In the meantime, check out my personal blog - www.jimmyrice.org/ - for updates on how the book is going as well as posts that aren't about dating and an archive of old things I've written.
You can also follow my personal Twitter page - or for updates on my love life join plentymorefishoutofwater on Facebook.
And if you fancy reading about some of my old dating disasters, I'd recommend these: A Date with Depression, The Gay Note, Singles' Night at Tesco, The Pasty Kiss, The Love Doctor and The Shower Cap Date.
A few of you have been asking if I texted Marie. To those people I say the following: she let me taste her fishcake on our first date - of course I texted her.
Plus, she's a doctor, so even if I didn't get a second date, we'd probably end up friends and I'd be able to quiz her on all my little ailments (small nipples, Mildred's depression).
Here's how the text conversation went:
Me - 10:51am: Hey you, just got on train. Had a really nice time last night. Hope we can do it again sometime xx
Marie - 5:56pm: Hey, feel really embarrassed about last night! Like I said, the drink got the better of me! x
Me - 6:02pm: Oh well - I don't think worse of you. Maybe we could do something at the weekend? xx
Marie - 7:45pm: I think worse of myself! x
Me - 8:07pm: Shall I take that as a no about the weekend? xx
Marie - 11:03pm: We'll see. Just need to sort my head out. Sorry x
Two days later
Me - 7:36pm: Will you go on a second date with me if I promise not to share my battered sausage? xx
Marie - 7:46pm: You do make me laugh. Can't do this weekend - am looking after my nephew x
Another four days later
Me - 5:41pm: Hey you, how was your weekend then? xx
Marie - 6:57pm: Weekend good but messy! What's new? x
Me - 7:08pm: Nephew do another painting, did he? xx
Marie - 8:08pm: Nah, my sister changed her plans so didn't end up having him. Went out with the girls instead lol x
Me - 8:16pm: Oh right. Up for hooking up Friday or Saturday then? xx
Another three days later
Me - 9:12am: I take it we're not going on a second date then? xx
One week later
Me - 3:13pm: What's the best way to deal with athlete's foot?
So my date with Marie the doctor went well and I ended up getting invited back to her house for a nightcap. Here's what happened next:
"Everything's a bit bare I'm afraid - I've just moved in."
Marie slings her keys towards a hall table. Misses by a good foot.
A single, vile attempt at modern art decorates the magnolia hallway.
"My nephew did that," she says. "He's got autism."
My date strides upstairs and into the bedroom without looking back.
Linger by the door, unsure whether to follow.
"Come on, what you waiting for?" she finally slurs.
****Check her radio alarm. It's 12:44am and my upper body is starting to ache. Lights went out nine minutes ago.
Should have avoided missionary, started with something adventurous - like her on top.
Set myself a target. Just have to last until 1:05am. That'll be acceptable. Got to be up early anyway. Need to phone the council, get them to collect my old fridge. Plus there's Mildred to feed.
Marie keeps licking my face. Reckon she thinks it's sexy. Try to keep my head out of reach, but it's not easy with lactic acid throbbing in my biceps.
"Sorry, I need a break," I wheeze, collapsing into her clammy chest.
We resume with my
Yank her head back with my right hand, slap her bum with my left. I'm a sex cowboy and this - Marie's bedroom - is my ranch.
"Careful," she moans, spoiling the rodeo vibe somewhat.
Stretch for the glass of water on her bedside table. Tiny particles of dust float like jetsam on the surface.
"How long's this been here?" I enquire.
No reply. Mind must be elsewhere.
Can feel myself heading towards an orgasm. It's 12:52am. Need to think of something repulsive. Salmon, perhaps.
No, not salmon. Definitely not salmon.
Oh, fuck it.
Lie there like a lemon for a minute - all the while keeping an eye out for her anti-social tongue. We then coordinate my disembarkation.
Marie blows a puff of cool air across her face as we each stare up at the ceiling.
"Isn't it weird how you can blow hot AND cold air out of your mouth?" I say.
"Never really given it much thought," she replies.
Ten minutes later we're asleep.
****Still feel drunk when a bright sunrise beams through her bare window and wakes me up.
Marie's got her back to me, nursery blue sheets tucked up to her neck. The rays give her hair a ginger glow. She really needs to get some curtains.
Been lying here bored almost an hour. Wish she'd get up.
Decide to mess around with my ringtones - that'll rouse her.
"Morning!" I say, when she finally stirs.
Marie places a hand on her forehead to indicate pain.
She sinks her face into the pillow for a few seconds before answering.
"I think the drink got the better of me."
"What do you mean?"
"I don't normally have sex with near strangers."
"Well, just put it down as a night of passion."
"A night of passion?"
"You had fun, didn't you?"
"It was okay, yes, but..."
