I have changed the name of the persona and pub involved to save any embarrassment.
It was the morning of April Fool’s Day – having been a victim of such a joke myself I decided to personally take this one into my own hands. What I didn’t bank on was how big this would grow and how many different people would actually get involved in what became an ongoing joke for nearly a week, purely because the victim clearly believed in himself so much that “it just had to be true!” My newest recruit simply loved himself. He was tall, dark and handsome. He truly believed the ladies simply couldn’t get enough of him. Standing proud behind the bar, Stephen was on a gap year before going off to university at the end of the next year. Always looking into any available mirror, he scrimped and plumped his hair so, so and put on that “look” of someone who clearly felt very desirable. The world was his and they’d be lucky to have him. I simply couldn’t resist it. I was sat at home by the phone and the idea just popped into my head. Grabbing a handful of mint imperials I popped quite enough into my mouth to “muffle” the sound of my very, welsh accent -which would have been a sure giveaway.
“Hello, is that the barman at The Forge Arms please?” I asked. “Yes” came the reply. ” Are you by any chance the same barman that was on duty on thursday night just gone?” I asked. ” Yes” came the reply. I then explained through a mouthful of mint imperials that “I was the owner of a company called ” Cloud Nine”, a male escort company and that two of my talent scouts had been in the bar the other night and they’d noticed how very good looking you were and how wonderfully charming you’d been to them. Infact they had been so impressed that they’d told me all about you.” Trying very hard not to burst out laughing, all that Stephen was saying the other end of the phone was that how chuffed he was to hear this. I then asked him if he’d actually consider coming to work for me. He was absolutely gobsmacked, but, at the same time he didn’t exactly turn down the offer. Without any hesitation at all he asked about the salary. I made it sound “big”. ” All of our clients are really, successful women and they usually tip really well, over and above the standard wages. You stand to make a lot of dosh in just one evening.” I explained. By now, I had Stephen eating out of my hand like a very, grateful puppy. I said I’d send him the details in the post if he could just give me his address – which he did, so dutifully.
After I put down the phone I laughed so much my sides were hurting. I then hot-footed it over to the pub to go to the office in order to set up my correspondance. Imagine my surprise, by the time I arrived it was “all around the pub!!” and I mean, all around, from the customers in the public bar to the kitchens to the cleaners! Stephen paraded behind the bar like a peacock on runners, telling everyone from one end of the bar to the other. I just smiled and quickly escaped upstairs. Filling in the personel staff rapidly, they volunteered to sharpen up the correspondance for me! By the time they’d finished it was so professional, honestly, anybody would have fallen for it! Off in the post the letter/application forms went amd everyone went back to their business as usual. They had however, added one little twist, an extra one that I hadn’t thought of – they invented the requirement for a “stripped to the waist photo” of the pending male escort. Wow! We laughed, it’s a wonder we didn’t all give the game away!
About two days later after April Fool’s Day, Stephen had by now proudly told most of our customers and we all waited patiently for his photos to arrive. Even his parents had become “suckered in” , something we hadn’t anticipated. Anyway, I decided the joke had to end by the time the photos had arrived. Dutifully, Stephen had sent his photos ( they were very good actually!) Anyway, we chose a night for the big “revealing” of the April Fool’s Joke. His pictures placed above the bar, we made sure Simon was on duty. I can remember it like yesterday. I entered the bar with mint imperiels in place, again in my mouth and ordered a drink. As I took the drink from Stephen I calmy announced that I was the owner of “Cloud Nine” – you should have seen his face! Everyone fell about laughing and in all honesty, so did Stephen – he had been well and truly April Fooled!!! What a good sport he turned out to be!!