Here’s Cliff with the story of an unfortunate co-incidence:
“This wasn’t the worst date I’ve had, but certainly one of the weirdest.
Many years ago I became quite friendly with a girl at a new job who worked in a different department, so I asked her out for a drink as we were getting along so nicely.
As we were walking along the Fulham Road, I stopped to check my pockets then noticed the girl had also stopped and was looking in the window of a shop.
I said ‘that’s funny, I used to live here, in the flat above.’
Her face and demeanour suddenly changed in an instant and she stood stock still and looked very serious: ‘What do you mean?’ she replied. I repeated what I had just stated.
She went pale.
She said: ‘I had an affair with a man that used to live here. An older man.’
In the space of a nano-second my mind turned into a supercomputer trying to compute dates, places and people over the past twenty years but which had suddenly decided to malfunction due to being unable to cope with what it was being asked to process.
I asked: ‘What did he look like?’ ‘He was about your height, with longish brown, slightly greying hair, combed back.’ I unaccountably burst into laughter having recognised this image, a rather nervous, hysterical laugher. ‘But that was my Dad!’
The both of us stood on the pavement unable to think of anything to say or to do while the universe span upside down.
I was rapidly computing my age, her age and my Dad’s age but still unable to equate a correct solution.
‘Hang on, when was this?’
‘Twelve years ago.’
The cogs span round and I said: ‘Hold on, that means that would be the year after we moved out.’
It turned out that after we moved out, my Father’s best friend moved into the property; they had grown up together and looked very similar.
The girl and I managed to go for a meal but even getting drunk couldn’t, nor wouldn’t in the next doomed date with her, help me avoid the fact that for a small moment in time I though I was dating a girl who’d had a fling with Dad. Once it was out there it was out there.”