Garnished With Rosemary
FEMALES OVER AGE OF CONSENT CALLED ‘ROSIE’ FOR PERMANENT PROJECT. MUST BE BROAD MINDED BUT ABOVE ALL COMMITTED.
APPLY BOX 352011
Eric Turner sat in his office and waited for the next Rosie to come in. He was flicking through a copy of The Big Issue when the intercom buzzed. “Rosemary is here for you.” The secretary informed him on the other end. Eric replied, for this particular Rosie the fourth one to apply, to come straight in. Eric had not worked out a cap on the number of Rosies he was going to collect. He was, like all men, a little bit greedy but he lived in a bedsit so there would probably have to be a limit. Rosie IV walked in and she saw a man that if he wasn’t wearing the most expensive suit from Primark would normally be wearing clothes that he slept in the night before and possibly before that. Attempting to be the gentleman Eric stood up and offered his hand. Rosie IV, slightly mousey and wearing a long coat of light colour and soft material, shook his hand and sat down.
“So, erm, is this pornography or a nudie calendar?” Asked Rosie IV.
“Not quite yes. Though we mustn’t rule anything out. How are you for sex?” Eric asked.
“Oh, I’m game. I’m very game.”
“Well…erm…Why not? Being handsome is a bit overrated and the good looking ones are a bit smug headed anyway.”
“Right I better brief you what this project is about.”
“A sex project, I bet. Phwoar!”
“Blimey, you’re keen.” And a bit scary, thought Eric. He continued with the briefing, “I have decided to set up a harem consisting of females with the same name as you.”
Some time before Eric was in his local boozer with a bisexual friend of his called Tommy Clarke. As the minutes flew by the conversation swerved round to the topic of sex and the members of (from their vantage point) the opposite sex. Is a female’s persona in anyway affected by the name she has been given? Elaborate complicated names they decided were literally a complicated area, almost a no go zone. A complicated name meant either a posh person or worse still ‘Daddy’s little princess.’ Such women would be high maintenance and one would get very little reward for so much effort. Council estate names did guarantee sluttiness but also the risk of disease, stimulant abuse and pregnancy. “For some reason natural selection has deemed those supermarket trolley Lolitas to be the most fertile.” Concurred Tommy. Eventually it was settled that the name Rosie signified a good woman. It had connotations of mischievousness, a game-girl with a rebellious attitude. To them the very name Rosie conjured up excitement. Tommy put forward the notion that Leo Baxendale’s chic heroine should have been called Rosie The Minx.
“Good God you’re naked!” Exclaimed Eric as he looked up from his notes. After they finished and put their clothes back on it was time for Rosemary number five to walk in. Rosie IV wanted to sit in on this interview for voracious reasons. “I wanna do girl-girl. I’ve never had a go but I wanna see what it’s like. Let me do girl-girl. Let me do it, I’m desperate. Lemme, lemme, lemme. Pleease.”
Eric argued, “If I let you do girl-girl, you’d want to do a threesome, then you’d want a gang-bang…There’s not enough room here. Sorry Rosie, it’s a one at a time procedure here.”
“Spoilsport.” And with a poke of the tongue she was gone.
A big burly schoolmarm of a Rosemary came in. She was forthright and to the point. After being told of Eric’s plan she informed him, “Well, now you’ve got me. I saw you double take when I came to the room but take it from me young man the male of the species gets tired of pretty girls after a while. He fancies a change now and again.”
“There’s always homosexuality.”
“I don’t think you’ll be able to hack a homosexual liaison. Come to think of it I don’t think you’d be able to hack this harebrained venture of yours.”
“If you give me your….”
“How many Rosies do you expect to obtain?”
“You’re expecting to have a stream of Rosies coming in? What’s your accommodation like?”
“Well it’s no palace?”
“How many rooms young man?”
The room shook to its very foundations when Rosie V quite audibly repeated Eric’s answer. “It’s a…bedsit.” Sheeped Eric. Rosie V’s eyes nearly fell out of her sockets. A harem in a bedsit? A harem in a bedsit! How on Earth did Eric expect to set up his own harem if the only place he can afford is a bedsit? Eric explained that he’d be working on it. “You’d better.” Warned Rosie V and she stood up to leave, still giving Eric the look when exiting. When she left a light fart emitted from his buttocks.
“Eighteen should be a good limit and with confidence you might build up the harem to twenty six.” Suggested Tommy to Eric that evening in the boozer. The problematic topic of accommodation came up but a few suggestions were worked out. One idea was that if the cost of the mortgage was divided amongst the occupants of the harem then the whole accommodation would be paid off in no time. Another idea would be to live with the Rosie who had the biggest house. “I’d like to be your business partner.” Said Tommy, “You need a right hand man.”
