor. "But have you tried, you know… wooing her?"

"What," he said. "What." But after the doctor patiently explained you gotta be nice to people before they fuck you, he tried it – he took FUCK-A-TRON 920 to dinner, where he had a steak and she quietly recharged beneath the table through the socket in her foot; they walked hand it hand through a dewy meadow, her wearing manufacturer-issue galoshes, him in just jeans and a tee; he bought her roses, using the Interflora website, loaded all up in the browser window built into her eyelids. But it was no good. That night, when they gots to fucking, she shut down and went into sleep mode. The next day, they went to the scrapyard. "I could have loved you," he weeped, watching her useless body get crushed into a cube by a trash compacter. "I could have loved you." 


 

The Hedges

“Don’t say anything,” he whispered. “No. Don’t.” But did she listen? She did not listen. “Excuse me,” she shouted. “Excuse me?” No reply. “Excuse me? Can you stop wanking in the hedges, please?”

Because it was a Saturday, and the sun was in the sky and that sky was blue, and so everyone in London went to the park for a picnic. Frisbee, you know. Wasps. Sausage rolls and egg sandwiches. Men trying and failing to light briquette-based disposable barbecues. Jam-smeared children. Bald dudes with sunburn. Floaty dresses. Tins of beer. And, of course, hoardes of perverts, wanking in unison in the bushes.

“Neil,” she whispered. “Neil, I really have to say something.” And so she tried again: “Excuse me? Excuse me?” Branches ceased their shaking. Dry leaves were crushed nervously underfoot.

“Yeah?” one of the perverts said, from inside the dome of a weeping willow. “What?”

“We were just wondering if you could stop your wanking?”

There was a pause. Frisbees stopped flying. That one douche who bought a cricket set with him started to slowly pack it away.

“What?”

“The wanking. We’ve had to send our children home. A man over there had to cancel his proposal. He had fireworks lined up and everything.”

“Why?”

“There’s seminal fluid going everywhere. Wet flapping noises abound. Plus I think one of your party is crying—“

“I’m not crying,” another pervert said.

But there was no reasoning with the wanking perverts. Slowly, a chorus of one-handed applauses started up, the grass near the tree line growing curiously dewy, and everyone was just too British to say anything until the police were called and they led the perverts, trouserless and by the thousands, into a series of riot vans. “I HOPE YOU KNOW YOU’VE RUINED SUMMER,” one of them said, unzipping his gimp mask to bellow. “I HOPE YOU KNOW THAT.”

The Hose

“Augh,” he said. “Mmngh.” He was in a coma, you know. He had not moved for eight straight years. He had skied head-first into a tree in 2006 and he hadn’t done much more than dribble twice a month since. Serious medical bills. Insane bedsores. “Where am I?” he said. “What? What? What?”

And so, it was explained to him: a lizard king wearing a ham-made human suit was now prime minister; the month was April, the day was the 14th; Leona won The X Factor, Italy won the World Cup. That sort of thing.

“Yeah,” he said. “Cool.” They shaved him and they dressed him. Physiotherapists told him not to run before he could walk. “Heh,” they said. “Because you can’t do either.” Doctors looked at his head and at his heart. Nurses washed him with sponges.

“But seriously,” he said. “I have a question.”

“Yes,” they said. His family was gathered around, unwilling to leave his side. New cousins he’d never met. A mum who wouldn’t stop weeping. They were so happy he was back, he was with them. They were so happy he was alive and with the living. He was cognate! He was lucid! “Yes,” they said. “What is that question.”

“Has,” he said. “Has anyone jacked me off since I got in this coma, or is my dick going to go off like a hose?” They called a specialist long distance in Germany. They called long distance and waited. “Hose,” the specialist said, solemnly, efficiently. “Y’all dick going to spray off like a hose.”

The Lesbians

How did the first lesbians happen? Good question, and you asked the right man: the first lesbians happened in cavemen times, after all the cavemen got mauled to death by a mammoth. “Hey,” the cavegirl said, leaning her arm on the side of her friend’s cave. “Hey. So, ah… hmm. How to say this? I’m feeling pretty horned up. Feeling pretty horno.”

