Charmed life

`OK, peel off.'

Peel off? Then I realised, horror of horrors, I was not wearing appropriate underwear.

Just as we all swear by our favourite restaurants and reliable minicab companies, the latest thing that everyone seems to be swearing by are people. Their people. The minute you have a sniffle/period pain/stiff neck, they have their mini Filofaxs open and are writing down the number of their aromatherapist/gynaecologist/osteopath. The information is imparted in whispered tones along the lines of "the man is a marvel", and you end up feeling a charlatan if you don't make an appointment.

After a friend had gone into eye-rolling orgasm mode one lunchtime, I decided that I'd have what she was having. I went to see her "person" - the osteopath. I don't know what I thought osteopaths looked like, but this wasn't it. Your man was a dead ringer for Errol from Hot Chocolate, and his clinic shirt, open to the waist, revealed a very large gold medallion. He was from Queens. He was a dude.

He did a preliminary lifestyle analysis re my recent backache: "Sit at a PC?", "Carry a heavy bag?" He lifted my handbag and, shaking his head in disbelief, scribbled some notes. "Which side of the bed do you sleep on - and do you generally face or turn away from your partner?" "N/A", I replied, unless you count Devon, in which case I generally turn away from him (tuna breath).

"OK, peel off." Peel off? Then I realised, horror of horrors, I was not wearing appropriate underwear. I explained to dude that I had forgotten that I was seeing him and was unfortunately wearing a little all-in-one number, which was obviously going to hamper his spine manipulating. I stood there in my problematic lace garment. Dude surveyed it. "Heh, that's a tutu, right?" "No, it's a `body," I explained - "tutus are those frilly things that ballerinas wear." "Riggght". He went on to tell me how over the years he had become a master of ladies' lingerie - nothing he hadn't seen. I wasn't sure whether he was trying to reassure me, or just bragging about it.

"Hop on the bed and we'll start with the vibrators." I had to peel down my tutu (to my waist) and lie face down, so I couldn't see what the vibrators looked like. I began to have flashbacks to a hen-night visit to Ann Summers and had a vision of dude tending to my spine with a 10-inch rotating multi- speed item (in choice of colours). He moved on to his real party trick, called: just relax and I'll wrench your neck so hard I'll think I've pulled your head off. Good trick. At this stage I was tempted to ask that burning question: "Are you sure you know what you're doing?"

I think dude was in control, so I'm hanging up my tutu and going back for more. Now I can turn my head like an owl and have heard my back snap like a Christmas cracker. Want his number? The man's a marvel.

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