I hope you’ve got your dental floss at the ready to join Miriam for this week’s episode of Queer Tango.
As always, please excuse the typos.
Episode 52: Organic Onions
Miriam loved being back in Bumblethorpe. She loved being able to know everyone she met on her way to work; she loved that she was able to practice as a dentist; she loved going to class and seeing her fellow dancers who she now felt were friends… and, she didn’t much mind the fact she lived with the most fantastic dancer in a bicycle helmet either.
‘George, if you won’t floss, you’re going to have more fillings,’ she muttered as she peered at his molars with the electric scraper in her hand. ‘Diane has said that you don’t.’
George gurgled in response.
‘There’s no need to get grumpy, she’s trying to make sure your teeth stay lovely and white.’ Miriam looked up and met Ceri’s gaze. ‘Ish.’
Ceri smiled, showing she had lovely teeth and carried on scrubbing the counter enough the light on the chair bounced off it, hit Miriam in the eyes and she slipped.
Miriam blinked away the blocks of colour and winced. ‘That tooth will need a filling.’ She shrugged and splodged some mould on it. ‘That’s why you need to floss.’
George gurgled at her.
‘I did not slip, I meant to clear out…’ the perfectly fine tooth ‘plaque.’
‘It had plaque on it. Do you want me to pull it out instead?’ Miriam flexed her eyebrows in the middle which always made Lanie furrow hers back with a cute smile on her face.
George gurgled then spluttered.
‘Exactly.’ She pulled out her heat gun and sealed the tooth. ‘You can sit up now.’
George shot out of the chair and bolted out of the room.
Ceri smiled and scrubbed down the chair with a doting smile. ‘You’re so good with the customers.’
George ducked in, threw his cheque at the receptionist, tore his coat from the stand and bolted again.
‘Thank you,’ Miriam said with a happy smile.
The door opened and Lanie poked her head in. ‘You fancy some lunch?’
Miriam raised her eyebrows. ‘It’s five pm.’
Lanie shrugged. ‘Dinner then?’
Miriam cocked her head. Lanie had that awkward look on that she used to when she wanted to ask her out but couldn’t without fainting. ‘I’m always happy to have dinner.’
Ceri flapped her gloves together with a grin. ‘You’re so sweet.’
Lanie shrugged then flushed a lovely colour pink. ‘Er… guess?’
Miriam glanced at the door. ‘I have another customer… I can just—’
‘I’m good. I’ll rearrange,’ Andy called and bolted.
‘I’ll just clean down the surgery—’
‘I’ve got it,’ Ceri said and shoved her toward Lanie. ‘You enjoy lunch.’
‘Dinner,’ Miriam said still with her head torch and apron on.
‘That too,’ Ceri said and swatted at her with her feather duster.
Why did she have a feather duster in the surgery? Miriam shrugged then turned to Lanie then smiled. ‘Were you in a meeting?’
‘No, why?’ she managed then clung to the wall and fanned herself with a bunch of flowers.
‘Or helping Hedges… in a meeting?’ Miriam waved at Lanie’s very swish suit.
Lanie looked down at herself then at the flowers and shoved them behind her back. ‘Er… no?’
Miriam leaned up and pecked her on the lips. ‘Are they for me?’
Lanie glanced around. ‘Sort of?’
She narrowed her eyes. ‘Sort of?’ She pointed to her headtorch. ‘I can still fit you in for a filling.’
Lanie pursed her lips and her clear eyes narrowed under very long and beautiful eyelashes. She was blonde but her eyelashes were darker, a brownish colour. ‘I don’t need a filling. You floss my teeth all the time.’
The receptionist raised her eyebrows and studied her screen.
‘With dental floss,’ Miriam said as Lanie held onto the wall and fanned herself with the flowers again. ‘And you’re allowed to take me to dinner.’
Lanie managed to nod and then dragged her out of the door.
‘Can I take the apron off?’ Miriam mumbled as she was hauled past the bins which Barry had decided not to empty.
‘No,’ Lanie dragged her into the street and two cars slowed and beeped. ‘I’m working here.’
The driver beeped again and Tammy’s oldest girl poked her head out of the window. ‘I need to pick up more glasses from Uncle Ricky, hurry up.’
Lanie narrowed her eyes. ‘I can tell your fella.’
Tammy’s oldest girl turned off her engine and folded her arms.
Tammy and Tracy wandered out of The Bee with amused smiles on their faces. ‘I don’t know about you but she looks a bit posh for a dinner.’
Miriam nodded. ‘That’s what I said.’
‘Nice outfit, honey,’ Mary-Lou said wandering out of the shop with Hedges, Glynnis and Billington. ‘I didn’t know we had class.’
‘We don’t,’ Lanie muttered then turned back to Miriam then fanned herself with the flowers again.
‘Get on with it,’ Tammy’s oldest muttered.