"Ha ha, right?" her friend said. "Like: yeah."

"So I was thinking…" — she did a kind of pointing motion with both of her hands — "… you know maybe you and me, do it."

"How would we—?"

"You know scissoring, or something. I’ve not really thought about it. Or some basic digital insertion. Something like that. I’ve not really thought about it."

"Like I, like, sit on your—?" but it was too late, because she had taken the bone out of her hair and shaken it loose, and she had taken her lionskin toga off, and she had kind of pinned her down and was clambering crotch-first over her face. "I can’t get the—" she said, muffled somewhat, yelps of pleasure echoing around the cave. "I can’t get the angles right!"

"TURN YOUR HIPS!" she shouted. "TURN THEM! YOU’RE ON MY NOSE!"

So anyway yeah after 20 minutes of that they were basically spent and if not that then both their knees were tired, so they stopped. “So, uh,” she said. “Yeah.”

"Cool."

"Okay." And so they had the first ever post-scissoring conversation, their mouths still coppery and salty, their words more like nervous laughs.

"So you uh… you wanna meet up this week? My friend’s got this DJ night?"

"Oh yeah I can’t I’m busy Thursday."

“It’s on Friday.”

"Yeah I’m busy Friday too."

Then they were attacked and killed by a sabre-toothed tiger the end. 

The Politician

Does David Cameron know what sex is? “It’s something poor people do to make money.” Does Nick Clegg know what sex is? “I have put my penis inside exactly 30 women,” he says. “And no, not really.” Does Boris Johnson know what sex is? “Something about wiffles?” he says. “Something about my wiffle?” He calls his penis his ‘wiffle’. “Can someone touch my wiffle? Am I allowed to touch my wiffle? My wiffle hurts. I put my wiffle between the sofa cushions.” And so the question is this: Does any politician know what sex is? A single hand in the back of the room. A spotlight angles to the centre of the shot.

"I know what sex is," says Ann Widdecombe. "I’ve done a sex. Sometimes I even do it for fun." You’re thinking about it. Like a rotisserie chicken yawning itself inside-out, you’re thinking about it. Like a binbag full of frogs jumping and croaking in unison. You’re thinking about Ann Widdecome naked. "Oh," Ann Widdecombe says. You’re thinking about it. "Ooh."

Ann Widdecombe, lying prone and splayed on a sheepskin rug. Ann Widdecombe, running one gnarled finger down the smoothest, softest part of your neck. “Ann,” she whispers, luridly licking her teeth. You’re thinking about it. “Widdecombe.” Ann Widdecombe tying a cherry stalk in a knot with her tongue. Ann Widdecombe slowly deepthroating a Rocket ice lolly. Ann Widdecombe taking her bra off without removing her orthopaedic tunic. You’re thinking about it.

Ann Widdecombe, warm and hairless like a bodybuilder, pink and thick like a wrestler. Ann Widdecombe’s buttocks slowly, varicosely bloom into a blush, wobbling slightly beneath the slap of a young intern. Ann Widdecombe is moving near now, moving faster. Ann Widdecombe is pointing to the entire Tory Party Conference in turn. “Come on, then!” Ann Widdecombe is saying. “Come on!” Ann Widdecombe is drunk and gleaming and wailing, her eyes on fire, the party conference aghast. “I’ll take all of you on!” Ann Widdecombe’s hot breath is on your spine. Ann Widdecombe is shoulder barging with all her might against Bruno Tonilli’s dressing room. Ann Widdecome has never felt so sexy, so alive. Ann Widdecombe is touching herself in places she’s never been touched before. Ann Widdecombe is being led away to an ambulance. When Ann Widdecombe approaches climax she screams, “I’M ANN WIDDE-CUMMING!” Ann Widdecombe is outside your window, watching, waiting. Ann Widdecombe is making you think about it.

The Future

“Baby, I want to try something new tonight.” Eight words that can irreparably change the shape of your butthole, or the way you look at fruit. But no. No banana play tonight. No douches necessary. He reached under his mattress and pulled out two cool, white boxes. “Baby,” he whispered. “I want us to try fucking with Google Glass on.”