Marie stands, grabs a white towel from her chest of drawers and heads for the en suite without finishing her sentence. Best get up myself.
She comes back in, towel covering all her important bits. Asks me to turn around while she gets dressed.
"I did see everything last night, you know," I complain.
"That was last night."
Not sure I'll ever understand women. Think I'm just going to get off.
"Gonna go catch the train in a sec - need to feed Mildred."
"You know the way to the station?"
She leads me downstairs, past the
Marie pulls away and turns the Yale lock in one slick movement.
"I'll text you," I say.
She smiles but doesn't reply.
Can feel her eyes tracking me as I bound down her path. Then, a little earlier than expected, the door slams shut.
Get to the pub dead on time. No sign of my date.
Ask for a Corona. Barmaid corks it with a hefty chunk of shrivelled lime. Force the little bugger down the bottleneck with my thumb.
Marie shuffles through the door as I take my first bitter swig, a little black dress wrapped around her curves like gravy on mashed potato. Looks well tasty.
Order her a vodka and lemo while she commandeers a sofa, smoothing the back of her dress before sinking into its leather upholstery.
"I've never dated a doctor before," I say, handing over her beverage.
"You're not going to ask me to look at something, are you?" she replies.
Planned to quiz her on my athlete's foot. Might leave it til our second date now.
She chats about a recent trip to the Galapagos Islands. Loves travelling, apparently. Tell her I went to Hull last week.
Examine the jukebox while my date gets another round in. Spot Doctor Doctor by The Thompson Twins. She'll think that's well funny.
Marie rolls her eyes when it comes on. Can tell she's laughing inside, though.
She wants to know how long I've been single.
"About a year," I lie. "You?"
"About six months."
"Long-term, was it?"
"What happened? Just grow apart?"
"No, he shagged my best mate."
Marie tucks her thin brown hair behind each ear, then squints like a little girl as she sips her drink through a lime green straw.
"You don't seem too bitter about it?"
"At first I hated his guts."
"Now I've realised that indifference is the opposite of love - not hate."
A cute little mole hovers like the North Star just above her right dimple. She's beautiful, and intelligent, and I'm about as far away from indifference as I've ever been on a first date. Though I have had three Mexican lagers.
Need to change the subject - something less serious.
"So what's your favourite pizza topping?" I quiz.
"Anything - as long as there's no mushrooms. They're evil."
"I'm like that with salmon."
"How can you not like salmon?"
"It reminds me of vagina."
"And you don't like vagina?"
Her hand brushes my arm as our laughter echoes round the bar. I'm already leaning forward to disguise a semi. Best go to the loo before I get a full on boner.
Come back with more drinks. Marie's texting.
"Hope you're saying nice things about me," I quip.
"Actually, I am."
She slides the mobile back into her bag and ushers me close with her chocolaty eyes. An unambiguous smile informs me it's time for us to kiss.
Her hand circles my ribcage as our tongues mingle. Bet she can feel my heart racing even without her stethoscope.
Have to break off for a silent burp. Don't think she twigs.
"Look, it's getting late - do you fancy buying me some chips?" she says.
Find a chippy round the corner. Bit of a queue. Marie reprimands a lairy Scouser for trying to push in. Pull an apologetic face behind her back to let him know it's not me complaining. Turns out he's too pissed to argue anyway - just stumbles out the door.
We stroll with our supper towards a taxi rank. She offers me a bit of fishcake; I allow her a small bite of my battered sausage.
Pass the lairy Scouser pissing against a furniture shop window. He's yelling expletives at an unseen friend. Dying for a wee myself. Might see if there's a quiet spot further down the street.
"What a pig, pissing in public like that," complains Marie.
"I know - makes me sick."
"That's why I joined a dating website - because when I'm out I meet knobheads like him."
"Whereas online you meet sophisticated young men like me."
We stop and kiss for the second time, though I have to pull away after a few seconds - her breath stinks of haddock.
Don't have to wait long for a cab to pull up.
"You can come back to mine for a nightcap if you want?" says Marie.
Jump on the back seat before she has time to change her mind.
Fare's already £3 and we've barely moved. Gonna be extortionate by the time we get to Birkenhead.
We start necking as our chauffeur heads towards the tunnel. By £4.10 her hand's on my thigh, at £5.60 I'm copping a feel of her tits. The final fare comes to £15.80 - but it's money well spent.
Marie rummages through her handbag in search of keys while I take a deep breath and contemplate what's ahead.
To be continued...
Just a quickie to reveal my blog is being serialised on popular local radio station Juice FM.
One of my dating posts will be read out every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at around 8pm for the next month. It's billed as Sex and the City - but without the sex, because this blogger doesn't get any sex. They wrote that bit.
The DJ asked if I could provide 12 real-life stories - and each has now been recorded.
Jump out the shower. Pubes are looking a bit bushy. Attack them with some kitchen scissors.