When the women were selected which included the voracious Rosie and the dead ringer for Peggy Mount Rosie a venue was selected for their first meeting. It was a little tumultuous because some objected to their homes being used as the harem and some even objected at having to pay. “What’s there to object?” Asked Tommy.
“I don’t mind being part of a harem but I thought that one of the perks of being one of the ahem Sultan’s sexual playthings were that you had your creature comforts laid out for you and that…” A woman who wasn’t called Rosie asked if she could not talk about such things in a place like this as it wasn’t appropriate. As one the Rosies, Eric and his business partner Tommy went red in the face with embarrassment whilst the woman returned to the party saying, “O.K. kids. You may continue with your Happy Meals.” The harem’s table was still silent and it took the spiritual twin of Peggy Mount to break it. “Now come on ladies I think these two gentlemen have come up with a capital and laudable plan. Now we’ve all agreed to be part of this ha…Part of this venture and we must give respect. It is not much to pay when the cast is divided amongst each of us and having to pay gives us a little bit of independence and self respect. Just think of how bored we’d be waiting for the next….treat.”
“That’s the very reason why I said yes to this.” Muttered a fed up Rosie III. Rosie V, of course, begged her pardon with an upward inflection. Afterwards the party of women and two chaps came to an agreement. All would sell their houses or leave their families. Whilst waiting for a sale Eric and his concubines would have a choice of all the available properties to whit everybody’s keys would be cut and everybody would have a key ring with eighteen different colour coded keys. The main aim would be a large home, maybe an old Lottery winner’s home, to be the harem’s permanent base. Otherwise they’d have to make do with a detached mock Tudor in a well-to-do catchment area.
The first port of call was at Rosie XII’s terraced house. Her kids were at school and she told her husband she was having an afternoon Tupperware party. To get the ball rolling all the Rosies suggested that Eric indulge in carnal knowledge with the schoolmarm Rosie known to the rest of the harem as Rosie Widdicombe. This would prove something to them. He did not know what it was as it was the Rosies’ private personal priority. When the procedure was over Rosie V’s expression changed from a woman whose garden you wouldn’t want to kick your ball into to a bowl of roasted marshmallows in the process of being sieved upon with icing sugar. One would be hard put to wipe the grin off her face. Afterwards Eric had the pick of all the Rosies. Creamy Rosies, spicey Rosies, sweet Rosies, sour Rosies, savoury Rosies, crunchy Rosies, gooey Rosies, chewy Rosies but most of all nice-because-they-are-naughty-Rosies.
Two years later the harem’s ideal home was finally obtained. It was immense with three levels and had a similarity with an American Holiday Inn as soon as you walked through the front door. Tommy invited Eric into the ‘men’s room’ for a little tête-à-tête. “Eric. The whole thing has now gone global. I think you’d now better put this harem on line and make the most of it.”
“I dunno," Said Eric, “I want to avoid the whole internet thing. Everything comes and goes. This year’s Twitter is next year’s Geocities.”
“You wanted no computers in the harem and yet you can talk like a Terrance Dicks reading techy geek.”
“I have lots of sex. I don’t need Internet Explorer and its big blue E.” Eric’s business partner nodded his head in acknowledgement and paced about the ‘men’s room’. As a way of explanation the ‘men’s room’ in the harem was not a tiled room where there was more bladder product on the floor that in the trough. The ‘men’s room’ was called that because it was just that. A room just for the men. None of the Rosies were forbidden to use or go into the room so by being given permission none of them had any particular desire to venture in. The men, therefore, believed they were safe. Having been much paced Tommy then hit upon a dilemma. Such is the celebrity of the harem that many women would be changing their names by deed poll just to get in. “But they won’t be proper Rosies!” Eric protested.
“There must be some right of veto.” Suggested Tommy.
Amongst the women of the Rosemary harem the matter of a permanent library was discussed. The bookish bespectacled Rosies would have a place for their Jack Kerouacs and Margaret Atwoods whilst the more populist minded Rosies would have ample space for their ‘Hello’, ‘OK’, ‘Heat’, ‘Take A Break’, ‘Grazia’ and ‘YOU: The Mail on Sunday Magazine’. Rosie IV found the whole matter a bit dull. To be brutally honest she was finding the harem to be a bit of a bore. Her preference would be for the whole place to be filled with themed sex rooms. Hedonism should overrule practicality was her own take on the matters. In the meantime Eric was discussing with his business manager their particular taste in music. “It’s just that I feel a little uneasy receiving fellatio from a woman who thinks Robbie Williams’s lyrics are thoughtful, poetic and intelligent.”
“So you’re going to turf some Rosies out for listening to Heart FM? That’s dangerously close to fascism.” Said Tommy.
“Hmmmm.” Responded Eric. Tommy could tell his friend was having doubts, a case of wishing he was careful before he wished in the first place. All that Tommy could say to Eric were the two words, “Be careful.”