At first, fucking with Google Glass on was at best haphazard, at worst erratic – they kept having to pause to go through the half-hour alignment tutorial, and he kept turning the sound on on his by accident. “Gary,” Google Glass said. “I’m not getting any results for: ‘Fuck offGoogle Glass and just let me get it in.’”

And so but finally they got a rhythm going, and, in unison, two graceful arabesques in the sexual ballet, they pressed their hands to the top right corner of their Google Glasses, engaging video mode. He was watching himself fuck her. She was watching herself getting flatly laid by him. They were staring past each others’ eyes, into their own eyes, at their own personal sex faces. Like jacking it in the mirror but somehow better. Sunbeams dappled through the curtains. Harps played high upon the air. Their muscles melted, their bodies a whirl. “Woah,” Gary said. “It’s just like they said.”

And then, abruptly and catastrophically, they both got motion sickness and started vomiting. “GETVH IP OFF,” Gary shouted, clawing at his face; all he could see we his own frenzied motions, broadcast from her Google Glasses, as he turned the duvet into something that looked like a lasagne. The smell was vivid; the smell was tart. “GARY,” she screamed, spraying dinner through her nose. “GARY, IT HURTS. IT HURTS GARY. MY BODY HURTS.” He fell into the toilet; she ran naked into the streets. They sent their Glass back to Google for a refund but, after a review of the footage, were entirely denied.

The Black Eyed Pea

Here’s proof on why people should have baby wipes. Get some chocolate, wipe it on a wooden floor, and then try to get it up with some dry towels. You’re going to get chocolate in the cracks. That’s why you gotta get them baby wipes.” — will.i.am, 2011

§

will.i.am is disgusted by your butt germs. will.i.am is washing his hands in scalding water. “Argh!” will.i.am says. “Ah!” will.i.am is grabbing his keys and opening the door. will.i.am is peeling away in his Ferrari. “Damn,” will.i.am says. will.i.am flicks the autotune he has installed on his dashboard. “DAY–AY–AYUMN.”

will.i.am is bleaching his workbench. will.i.am is bleaching his floor. will.i.am lifts a jar of Nutella effortlessly out of the grain of a floorboard as part of his new series of instructional YouTube videos. “I’m will.i.am,” will.i.am says. “And this is Gurl, You Need To Wipe Yo’ Ass!’ will.i.am asks Fergie to make a cameo appearance on Gurl, You Need To Wipe Yo’ Ass!. Fergie uses a fax machine to politely decline.

will.i.am’s fingernails grow slowly in a loop. will.i.am’s feet are embedded in tissue boxes. Cheryl Cole let’s will.i.am watch her shower sometimes because he knows he won’t do anything with it. “will.I.am,” will.i.am says. “will.I.am.” will.i.am’s steampunk-lite glasses slowly fog up with steam. “will.I.am,” he whispers. “Now let me see a towel get all up in that butt.”

will.i.am lives in a protective cocoon now, in a bubble, in a pure white room staffed by lithe-handed Vietnamese bows. Cotton and toweling. Bedding all microwaved for silverfish. will.i.am is so scared of butt germs he hasn’t had a sexual thought since 1997. “I have sent my music to Mars,” will.i.am will.i.whispers. “Ain’t got no butt germs all up on Mars.” will.i.am is dying now, his beard long and tangled and white. “But it ain’t got no butt germs in it,” he says. will.i.am wonders, sometimes, if the key moment in his life – watching two of his pet rabbits, Tinky and Pinky, quickly fuck and then, in unison, shit – will.i.am wonders if that stunted him somehow, made him afraid of butts. “You ruined me, Tinky and Pinky,” he whispers, a snowglobe of Mars rolling softly out of his hand. “You ruined me.”

The Time Traveller

“That’s it!” he said. “I have done it!” He had done it. He had done it. He had invented time travel. “I have invented time travel!” he said. “Actual time travel! I have done it! I have invented it!”

What to do, what to do. You might think: go back and kill Hitler, single bullet to the base of the skull. You might think: go back to last week’s lottery draw, and pick out six winning numbers. You might think: go back and see the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, in all their splendor, in all their glory. You might go to the future and see what in the fuck the hold up is with the hoverboards. Anyway no he went back to his high school prom to try and slam Kylie Peterson.