No time to vacuum up the mess afterwards - need to get going.
Pay my train fare with a crisp £20 note. Ticket man asks if I've got anything smaller. I have, but I don't like his tone, so I grunt in the negative.
Natasha texts - she's arrived early. Bit keen. Don't bother replying. She can sweat for a little while.
Spot her leaning against the wall as I amble off the train. She looks just like her photos. A little tubbier around the thighs, perhaps. Nothing a few circuit classes wouldn't fix.
Notice thick blobs of mascara on her eyelashes as we kiss cheeks.
"What kind of bars do you normally go to?" I quiz.
"Anywhere really - I'm easy."
The Jacaranda it is, then. Bottles of lager are only £1 on weeknights.
Except Natasha wants Bacardi and Coke, so the round comes to more than £3.
We take our seats in the dank basement, where psychedelic paintings of John Lennon decorate each wall.
"The Beatles used to practice down here," I explain. "Though they were known as The Quarrymen back then."
Natasha looks on in awe as I continue my lecture with more Fab facts.
She eventually changes the subject by probing me on my worst habits. Can't say sniffing the toilet paper after each wipe.
In the end I go with ringing friends while on the bog. My date says she does that too. Suddenly the fat thighs don't matter so much.
My crotch starts itching. Happens every time I trim. Manage to have a good scratch while Natasha checks her phone.
She peels the label off my bottle as we resume our chat.
"That's a sign of sexual frustration," I point out.
"Why do you think I signed up for Plenty of Fish?" she quips. This girl's gagging for it.
With each Bacardi and Coke she becomes chattier, with each £1 bottle of Stella a little prettier.
We share stories of all the weirdos we've met online. Tell her about The Pasty Kiss and The Date with Depression.
"How about you?" I query. "Met any freaks?"
"For some reason I seem to attract a lot of..."
Natasha looks round before silently mouthing her next word.
Can't work out if she's being serious, so I nod politely.
"Every week another one messages me. I never reply. You'd think they'd take the hint, but no."
Not sure what to say. The silence is getting a bit awkward.
I pretend to need a wee, darting upstairs to the bog to assess my options while staring into a ceramic urinal.
Maybe I should confront her - that'd probably be the right thing to do. Or I could forget she's a racist in the hope of getting a shag.
End up doing neither. Instead I creep out of the toilets, smiling gingerly at the barmaid while scurrying to the exit.
The air's mild outside even though it's well past 9pm. A slate grey sky has replaced the earlier sunshine. Don't have to wait long for a train.
Five minutes after taking a seat my phone beeps.
"Where are you?" she's written.
I consider my reponse for a few seconds, then start typing.
"I'm on the train. You're fit and that but the coloureds comment put me off. And the mascara too - sorry."
Don't get a reply. End up having an early night. Except I can't fall asleep because of my itchy pubes.
I'd forgotten how desperate and seedy Plentyoffish.com could be, but after a few days I received a message which warmed my heart:
ring me im horny
I'll be honest - I suspected it might be too good to be true. After all, Kate was hot - really hot.
Unsure how to proceed, I consulted my followers on Facebook and Twitter, who persuaded me to throw caution to the wind and call.
Except when I dialled Kate's number, a young man with a thick Scouse (Liverpool) accent picked up. Thankfully I got it all on tape.
Here's what happened on call number one:
Scouse fella: Hello.
Me: Hello, could I speak to Kate please?
Scouse fella: What?
Me: Could I speak to Kate please?
Scouse fella: Who?
Me: I got a message on Plenty of Fish, the dating website, from a girl called Kate who said she was horny. She gave this number.
Scouse fella: Nah, lad.
Scouse fella hangs up.
Bit rude - but I wasn't going to be deterred. If Kate was horny, she might not be horny for long. So I called back two minutes later:
Scouse fella: Hello
Me: Hello, is that Kate?
Frustrated Scouse fella: No, do I fucking sound like a Kate? Who are you?
Me: I explained this - I got your number off Plenty of Fish, the dating website.
Frustrated Scouse fella: What are you calling for?
Me: Because Kate said she was horny.
Frustrated Scouse fella: Nah, nah, nah mate. I'm not Kate.
Me: So you're telling me you are not a 23-year-old girl called Kate?
Angry Scouse fella: You wanna try phoning me again and I'll smash your fucking face in.
Me: So you're not Kate?
Angry Scouse fella hangs up.
This was becoming fun. Call three, 30 minutes later:
Angry Scouse fella: Hello.
Me: Please don't hang up - I just want to ask you a couple of questions so we can get to the bottom of this.
Angry Scouse fella: Who gave you my number?
Me: Well that's my first question - do you know someone called Kate?
Angry Scouse fella: I don't know any fucking Kates.
