He missed Dan. Even Director's Bitter tasted off these days.
"A true friend sees your heart, Lynn, and loves you anyway."
She nodded and Alan made sure to cut her off before she launched into a tale from church that had nothing to do with anything.
When "Kitchen Planeteer" started an Internet petition to bring back "Alan's Deep Bath", it gained well over forty signatures in under a month. Perhaps all was not lost! Alan was catapulted from morose inaction.
"Like a man afire!" Lynn wrung her hands.
"Flaming on and on," Alan agreed, then frowned.
He'd do it. He'd win Dan back.
He trimmed back the venerable Partridge Forest to golf-course regulation height, double-doused himself with Lynx Leather + Cookies chased with Lady Lynx Treacle Tart, and parted his hair with butter knife.
He was ready. He'd no idea what he'd say, but he thought best in the moment, didn't he? Of course he did.
Then Dan, the ruddy romantic, snuck up on him during a CHERISH THE BROADS charity do, embracing Alan around the waist, hot breath on his neck, hands roving madly.
"Squire Alan of Little Sexwithholding, I presume?"
"I've moved! Greater Letstryagain's my new 'hood."
"Lord Partridge breaking hearts and blueing balls? Surely not!"
"Dan! I said —" Turning, Alan stopped when Dan flashed that £300K smile. "Oh, you're teasing."
"Like to tease you a little more..." Dan's eyebrows danced a suggestive samba. "Hands on."
Despite his complimentary Attleborough Lexus-Hyundai anorak, Alan shivered. "Drive manual, do you?"
"Nothing better than a fat gear knob topping a nice big shaft."
Alan shuffled his feet. "How about a shaft well within normal range for both length and girth? One that may take its time, but in the end manages to make an impression?"
Eyes sparkling, Dan bit his lip. "Perfect."