Back in high school he was a nerd–o, all acne and glasses and science, and as follows Kylie Peterson didn’t even know who he was. “K-K-Kylie,” he once said, as she walked by, and all six hundred jocks in the school lined up and punched him in the stomach. But things were different now. He was a grown-ass man, with a beard, and trauma-induced IBS. He could get a high school girl. Easy.

“No thank you, Sir,” Kylie Peterson said. “You are old and you are gross.” He tried again – looping into the future-past, he grabbed a 22-year-old version of himself, doused him in Lynx, and sent him to asking. “She said no,” he said, steak on his face, concussion. “Quite aggressively.”

By now there were hundreds of versions of him, all packed into the heaving treehouse behind his mother’s house. There was Young Him, Old Him, Nerd Him From High School Who They Had Fitted Out With A Suit And A Haircut; Parallel Universe Him, Robot Him From The Future, Black Him. “Think, you fucking nerdlord idiot shits,” he told himselves. “Think.”

“What if—“ one of them said, and then inevitably a paradox happened, and all was quiet and all was black, and the mechanics of the universe ground to a staggering halt, and the galaxy did tear itself in two, and everyone and everything in it died and no one had time to scream, and he did not, as it turns out, he did not ever fuck Kylie Peterson.

The Voice

There were getting down and they were getting durt–ay and he was doing that thing dudes do to ladies where it is like some mouth-on-junk action — like blowing an inflatable up, but more savoury? — and just as he was about to do that it talked. It talked. Her vagina did a talk. And it talked in Ronnie Corbett’s voice.

“Terribly sorry to disturb you,” her vagina said. “But could you not do what you’re about to do with that?” The vagina sort of flexed to indicate his penis.

He did not want to talk to a vagina so he refused to talk to a vagina.

“Has it done this before?” he whispered up at her. “Has it talked in Ronnie Corbett’s voice?”

“You mean they don’t all… they don’t all do that?”

“They do not,” he said, wide-eyed and in terror. “They do not.”

“I can hear you, you know,” the Ronnie Corbett vagina said. “I can hear you talking about me.”

“I am not exactly sure I want to do this,” he said, buttoning up his trousers. “Like: no thank you.”

“Todd,” she said. (His name was Todd). “Can’t we get past this?” Her vagina was quietly screaming now. Ronnie Corbett was screaming through her panties. “You… you said you loved me!”

“I CANNOT PUT MY DICK IN WHAT IS ESSENTIALLY RONNIE CORBETT’S MOUTH!”

“BUT WHAT ABOUT US?”

“IT’S OVER, SHIRLEY.” Her name was Shirley.

“PLEASE, TODD!” she said. “PLEASE STAY!” She dragged on his arm and sobbed for a bit, and put on a thick pair of tights to muffle the sound of the Ronnie Corb-gina sympathetically crying. Anyway in the end they just did some hand stuff then went to sleep.

The Sex Doll

“Uguda–uguda–ug–ug–ug,” he said. “Ug, ug, ug.” And with that, her head fell off. Her head, her head, her dead-eyed synthetic-ass head. She was a sex doll and her head fell off. Rubber neck skin tore away at the metallic joint. Ball popped catastrophically from socket. Not even Crazy Glue is getting that back on. Not even duct tape. There was a head-on-floor situation. It was very sad.

After he had finished off and reached over the back of his fold-out sofa and retrieved the curiously heavy, detached head, he was left with a quandary – what he was left with, after 11 harrowing years of service, was no longer a sex doll, made of perishable rubber and dishwasher-proof parts, but essentially a corpse, all jutting, poseable legs, all blonde and spiralling hair, all parts worn smooth through use. A corpse with a very substantial amount of DNA evidence on, up, in and around it. What to do. What to do.

He thought of dissolving her in the bath, but he wasn’t sure how rubber titties and a patch of Real Feel 3000™ pubic hair would fair against a bathtub full of acid – he assumed there would be fumes, and he didn’t want to die by inhaling the vapour off a melted and synthetic butthole. He thought of wrapping her in a carpet and leaving her in a skip, but he didn’t really have a carpet big enough, and plus who walks around with a length of carpet past 11pm who is not a murderer? Nobody, is who. Nobody does that thing.

