I first encountered Miss Amanda Fluff in the convenience store on Monks Way. I’d popped in to buy a pair of Snickers, and saw her slip a packet of Fisherman’s Friend inside her donkey jacket. Unperturbed at my observance, she winked and promptly left without paying. Intrigued and indeed a little breathless at her audacity, I replaced my confections on the counter, and followed.
There ensued a relationship of which I was more passenger than participant. A lifelong rebel, Amanda liked nothing better than to break into the outdoor pool at Tamworth swimming baths and go skinny dipping beneath the stars on a hot summer night. It was during one such escapade that she educated me in uses for a packet of Poppets previously beyond my wildest imaginings. She was what mother would have described as “not backward in coming forward” – an assessment with which I could not have argued. I would have to admit that the prospect of mother’s disapproval contributed to my attraction to the wild Miss Fluff.
Ever the thrill-seeker, she was prone, through skilful deployment of a wire coat hanger – or, in the absence of such, an underwire extracted from her substantial brassiere – to stealing Rovers and Mini Metros and driving them into the night until they ran out of petrol. While initially thrilling, the danger in our escapades did not escape me. As a consequence, and although painful, I brought our relationship to an end after a few short but tempestuous months. The delinquent Miss Fluff begged and pleaded, but I held my ground and departed with a stiffened resolve.
With some sense of relief I thought that an end to the matter. Yet I could not help but hanker after our nights in stolen cars. Then, as I lay awake in my bed one night, I heard a vehicle idling gently outside. When I parted the curtains and saw an Austin Princess Vanden Plas bathed in the golden glow of the streetlights, I knew immediately that Miss Fluff had been up to her old tricks. My heart beat a little faster, and when she flashed her headlamps at me I was unable to resist.
We drove through the night, dizzy on the thrill of our criminality, ending our journey on the sands of Weston Super Mare as the sun rose behind Burger King. I remember the moment as we looked into each other’s eyes, sharing what remained of a sausage roll: we both knew it was finally over. I could now rest easy in my bed knowing mother was no longer at risk of being picked up by the fuzz in a dawn raid, while Miss Fluff had nothing more to prove. And so it was that we parted on good terms.
Subsequent to our relationship I heard she became involved with former Harlequins’ fly half Rusty Beaumont, who left the sport in disgrace in the 1980s following a scrummage incident involving a parsnip. I can only assume it was the considerable age difference and Beaumont’s bad boy image that attracted her to this inappropriate sportsman. As I understand it, they eventually moved to Telford, where they now run a massage parlour cum cattery.