We booked our holiday last year - well, I say "we"; the young raver actually did the booking - on the 'phone. As I know well from my own personal experience, it's difficult to secure a plot on a campsite online, and the archaic notion of actually telephoning somebody to get a holiday sorted is such a brilliant novelty. As I recalled yesterday when I did exactly the same thing to confirm a booking for a holiday I'm meant to be taking this summer, the young raver at least used a smartphone. Keeping up with the technology, of course.
"I booked," the young raver said. "I called up Ten-Man Anne and..."
"Ten-Man Anne?" everyone said simultaneously, together and all at once.
"Well, Anne answered the 'phone," he replied.
"Where were the ten men?" asked Mane's little brother, looking very confused indeed.
"The ten men with Anne," interjected scene girl.
"Ten-Man Anne!" we all chorused.
It turned out that he had actually called Tim and Anne, and that his accent had blended the two words together.
But the name stuck. On the drive down towards the South Coast, we all began to construct fantasies of exactly what feminine mystique coaxed these ten men towards the epitome of power that was Ten-Man Anne. One of us envisioned them all locked in a cupboard. Another suggestion was ten men in French maid outfits, servicing her every need. Maybe she had a little black book and called them up in rotation. I favoured all ten meeting in a pub and swapping stories.
Nobody factored Tim into the equation. It was Anne, Ten-Man Anne, who we had booked with, and it was Ten-Man Anne who visited us on the first night to see how we were doing and make sure that no debauchery was going on (the sex happened later that night). I was returning from the toilet at that point, and was shocked to see a dumpy little middle-aged woman in our camp. As far as I was aware, we hadn't brought her along with us.
"I'm Anne," she offered in answer to my unasked question. "Looks like you've got a nice little camp set up here." (Being Woodcrafters, we'd made a circle. She'd obviously never seen this before.)
"Where's your man?" I blurted out, before I could stop myself.
"Tim?" she laughed. "Oh, he'll be along later." And she ambled away.
"Tim. Must be her number one," I said as soon as she was out of earshot, and the others in my camp nodded sagely in agreement.