“Where have you been?” she asked.
“Singing Dragonsong,” I answered.
She scowled as only a fairy can. “I’m not going to dignify that with a response,” she said. “Besides, I’ve been meaning to ask you, have you had any Spam?”
“What for breakfast?” I asked, then added “I can’t say I’ve bought any at all recently, but I think you’ll find it on the supermarket shelf along with all the other canned meat. If you’re hungry I can make you a tofu and watercress sandwich– it’s much healthier and I have it right here. No need to go out.” I smiled obligingly.
She looked at me out of the corner of her eye. “Mr. Forester,” she said, in a way I have come to dread, “are you seriously trying to tell me you do not know what Spam is? We do presume a certain minimum amount of knowledge even on a training course like this. But it seems in your case even that was too hopeful.” I felt despaired of; bereft of fairy care.
She wore a most pained expression. “No, Mr. Forester, I was referring to junk mail. Spam. Unsolicited anonymous mass mailings in which unknown persons of questionable moral standing seek to sell you something or persuade you to use a web site or software product or similar or otherwise purloin in such a manner as to part you from your hard earned cash.”
It was my turn to frown. “I’ve never had any of that,” I said.
“Really?” she asked in surprise. “What, no blog comments from writers of gaming software or ladies of questionable reputation?
“Oh, that’s what you mean,” I answered. “Yeah I get of lot of offers of things from kind people who have my welfare at heart. But despite the kindness, it’s often a product I can’t understand or don’t use. So I just write and tell the people that I’m not interested. But they’re quite persuasive, you know. Every time I turn them down they just keep writing with other things they think I might want. And now that you come to mention it, I have to agree it is becoming a bit intrusive. I didn’t mind when it was a couple of hundred a day. But yesterday it was over three thousand and it’s taking a lot of my day to answer them all.”
She looked at me with that look again. I think I’d probably call it despair.
“But I don’t mind too much,” I added quickly. “You see, I’ve found the love of my life through my blog. Hot Lady of the Night sent me an e-mail saying how attractive she found me and how she’d fallen in love with me. Things just went from there. We’ve not met yet, but we both know this is the real thing.”
Her expression wasn’t changing. But the colour of her face was. It was now an unusually deep pink. For a moment she still didn’t say anything. Then she blurted out, “Mr. Forester! Michael! I do hope you’ve not sent this person any money?”
“Of course not!” I answered scornfully. “Well, nothing except the engagement present, of course.” The pink shade darkened to red. “And er, the flight money. I had to send the flight money, didn’t I? Or how else would she get here to make me happy for the rest of my life?” Red changed to a fetching shade of puce. “And um, the car hire money. I’m sure it will all be fine when she gets here, though. She said she just has to tie up a few legal matters in Senegal then she’ll be right over on the next flight.”
She sighed a long, long sigh. “Come and sit down Mr. Forester. I think I need to explain Spam to you. I rather think you have a disappointment coming.”