At the end of the evening any uncertainties were swept aside when it came to bedtime. Tommy would retire to his home and Eric and his Rosies would retire to the giant bed.
“Kiss me Eric.” Said Rosie.
“No, kiss me Eric.” Said Rosie.
“No, Eric wants to kiss us.” Said Rosies.
“How about kissing these Eric?” Said Rosie.
“Mmm, you smell nice.” Said Rosie.
“I like your hairy chest.” Said Rosie.
“Nice willy.” Said Rosie.
“Ooh you’re sweet.” Said Rosie.
“Stroke me.” Said Rosie.
“Can I stroke you?” Said Rosie.
“Oooh. You’ve made us ver-ry happy.” Said Rosies.
“No fair! Come over to our side of the bed.” Said Rosies.
“Ooooooh…Errric!” Said all the Rosies.
A year later the number of Rosies that filled the harem extended to one hundred. “You’re definitely the cat who got the cream.” Stated the reporter. Eric made the headlines with his eccentric same first name only based harem and a reporter of a national broadsheet was sent over to write an article for the paper’s Sunday magazine complete with photographs. Rosies already married would not have their pictures taken to avoid the wrath of their husbands. Mary Keller was given carte blanche in her reporting with one proviso, not to give away the harem’s exact location which was in a dull nondescript little county, “I notice many of the women around here are elegantly dressed. Many fine clothes. Did you accumulate much wealth to buy these things? Are you a Lottery winner?”
Eric responded to Mary by stating, “We operate as a collective with me in charge.”
“There’s an irony in that response of yours.” Countered Mary. Eric nodded his head pretending he understood what the reporter said.
Eric continued, “Each Rosie has been given a chance to accommodate her best ability. Some Rosies are designers, some Rosies are seamstresses. If they were not part of my harem many of the Rosies would be making do with flogging ‘Made In Bangladesh’ rags on the cheap or brewing up endless permutations of foamy milk coffee.” Mary Keller chuckled but she still was feeling a little uneasy about Eric’s sexual set up. The harem reminded her of the late sixties television series ‘The Prisoner’. Were any of the Rosies allowed to leave or were they all Patrick McGoohans? Was there something “too happy” about the Rosies. There was one thing for it. Mary would have to interview the other Rosies.
“I don’t like her.” Said Rosie IV, one part of a ménage a trois.
“No I do not trust the woman one iota either.” Added Rosie V, another part of a ménage a trois.
“She’s trying to make us feel like we’re prisoners or sexual slaves. Kept women.” Said Rosie XXVIII, the piggy in the middle.
“She’s just a jealous woman.” Stated Rosie V.
“Jealous women like her should watch out.” Snarled Rosie IV.
Later that night Mary Keller retired to her Travelodge to type up a first draft on a lap top. Before she had retired to her hotel room Mary purchased a bottle of vin rouge for ten pounds. Not for her the cheap tat. Well if the newspaper was going to put her up in a simple Travelodge then she might as well splash out on herself. By her laptop she already had a glass (obtained from the en-suite bathroom sink) filled with the French drink. Mary’s fingertips hardly touched the keys. Most of the time was spent looking out of the window into the night sky. Mary thought that perhaps a relaxing bubble bath might induce the creative juices to flow. No such luck. Mary just lay in the bath without a discernable expression on her face. She thought of the many baths in Eric’s harem but most of all the communal bath with was used for aquatic-based synchronised sexual gymnastics. The one question Mary forgot to ask was, “Surely there’s more to life than this?” Mary muttered the English translation for the French expletive ‘merde’ and hit the skin of the bathwater with her fist. When finished Mary decided to continue with the article. She pressed play on the Dictaphone she always liked to record on. It was Rosie IV’s voice that she heard first of all, “People like you with your ‘this is the real world, welcome to it’ attitude find us threatening. You cannot understand that we are happy. All one hundred of us like sharing the same man. We all feel valued. We all feel loved. We are there for one another….” Mary pressed stop. Feeling tired she closed her laptop and went to bed switching the television on to provide a background hum as she dozed off into unconsciousness.
It was from that unconsciousness that Mary Keller awoke suddenly. The television that was left on from the night before was blaring out the breakfast television news. One report was about prison sentences and their effect on crime. This was the trigger for Mary Keller. She grabbed her laptop from the table and typed-typed-typed at a furious rate whilst sat up in her bed. Television still left on for background hum. Mary had left a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign outside her room so she was able to carry on her work uninterrupted unlike Claude Rains as The Invisible Man in James Whales’s horror film from the nineteen thirties (being not versed in the H.G. Wells novel or any of his other writings as I pen…now type….this). When Mary needed a toilet break she took her Dictaphone in with her and searched for a particular part of the tape.
“Which room is this?” Asked Mary.
