Bridget Jones's Diary

Hurrah, have had v good idea. Shazzer should sit next to him and slide a hand on to his thigh...
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The Independent Online
Friday 7 March

8st 10 (emotional trauma in body has scoffed all fat); cigarettes 24 (psychological necessity); alcohol units 6 ( nutritional necessity); Instants 3 (need something for old age)

7pm The phone just rang: "Sorry Bridge, just had to go to the loo. What I was saying was, you mustn't do knee-jerk reaction. That's typical Shazzer. You've got to be more sort of Chinese about it, and lie in a scented bath drawing him back in with little silken friends."

"Jude," I said. "Are you drunk already?"

"Threads I mean, little silken threads," she said, then giggled and hiccupped. "Anyway, see you later, oops."

V confused. Mark Darcy has chucked me for not agreeing to marry him straightaway, even though I did not mean to be rude. Love Mark Darcy and cannot bear to be separated from him but at same time, worried by inability to separate integrityful love from horror of being re-cast on stormy seas of singleness beset by centuries-old physical urges, growling down the phone to Shaz, "I wanna man, and I wannim NOW! GrrrrrUUUrrrrr" like Shirley Bassey, whilst not being able to do anything about it as Rules say never to pursue a man as it will only make you unhappy. Ooh Goody, telephone.

7.15pm Was just Shazzer obsessing. She really fancies this bloke she has met three times at different people's houses, whose friend says he fancies her. She wants to ring him up and ask him out for a business lunch, but Jude says that is folly and madness. Am going to give it some thought while get ready.

7.45pm Hurrah, have had vg idea which is that since she is always seeing him at dinner parties she should just sit next to him and slide her hand on to his thigh. Will contribute to forum of debate, which is becoming almost a Roman thing.

Saturday 8 March

Humph. Thigh-stroking suggestion met with what can best be described as lukewarm reception in 192.

"To my way of thinking it is all to do with sex," I concluded triumphantly.

"Sex, Bridget?" said Shazzer, coldly, as if trying to undermine my whole logical line.

"Yes. So what is the point in having to go through an entire lunch - chink clunk chink, wood-oven-roast pig's trotter - when what you really want to do is sleep with him?"

"Because he'll think I'm a slag," said Shazzer.

No, it has to be more flirtatious and mysterious, like an Oriental version of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, said Jude.

"But she's been flirting with him for three weeks," I volunteered, at which moment Simon appeared and we fell upon him eagerly as an opportunity to test theories on a live man in laboratory conditions.

"I think if a girl put her hand on my thigh I'd be pleased," said Simon eventually, at which I beamed with pride.

"More pleased than a business lunch?" said Shazzer, leaning forward and watching him intently, as if he were a mouse with an ear on its back she was trying to clone.

"Yeeees," said Simon, doubtfully. "As long as she didn't leave the hand on the thigh for too long."

"What, so it started to seem bizarre?" I said, while Jude nodded intently, going "Yup, yup, yup," as it she were presenter on Newsnight listening to Gordon Brown blaring on about some tiny point of policy.

"Yes, it should be like a nuance, then you're free to follow it up."

"But it's not a nuance," said Shazzer.

"Yes. Actually, maybe it might be too scary," said Simon.

"More scary than if she rang you up?"

"I'll think about it," he said, cunningly. "Do you think if I don't go tomorrow night, Georgie will be more keen on me because I'm being cool and not so mad about her that I have to go to everything - or think I'm being the opposite of cool because I'm being petulant?"

Oh God. Dating has become like impossible riddle or quest for mystery answers, almost like being in 18th-century England with impossible series of etiquette hoops to go through, except that nobody knows where or what everyone else's hoops are supposed to be and is madly trying to second- guess each other's strategies. It is a miracle the human race does not die out so thank goodness they have discovered cloning.

"It's not a question of playing it cool - it's a question of valuing yourself, which will communicate itself by radar to her," said Jude.

"She'll just think he's a flake," growled Shaz.

Suddenly started to feel indignant. They had promised we were doing Mark Darcy next. My whole life is at stake, and Simon has only been sleeping with Georgie for nine days.

"Could we please move on to Mark Darcy," I said hoity-toitily.

"Ditch him," said Shazzer.

"He's already ditched her," said Simon.

"That was because knee-jerk reaction," slurred Jude.

"You've got to not make him feel she's in a huff or give him a guilt trip. Men hate discussing things and feeling guilty."

"Well f*** them," said Shazzer beaming brightly..

"Yur, get your scary pants out and a nice rabbit and ..." said Jude.

Aaargh. They had both sworn they would never tell anyone about the rabbit. "Fwwwaw, come on you know that's the way to Mark Darcy's heart," said Jude. "Get rabbit boy, and the scaries and ..." Honestly I only told them about that because it was a psychological emergency. I was just about to remonstrate when I felt a hand on my arm.

"Could you keep the noise down over here," said a horribly familiar voice. "Some of us are trying to discuss the intimate details of our relationships." It was Mark bloody Darcy, with bossy Arabella from his law firm

'Balls to Africa' by Bridget Jones (aka Helen Fielding), Angus Deayton and Nick Hancock is on sale in Dillons with lots of pictures in of sexy men with tiny little slippy football shorts on, and all pounds 9.99 goes to Comic Relief.