An Unfortunate Cup of Tea – Horslips


’Any and all extraneous, superfluous or suspicious nipples will be kept private and confidential’.

The sign reassured me a little. Still, I was nervous. This would be my first full body massage.

Next to me in the tiny lobby, sat an old lady with one of those permanently slanted, shaky heads. Across from us, filling a seat meant for two, a stout business man fiddled with his tom bowler. He caught me looking, and smiled lasciviously. I smiled back, though not with the mouth he could see. A bell mounted above the door rang softly.

‘Miss Bloom?’

I undressed and lay face down on the table, as the masseuse tactfully sorted his unguents and incense. I felt the slap of a towel across my rear, and relaxed as his hands chopped and rucked their way across my back. Gradually, his easy banter lulled me to a daze, so that when he asked me to turn around, I
thought nothing of it.


His face turned white, and he backed away, wringing his hands as if they burned.

’Wha..what is that?’

I reddened. ’Oh, ignore it,it’s nothing. A blemish.’

The masseuse reluctantly returned to work on my stomach and chest, giving the mouth a wide birth. As he rubbed and powdered I could feel it grin.
’Brush me teeth’, it suddenly crowed in it’s distinct Geordie twang.


’Please..Try to ignore it, what you were doing felt great’.

His hands were shaking violently, but he resumed, concentrating on the safe zone of my shoulders. I felt the little tongue poke out and waggle.
’How..How long has that..’

’Couple of weeks. Honestly, it’s nothing. Just an insect bite I expect’.

The tiny lips smacked together.

’Gis a kiss’.

He backed away, turned to the faucet, and began to violently scrub his hands.

’Look..I’m sorry. I can’t continue.’

As I unlocked the car, the mouth piped up again, mercifully muffled by my blouse.

’Yer ugly you.’

I knew better than to respond, and instead turned up a britpop CD on the stereo.

’Mad for it’.


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