In the end he decided the best and most respectful course of action for a servant as loyal as Roxie would be to saw her limbs from her torso and shuttle her down to the car in a series of binbags. Then he could bury her in a swamp and be home in time to order a replacement from LadyBabes.com before work. He would go oriental this time. He knew this. £150 surcharge but worth the money. Those eyes, man. Those eyelids. And so he got to work.

“Stop!” the police said. “Put your hands up!” They had followed him, from his apartment down the highway to the swamp, after neighbours heard fucking then sobbing then sawing. He put his hands up and then they tazed him in the face, balls, arse, balls and then balls again, until he pissed himself and died. “Boss,” the police chief said, holding up a rubber titty and a bit of hair. “I really don’t know how to explain this.”

The Safety

"AIDs," he said, clicking his fingers. "AIDs’ll kill you." He looked around, addressing a room full of awe. "Syphilis. Syphilis’ll kill you." He clicked his fingers again. "Chlamydia," he said. "That’ll kill you dead.” Click. Click. Click.

He was one of those stern police officer types, in shirt sleeves that said, ‘I am here for business’, but in a comedy tie that said, ‘Hey kids’, that said, ‘What up?’ There had been a spate of this dude with a chipolata-like dick and a raincoat exposing himself to schoolgirls, so the local authorities had to come into school and sit all of the Year 9s down and deliver unto them a brutal, brutal sex talk. All, “Don’t take sweets from strangers,” you know. All, “Don’t do hand stuff with strangers.” All, “Sex is a game of Russian Roulette where both of your junks are loaded with six bullets and the bullets are called chlamydia and you will get it, you will get chalmydia.” Pass out some whistles and some johnnies and be done with it. Standard procedure. Job done.

And so he listened, this kid, he listened closely to the Dos and the Don’t (“DO: Not do hand stuff with strangers / DON’T: Not rubber up when you do junk stuff with a consenting peer.”). It was Friday night. His Mammy was out playing Bridge. And, terrified of the looming threat of chlamydia, he decided to put on every single condom he could find.

He scooped under his Mammy’s bed, from behind his brothers’ mattress. He opened the ‘Safe Sex And Your Tenderness’ pamphlet that the school had handed out that day, blueberry-flavoured blobbers cascading out by the handful. Then, one after one after one, he applied condoms like elastic bands around his dick.

At first they were floppy, then tight, then uncomfortable. Ten. A throbbing in his head. Twelve. A throbbing in his actual head. Thirty. Puce veins showed strikingly up his body. Forty. Oxygen starting to stall. Fifty. Why was he doing this. Sixty. Seventy.

“I’m afraid what your son has is known medically as ‘Too Many Condoms On His Goddamn Dick’,” the doctor said. “Can…” she said. “C-can we get them off?” “The condoms?” the doctor said. “Off his dick? Oh. Oh, Lord, no. Not even with lasers. Not even with the fire department’s hydraulic claw.” His face was essentially a pounding artery now, his torso a clotted contusion. “Can… he still take his GCSEs like this?” How was he still hard. “He can not,” the doctor said. “But I can refer him to a very good circus.” And that’s where he lived, near the trampolines, for three years before he died of penis failure.

The Last Tango

He had just watch Last Tango In Paris and had somehow as a result sweet-talked his girlfriend into buttstuff and it turned out that no, he didn’t have any water-based lubricant on hand, and no, he didn’t even have any butter, either, or margarine, or even soya-derived spread. How was he meant to get all up in a butt without that? He searched the fridge for inspiration. Pickle juice? Lazy Garlic? Some dog dick medicine? There was nothing, nothing, but he really wanted to do some buttstuff so he nakedly grabbed a bottle and tiptoed upstairs.

And so: “God,” he said, “God. God.” He considered the looming, ketchup-covered ass in front of him. It had goosebumps on it. Both the ass and the ketchup were sweating. “God. Jesus. God.” He grabbed his trousers and made to leave. “I have to go,” he said. “But you live here!” “I have to go.” And with that he ran, into the night, away from all this, away to the army, which he joined and shot at people. Fuck you, Last Tango In Paris. Fuck you.