‘Oi, don’t yell at her, she gave me a Snickers.’ Tammy folded her arms in a way that mother’s did when unimpressed.
‘She didn’t give me one.’ Tammy’s girl beeped.
Miriam looked up at Lanie. ‘Are we eating in the middle of the road?’
George hurried out of his shop, cheek puffed out, fell over the kerb and clattered into Gaynor who threw Little Liza. Stan jumped out of his van the other side of the street and dived. He caught her with both hands.
‘That was some athleticism, Stanetta. Clearly you are working out,’ Andy said as he, Paulette, little and older Agnes and Janis wandered out of Diane’s salon.
Stan nodded. ‘Didn’t need that skin on my elbows.’
Gaynor got up and thwacked George with her top hat.
‘Sorry,’ George mumbled.
Diane poked her head out of the salon. ‘Are we having a class get together?’
‘Dunno,’ Tracy said, pointing at Miriam and Lanie. ‘She hasn’t got her helmet on so not sure.’
‘Hurry up,’ Tammy’s girl said then rolled her seat back.
‘I’m trying,’ Lanie muttered as George got up and hurried over to Diane.
Miriam frowned. ‘You need to actually cook ingredients for us to eat dinner.’
Lanie fanned herself. ‘I know.’
‘I can just stick something in the microwave for you?’ Tammy said smirking at Tracy. ‘Or Tracy can just grab you a drink?’
‘I don’t think we’re allowed to drink on the street,’ Glynnis said with a hopeful voice. ‘Are we?’
Mary-Lou chuckled. ‘I’m good with something strong… It’ll warm me up.’
Hedges tutted. ‘Barney will tell me off if you get drunk again.’
‘Why?’ Mary-Lou said then hugged Hedges. ‘He kinda enjoyed our singing.’
‘And yours.’ Mary-Lou patted him on the head.
Lanie fanned herself again.
Miriam folded her arms. ‘Can I just go take the apron off?’
‘No,’ Lanie fanned herself again. She glanced at Hedges for help.
Hedges smiled. ‘You are more brilliant than my favourite bike…’
‘And you’re more fun to be around than taking my hands off the handlebars…’ Mary-Lou added with a grin.
‘I prefer you to my favourite flavour of Janis’ sister’s Bumblethorpe Hill special,’ Stan called out as he danced with Little Liza in his arms.
‘And you are far better than one of Ricky’s cars,’ Tracy said with a snort.
‘And I think of you as I do a Snickers,’ Tammy shouted then hoisted up hers with a grin.
‘Or an indecent proportion with a helping of chips,’ Diane said and gave George a kiss on the cheek.
Andy cleared his throat. ‘I’ve been trying to say that I really love your—’
‘Sneakers,’ Paulette blurted then slapped Andy across the arm and shrugged at her mother.
‘I was going to say heart,’ Andy said with a wrinkled up mouth.
‘It doesn’t rhyme though,’ Paulette said.
‘Does she like her sneakers?’ Mary-Lou said to Glynnis who was sniggering hard enough she snorted.
‘And I love it when you wiggle your hips,’ Gaynor said rolling her eyes at Paulette and Andy sniggering.
‘I don’t fancy removing you like gum,’ Janis said and rubbed at her beard.
‘But you are well worth learning a dance step or three,’ Ceri added from the surgery door.
‘Do they all need more tea?’ Agnes asked Paulette. ‘Someone really should get her out of the road.’
‘She said dance step or three,’ Paulette said and fussed over Little Agnes.
‘And as I have trouble saying out loud that I love you,’ George said then beamed up at Diane who winked at him.
‘I’d like…’ Lanie mumbled then fanned herself then Billington who bounced over, flattened her and lay on her chest.
Miriam peered down at her. ‘You’d like?’
‘Don’t suppose you’d marry me?’ Lanie managed then held up the squashed flowers.
Miriam leaned down with a big beaming smile on her face, took the flowers, patted Billington then nodded. ‘I’m glad you want to marry me even though I have bunions.’
Agnes tutted. ‘What’s wrong with having bunions?’
‘I don’t know, Hedges and Stan helped her write the poem,’ Gaynor said and rolled her eyes.
‘I thought Miriam didn’t know she was being proposed to,’ Agnes whispered back.
‘It’s Bumblethorpe,’ Tammy said with a smirk. ‘Everyone knew she was proposing.’
Tammy’s daughter beeped. ‘Whatever, move it. I need to pick up the glasses before the police yell at Uncle Ricky.’
Lanie blinked. ‘You do?’
Miriam helped her up. ‘Yes, I am glad you want to marry me even though I have bunions.’
‘But you don’t.’ Lanie chuckled.
‘Go with it,’ Mary-Lou mumbled and hugged Hedges.
‘I’m glad you want to marry me even though I have bunions,’ Miriam said with extra gusto then beamed up at Lanie who slid the engagement ring onto her finger. ‘Because I love you as much as organic onions.’