Me: Okay, question two - are you horny?
Angry Scouse fella: I'll punch your fucking head in.
Me: But you don't know who I am - I hid my number?
Angry Scouse fella: I'm gonna batter you.
Me: That's not going to help anyone.
Angry Scouse fella hangs up.
Okay, so I was a bit bored working a late shift and decided to give my new friend another ring a few hours later:
Angry Scouse fella: Hello.
Me: Me again.
Scouse fella: I'm on to who gave you this number, lad.
Me: Who was it?
Scouse fella: Some girl, lad - my mate's sister.
Me: Bit weird that she gave your number out and said you were horny.
Scouse fella: Just don't phone me again, lad.
Me: I might phone you later.
Angry Scouse fella hangs up.
At this point I'm realising the blog potential. The fifth and final call, one hour later:
Angry Scouse fella: Hello.
Me: Hi mate, just ringing to chew the fat - it's been ages.
Angry Scouse fella: Ages? You're a cheeky cunt, lad.
Me: What's your name?
Angry Scouse fella: What are you asking my name for?
Me: Is it Michael?
Angry Scouse fella: Nah, it's not.
Angry Scouse fella: No.
Angry Scouse fella: Why are you trying to guess my name?
Angry Scouse fella: You're a proper bender, you. You take it up the arse.
Me: Come on, there's no need for that Michael.
Angry Scouse fella hangs up.
People are dismissive - no one's heard of it. I keep schtum. Need to do a big shop anyway; got no plans Friday. It's on.
Head down about 8pm, a splash of Calvin Klein still soaking into my face, neck and crotch.
It's all a bit quiet. Probably doesn't liven up 'til the pubs chuck out.
An old couple with an empty trolley undertake me at the onions. What are they doing here? I grunt but the geriatrics are in a world of their own.
Potatoes - check; carrots - check; eggs - check.
Remember why you're here, la. Scan the pet food aisle for skirt - nothing.
A little guy in a big suit surveys dried fruits. He's overdone it with the clobber. No competition. Throw him a knowing wink. He looks worried.
Our male bonding is suddenly interrupted by a female presence. A pigtailed girl in a knitted cardie is skipping towards us.
"Hello, young lady," I say, hoping an attractive single mum is around the corner.
The child stops dead, looks me up and down, and scurries off at pace, almost colliding with an unseen trolley that swerves into view.
It's her mother - and she's from the Finest range. Tall, dark and, I note, a fan of prunes.
A white shirt hangs over black leggings; sunglasses sit like a tiara on her chest-length hair. Stylish without being dressy - definitely the right tone for a night like this.
Follow her down cooked meats. I'll strike up a convo about something she picks off the shelves - though our girl doesn't seem to be buying much.
Of course she's not buying much - she's here to find a man.
Stay 10 paces behind along cereals, where finally she brakes to collect some Shreddies. Time to move in.
I'm right on her tail when the child's lips begin to stir.
"Mummy, that man keeps staring at you."
Throw the shitbag an evil but she's already skipping away.
Mum looks over, arms folded across her liberal bust. A pitiful shake of the head accompanies three little words that still echo in my heart.
"Get a life."
With that she's away, and I'm left scarlet-faced with Tony the Tiger. Great.
Grab a packet of Pop Tarts, pretending to read the label while she rolls down frozen foods, up wines and spirits, into home goods and out of my life forever.
A handicapped lady hums as she marches my way, an index finger in each ear. Spot little guy in a big suit two aisles down. Appears to be looking at condoms.
Scan the checkout staff. One hottie but she's got a queue.
"Would you like to come to this one?"
I hear the offer but don't look round - the voice is old and splintered.
Instead join the line for...Helen - that's what her badge says when I finally get to the front.
"Do you need some help with your packing?"
"I'm okay, thanks - as long as you don't go too fast."
The hottie smiles at my trademark quip, drawing a Biro from her tied up hair to scribble something on a receipt. I'm in.
"Have you ever heard of it being singles' night here on a Friday?"
"No. Is that why you're here?"
Helen places a delicate hand over her mouth to hide a throaty snigger.
"I needed a big shop anyway."
Type my PIN too fast - trying to show off. Have to re-enter.
She eventually returns my card, a lipgloss smirk still etched beneath her studded nose.
"See you next Friday," she says as I scamper to the exit.
Wait 'til I see Eve.
Bad news folks - it's over. The strain of courting in the public eye finally got to me and fellow blogger Rapunzel.
After a long
The frustrating thing is, we do get along great. I'll probably never be able to listen to Three Times a Lady without thinking of her silly knife and fork earrings. And she'll no doubt always wonder how small my tiny nipples really are.
Obviously we're going to stay friends
All this means I'm dateless for Valentine's Day. Luckily I've still got those vaginal mints as a prize if any readers want to play cupid...