The Invisible Man

He woke up invisible. “Huh,” he said. “I can’t see my hands.” He waved his hands in front of his face and everything. “Huh,” he said. “Guess I’m invisible.” And so he did what every man would do if he woke up invisible: he walked sideways onto an aeroplane, he stole a car, and he snuck into Selena Gomez’s hotel room in an effort to watch her shower.

Selena Gomez was not in her hotel room, which made things awkward for a while. He spent twenty minutes sat on her bed, idly slapping on his naked, invisible thighs. He tried to find a pair of her underwear but literally couldn’t – like, carefully going through suitcases and everything – like he literally just couldn’t. He figured it was Selena Gomez’s laundry day, or something. “Aw yiss,” he thought, mildly aroused. “Down to her last pair of panties.” He tried to have a hard-on about it then gave up and watched some ESPN instead.

Four hours into his stay, an especially thorough maid came in, all turning over cushions, all hoovering up the floor, all changing the bedsheets and cussing in Spanish. He had to edge away from her, clinging to walls, hiding stood on the toilet seat. “Man,” he thought. “Being invisible cold sucks a dick.”

After the maid had gone he spread-eagled himself on the balcony and allowed the sweet Santa Monica breeze to cool his clammy and invisible body. Then four armed dude bust in attempting what turned out to be a kidnapping. “Wha—“ he said, and they shot at the noise, riddling a man-sized lump of distorted light with semi-automatic fire. He bled out within minutes while they shouted at each other confused. Anyway turns out they were all wrong, because was only Anne Hathaway’s room.     

The Ring

She had ordered the lobster, he had the calamari. He was kind of too nervous to eat because it was Valentine’s Day in a packed restaurant and he was going to propose. And right now – in her peach-mango drizzled exotic fruit sundae, nestled under a wad of passionfruit – there was an engagement ring, an 18-carat, exquisite-ass diamond engagement ring.

“What do you mean,” he asked the waiter. “’Did she fucking eat it?’ I am thinking: no, she did not fucking eat it. It is a ring.”

“Yes but Sir,” the waiter said. “t is an especially delicious dessert. People do tend to, how you say, ‘inhale’?” He was French. He was French. The ring was somewhere in the fucking ether and the waiter was fucking French.

“Is there no way you could have mixed them up?”

The waiter checked his tickets, checked the security box full of rings, all set behind the counter. Valentine’s Day, you know. “Everyone who was going to propose has proposed,” he said. “All two hundred of them. Maybe she eats it, ah? Maybe tomorrow she will shit it out of her body?” He tipped him a twenty and figured yes: tomorrow she would shit it out of her body.

And so the next day, with a sieve and two pairs of marigolds, he began the arduous task of sifting through her turds for jewellery. He had done some impromptu repiping to drive the household’s effluence through a probationary big Tupperware, and, contrary to reports that ladies don’t poo, she’d dropped two immaculate, lobster-y deuces since 9am that morning. They lay there, in a big old ice cream tub full of pisses, gently bobbing like prize coy carp. He grabbed them up and smashed them through a sieve with a fork. “What are you doing in there?” she said, knocking on the garage door. “Nothing,” he said. “Nothing, fucking hell!”

Normally he wouldn’t have bothered, but he’d spent six months’ wages on that thing, plus asked her Dad. There was no ‘unproposing’ his way out of this. He snuck out at midnight with a shovel and started going through the septic tank. “No no no NO,” he said, waders filling with tampons. “No no NO.”

“Dale,” she said. His name was Dale. She was stood outside in the frigid cold in a nightgown and some face cream on, and she had a 5,000-candle torch on the go. “Dale, what the living fuck.” Under his foot, he felt an impossible grit – the ring! The ring, the ring, the ring! “Janey,” he said, one knee bent into a horrifying sludge, hands a horrendous brown. “Janey, will you marry me?” Long story short: no, and jewellers know if a ring has been swallowed and eaten and shat out again. They just know.