Sunday, August 17, 2014


No Ordinary Bloke

Mary Whitney

I’m not a philosophical kind of bloke, but I know something about luck. A childhood on the wrong side of advantage will teach you that. It’s all a matter of chance. It’s both your circumstances and the chances you take. So I've always been a gambler and a ladies man — they love me and I love them. Now I've found one like no other — an American, Allison Wright. When I met her, the fates were on my side, but too soon I learned the odds were against me.


After the bartender took our drink orders, she looked up at me, “I’m going to say this because it’s true. I’m not blowing smoke. You really were a little like James Bond at the table.”

I grinned. “How so? Because I had a beautiful bird at my side?”

“No. Just what I said before. The accent, the suit, playing cards...”

Her smile turned shy, and she swiveled on the stool. “I think the word is dashing.”

“Well, thank you, but that’s not really a word that applies to me.” She had no idea how much I appreciated the compliment. Our drinks had only just arrived, though, so the time wasn’t right to get to serious. I held up my glass. “To Lady Luck, which you seem to be for me.”

She clinked her glass to mine. “I’ll toast to luck, but I don’t think that’s a good name for me.”

“As a Bond girl, you do need a name.”

“Oh, God. Not one of those.”

“Let’s see. Which is your favorite?”

“I’m not going to play this game.”

“Why ever not?”

She poked her finger at my chest. “You just want me to say the names because they’re dirty.”

“Not true. I was just making conversation.” I took a sip and smiled.

“And I wouldn’t say they’re dirty, just a tad naughty. So what’s your favorite name? Pussy Galore or Honey Ryder?”

“I’m not going to answer that.” She was playfully smug.

“I’ve always been partial to Plenty O’Toole.”

“What movie was she in?”

“Diamonds Are Forever.”

“Am I missing something? Plenty O’Toole doesn’t sound sexual to me.”


“Like Peter O’Toole?” She shook her head. “I don’t get it.”

“Ah, I suppose tool is a British word.”

“For what?” She held up her hand. “Stop. You don’t have to tell me. I

figured it out.”

“Such a clever girl.”

“It wasn’t that difficult.”

“I’m so happy to have expanded your vocabulary, love. Now which do

you prefer? Pussy Galore or Plenty O’Toole?”

The twinkle was in her eye, but she kept mum with her lips pressed

together. I chuckled. “It’s all right, love. There’s no wrong answer.”

“Do you torment every woman you meet like this? I know you can’t at

work or you’d have sexual harassment issues right and left.”

About the Author

Mary Whitney blames Laura Ingalls Wilder and Margaret Mitchell for her obsession with romance novels. At an early age, Mary fell in love with the Little House series and its dreamy hero, Almanzo Wilder, who only wanted Laura to be Laura. Like many women, Mary later graduated to the ultimate, tall and dark bad boy, Rhett Butler, who loved Scarlett despite her flaws.

Mary has lived around the U.S., and after a first career in the non-profit world and politics, she's settled in Northern California with her husband and daughters. She spends her days writing characters she hopes somehow capture the romance of Rhett and Scarlett and Almanzo and Laura. She's a firm believer in what Rhett says to Scarlett: "You should be kissed, and often, and by someone who knows how.

Twitter: wordymary

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