. Avalon This little tale concerns a man, Who in an English village ran A thriving little corner shop, Supplying shakes and soda pop. This fellow did his best to try, His customers to satisfy, As in his shop, they waited while, He took their money with a smile. One day while he was taking tea, He thought, “This shop’s too big for me.” And so resigned himself to fate, He’d have to find himself a mate. He saw her on the Internet, A lovely smile he’d not forget. This busty lass with golden hair, Was forty-five and going spare. The lady’s name was Avalon, She hadn’t lived in town for long. This stranger from a foreign clime, Was looking for a concubine. He thought, “This must be destiny That she could be the one for me." He liked the sound of Avalon, So turned his email switch to "on." And then he thought, “Just for a laugh, I’ll send this girl a photograph,” He chose a good one that he knew, Was taken back in ’82. When spectacles he didn’t wear, And way up top, he had more hair. His teeth were sparkling pearly-white, The muscles in his arms were tight. His fair complexion free of warts: “It’s near enough" crossed through his thoughts. He entered “send” and it was gone, Across the web to Avalon. “I think I’ve scored” you’d hear him say, He checked his email everyday Until he fixed his eyes upon The one that came from Avalon. “The picture that you sent to me, I’m surely liking what I see. So let this be our special date, I’ll see you in the bar at eight.” And so, to meet this lady fair, He gently trimmed his nostril hair. As splashing on a dash of Brut, He dusted down his favourite suit. But unbeknowing to the man, This female had a cunning plan, Her image, that he chanced to see, It dated back to ‘83. When in those days, she was so thin, But now possessed a double chin. She cried, ”The photo he did see, It doesn’t look a bit like me.” And so, she washed and dyed her hair, Then fixed her make-up with a stare. She squeezed the blackheads on her nose, Then gently ironed her wrinkled hose. Her corset cords, she pulled up tight To hide excessive cellulite. Then checking that her teeth were straight, She headed out to meet her date. The Town Hall bell was chiming eight, As in the bar, the man did wait. Anticipating, so it seems To meet the partner of his dreams. And then the door did open wide As Avalon, she stepped inside, A little plump and going grey, He had a mind to run away. “It must be you,” she then did laugh, Whilst pointing at his photograph. “We’ve both been fooled, or so I think, I guess that we can use a drink.” And then she thought, “Oh, what the heck, It's like Fiona meeting Shrek.” They ended up the best of friends, And promised they would meet again. The message for us all is so: In matters of the heart, be slow And careful of the deal you get, When dating on the Internet. For images you’re bound to see Can clash with crude reality; But like the couple in this tale, The course of love will oft’ prevail. . . Jeff Eardley lives in the heart of England near to the Peak District National Park and is a local musician playing guitar, mandolin and piano steeped in the music of America, including the likes of Ry Cooder, Paul Simon, and particularly Hank Williams.