Speed Dating

Posted: December 1, 2011 in Chawn, One More For Love

I’ve just had a phone call. It’s The Newton Dance, and he’s just had a phone call.

“You had a phone call from a cat?!”

“From a girl named Cat.”

Oh. Cat is a name. Like Cat from Red Dwarf.

“She asked if I’d like to go speed dating for free…”


“In London…”


“On TV!


“And would I like to bring a friend?”

Wow! I could be on TV! Just like Richard Bacon! I’ve been on TV before, but only in Canada, and apparently once on the God channel. Which is a hilariously arrogant name. This is my chance for fame! Especially as that whole extra thing with the pink beret didn’t really go anywhere.

I am at the station approaching The Newton Dance when he spots me, and smirks. “The hat looks good, Dan.” I smile, and explain that I didn’t have time for a haircut. We board the train and The Greatest Dancer is adamant that he wants to sit in the quiet zone, which worries me, because Sister Sledge is renowned for his barely controllable volume. “It’s fine, Dan. I do this journey loads. I always sit here.” I sigh, and do what I always do in these situations. I gamble.

It pays off! The Newt is admirably sedate after a day’s work and content to let me read Shortlist. I find Danny Wallace’s column, and my cheeks prepare for pain. Ouch. It’s excellent, and I sit giggling, which probably counts as gross misconduct in the quiet zone, but then the twilight zone never had any vampires or Phil Tapp. The Newton Dance wakes up, and I show him the column. He laughs.

He really laughs.

I look at my feet. The quiet zone is decimated by a tsunami of slow-motion laughter. I grit my teeth, and look up. Phew. I breathe. It’s fine, for this is England, and people are far too reserved to express their annoyance. I giggle, and am untouchable!

We arrive in London and find the venue. It’s classy, and themed. We say good day to the barkeep. “I’m sorry guys, that event was cancelled.” Oh no! Now we will have to sit in a cool London bar and chat to random girls! The Newton Dance’s phone rings. It’s Cat, with a new location. We laugh, and run into the raining London road with arms waving. Within seconds a taxi has enslaved himself to our travelling needs, and I am in Sliding Doors. The Newt is not Gwyneth Paltrow. And that is a shame.

We arrive somewhere else in London, and find the new venue. It’s classy, and themed. A lady greets us and explains the plan. One girl’s being filmed all summer, and tonight she’s going speed dating. We are here as man-fodder. I sigh. She must be well ugly if she needs TV to help her find a man. I make an excuse, and find the toilets.

There is a man in the toilets.

A few minutes later I am sat at a table, chatting. I’m dating 13 young women, and our 4-minute conversations have been fun! My hat’s gone down a treat, and one 4-minute wonder comments that the full suit would have been even better. I smile as the bell tolls, and move onto the next girl.


This has immediately failed. I am speed dating a strain of supervirus. With nice hair. I laugh a lot, and try to make my laugh last longer to pass the time. It’s hard, but I’m a bulldozer at assuaging awkwardness. If it was a fish, I’d be a nuclear bomb. Or a polar bear. Or both.

“Well, this 4 minutes is taking a long time, isn’t it?”

OH NO! She has colonically irrigated every possible conversation topic! I smile. Because it’s all I can do! There is literally nothing left to say! The awkwardness level has just hit the point where most people would feign spontaneous combustion.

But it’s alright, ’cause I’m saved by the bell… and now the time has come…! My chance to speed-date the nation! And a vicar from London. I sit down, under bright lights. Which aren’t as bright as her smile.



I dive right into conversation, and completely forget the cameras. This girl’s pretty, and we’re hitting it off. I choose key cursory questions, to see if she ticks the key boxes. She ticks… them all. I smile, and have to move on. I keep up the pretense, but am still secretly thinking about TV Girl. I’ve deliberately held no expectations tonight, but how hilarious a story would it be if I were to meet someone live on TV?!

I bide my time, and approach her at the end.

“Can I buy you a drink?”

She accepts, and picks a diet coke. I’m surprised, and asks if she drinks alcohol.

“No, I’m a teetotaller.”

I smile. That’s just fine. Alcohol’s rank, and bearable only with enough sugar to make Gordon Ramsay into a polite French schoolgirl.

“Do you, Dan?”

“Well, I don’t really like beer. I’ll have like, girly drinks or whatever.”

“What like?”

“Well, like WKD. Or Smirnoff Ice, my Aston Villa drink.”

“Is that because they’re full of sugar?”

“Exactly, yeah.”

We sit down, and conversate to the sounds of ridiculously loud laughter from my lizard friend. It goes well.

It is later, and I Don’t Feel Like Dancing wants to leave; but the producers have asked if they can interview us before we go. Which is great! For now I will definitely be on TV! I don’t have long left, and feel clear to move in.

I do.

“This may seem a little forward, but… could I put my number in your mobile phone?”

She smiles. Score!

“I’m afraid that’s a little bit too forward for me.”

Oh. Really?!

“You seem like a really nice guy, but I’m just looking for a complete teetotaller.”

I smile, for I am the most teetotal Christian man in the world who has never been an alcoholic. She simply doesn’t understand. I open my mouth.


“No, it’s OK, I’ve had guys promise to give it up for me before. It’s never gone well. I hope that’s OK.”


“We can still be friends on Facebook though!” I sigh, and hum John Mayer’s ‘Friends, Lovers or Nothing’ to myself. “A lot of the time relationships come out of friendships.” I smile, and mentally write her surname in Notepad. You never know.

I am taken aside and interviewed. I admit to liking TV Girl and being interested in seeing her again, despite having just been completely rejected by her. The Producers tell me that The Newton Dance likes her too. My face falls.

“It’s gonna be a long journey home…”

I sip my diet coke.

Several hours later we arrive back in Stourbridge, and are strangely awake. I click on Facebook. And find TV Girl.

“You’re finding her on Facebook, Dan?”

“Well… you never know…”

I see my profile picture.

Of me drinking a pint. Of what I know is blackcurrant.

Maybe sometimes you know.

I smile. And search the BBC3 TV guide for December and January.


To see Dan Mohr and The Newton Dance speed dating, check out the BBC3 TV guide for December/January and look for a show about religious people trying to find love. Sorry i can’t be of more help than that. If you find it please let me know!



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