“This room?” Popinjayed Eric. “This is the ‘men’s room’. It’s where me and my business parter come in to convalesce. Plus many of my male friends too. The Rosies aren’t forbidden to come in this room but they respectfully leave us alone.” As she relieved herself in the Travelodge’s ensuite bathroom this was all Mary Keller needed to know. She continued typing into her laptop at the desk and changing the television channel to a detective drama starring Dick Van Dyke. It was a crude article, one that needed to go through many drafts but one line that would not be changed was the very last.
“….a prisoner in his own harem.”
Sometimes Eric slept alone. This did not deter his ladies from being affectionate to him in their own special way. In this circumstance it would be via the man pleasing route of a bacon butty in bed with a nice hot cracked mug of tea. “Now don’t you rush. Remember we all live like kings and queens here.” Said Rosie XIV who was one of the Rosies that specialized in cooking with her forte being meat. “Oh thank you very much.” Responded Eric. Later that day Eric retired to the men’s room where Tommy was waiting. “Mary Keller wants to see you again.”
“Again?” Exclaimed Eric.
“She wants to meet you outside your harem.” Continued Tommy.
“It wouldn’t be fair for me to leave the Rosies alone.”
“They’ll be safe but be careful.” Those last two words were heavily emphasized by Eric’s friend. Outside the door Rosie IV had her ear pressed against the wooden paneling.
Eric got in contact with the reporter to arrange a meeting on the Friday. He informed his harem of this, suggesting that they do “what they pleased” whilst he was gone. Friday’s interview took place in a quiet corner of a Wetherspoon’s public house. This time Eric’s demeanour was different. He felt relaxed in her company as she wasn’t asking any questions more having a conversation. “So your father named you after the actor Eric Portman.”
“Indeed,” Confessed Eric, “His favourite film was ‘49th Parallel’. Must have seen that twenty times at the least. Eric Portman played a Nazi in that film, which is a little disconcerting.”
“Quite a coincidence really. My mother named me after a film star as well. The film being ‘White Christmas’ and the star being Rosemary Clooney.”
“Yes. But I prefer to call myself Mary. I’m contrary.” They both chuckled. Their conversation went on into the evening. Eric was so relaxed he did not notice the absence of Mary Keller’s Dictaphone. “Goodness me, all your Rosies will be worried. How about we meet same time tomorrow? This lifestyle of yours deserves a book.”
Back at the harem Rosie IV was walking and kicking every inanimate object within toeshot. Tantruming her way into the kitchens the fourth Rosie began to mutter, “She’s not even a Rosie” repeatedly. Tommy was waiting for Eric in the men’s room. Lost in reading Spalding Grey’s ‘Swimming To Cambodia’ he became distracted by the sounds coming from outside the door. He placed his book down and got up to open the door. In the harem all one hundred Rosies had gathered in one place chanting the mantra, “She’s not even a Rosie.” Above stairs they noticed a door open and all turned and looked Tommy Clarke in the eyes.
She’s not even a Rosie.
She’s not even a Rosie.
She’s not even a Rosie.
She’s not even….
Tommy slammed the door shut. Rosie V immediately ran upstairs towards the men’s room.
It was after midnight and Eric was alone in the harem with Rosie IV. He was informed that all the other Rosemaries had decided to go out for a little girly party that evening. “I’m glad I stayed because it means I’ve got you all to myself.” Eric and Rosie IV kissed deeply. She continued, “Oh by the way darling Tommy told us to tell you he’s going away for a little while. We don’t know when he’ll be back as it is indefinite.” Rosie IV then suggested that she and Eric both sleep in his private double bed. The other Rosies were out enjoying themselves so why shouldn’t she? Eric agreed to her request and they both retired to bed.
“How come you’re still sitting up?” Enquired Eric.
“I like to watch you fall asleep. You’re like a little kitten when you do.” Cooed Rosie IV.
“Oh, okay then.” He started to fall asleep. But before he went out like a light Rosie IV had this to say, “All the Rosies have got a surprise for you tomorrow.” Eric smiled and excited like a little boy before Christmas he fell asleep dreaming about the nice reporter he spent time with. Rosie IV still sat upright in bed. It was four o’clock in the morning when the rest of the Rosies had arrived in all their cars. Rosie IV with eyes bloodshot let them through the back door to the kitchen.
Eric Turner awoke alone that morning. He wondered where Rosie IV had got to. Then he heard a voice. “Good morning Eric my love. Thought you’d might like something to fill you up before your meeting with Mary Keller today.” Eric looked up and it was the first Rosie he had ever interviewed holding on a platter half a sandwich containing within a singular piece of bacon. “Oh, thank you Rosie.”
Rosie I left the room saying, “There’s more where that came from.” And the first Rosie walked past a queue of ninety-nine Rosies all carrying bacon butties save for Rosie XCIX and Rosie C who held in their hands two covered silver serving dishes.
© 2009 Clinton Morgan