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Whilst hardly coming as a shock of a magnitude capable of causing even the most negligible twitch of the seismograph, it was nonetheless quite sobering to discover upon rousing oneself from the deep and dream-filled that an idea first mooted in the ethereal world of late night chat had evolved into a form altogether more substantial, the upshot of which is that Amstelladagain has been decreed Social Secretary to the Shoe, a position which, in this case, is more akin to that of a firewall than personal organiser.
Our main duty, it would appear, is to facilitate the avoidance of any unpleasant scenes and/or the kind of thwarted expectations that would lead to the hasty and most likely fumbled attempts to stuff the agreed upon buttonhole of choice as far down into the breast pocket as possible without drawing unwanted attention to the deed.
Now, acknowledging the fact that with great responsibility comes great power, it would seem incumbent upon us to adopt a policy of impartiality, considered judgement, objectivity and honesty but, as the priest was heard to mutter on his way to the choir stalls, "Bugger that." It is well to know one's limitations, after all.
So, first things first. Physical attributes. Hmmmmm.
Whilst those of dangly genitalia are undoubtedly in prime position to avail themselves of any dating opportunities, previous experience has been such that any application from the differently gendered will be looked upon favourably on the understanding that representatives from Amstelladagain reserve the right to show up at any time during the date to observe that events are proceeding smoothly and to offer any assistance that may be required.
I feel pretty confident in making the assertion that, if you are able to rest your nose atop any bar of standard height without having to stoop or bend at the knee, your application would fall at the first hurdle. EC is no Amazon yet is shown to her best advantage alongside the reasonably tall and broad shouldered.
Six pack stomachs offer no real head start here as the self absorption and narcissism needed to acquire such would probably manifest themselves in other areas as well and lead to conflict and unpleasant scenes. Besides, such muscles are akin to speed bumps and unnecessarily hamper progress in either an upwards or downwards direction and rather tend to spoil the quite pleasing curvature of the slightly convex belly.
Facial hair. Eyebrows a must for both sexes here. Beards? Not at all high on the list of must have features although they are acceptable for the male only if they are of the...er...shall we say, nautical variety and do not depend for their maintenance upon several hours in front of the mirror and a post graduate diploma in topiary.
A propensity towards maintaining equilibrium and co-ordination even during the most severe of alcoholic broadsides will be looked upon extremely favourably. Clumsiness, whilst not grounds for automatic exclusion, will not likely be tolerated in outdoor situations and most definitely not if demonstrated indoors and while already, or on the way towards being, horizontally engaged.
One will not be expected to be overly fastidious in one's choice of apparel. One should aim for appropriacy, casual elegance and comfort above all. Natural fibres are recommended for all occasions and brownie points will be gained by expressing a preference for the hand knitted. Any leanings towards the leather, rubber, PVC or any dressing which could in any way be described as 'cross' would better be suppressed until at least the fifth date.
A little personal hygiene goes a long way. EC is relatively low maintenance in that personal grooming products essential for creating a good impression are limited to a good soap and essence of rum and cigar smoke.
Right. Time to delve a little below the surface, I feel.
Character. All applicants should have one with no exceptions.
Manners. Old school Southern. Again, no exceptions although the Yorkshire variant has proved efficacious. Producing an authentic rendition of, "After thee, lass" will however, require the production of one's credentials, a birth certificate being the only true guarantee of success. And, even then, on no account should one ever refer to Beautiful Downtown Bramall Lane as, "a dashed fine spot, don't you know?"
Honesty. Advisable at all times except when it isn't. These times may vary and be subject to whim, situation and bourbon content. The phrase, "You don't sweat much for a fat lass" is best left until at least the second carnal encounter and care must still be taken over tone and intonation to avoid the possiblity of one's being measured for prosthetics a little earlier than one might reasonably have anticipated. Amstelladagain has no advice whatsoever concerning the correct answer to questions such as, "Does this make me look fat?" other than to say that, "No, dear. That's the cookies." is probably not one's best option at this point.
Taste. A veritable minefield and one which will lead to the removal of all but the fittest from the EC dating pool. A falling by the wayside of almost mythical proportion will occur as the lack of an ability to discriminate between the genuinely excellent and the merely well advertised in any field takes its toll. Received wisdom here will help not a whit. One must at all times be prepared to justify one's choices and preferences although be warned that any justification one might have for preferring Jim Beam or Jack Daniel's to small batch sipping bourbon will be dismissed peremptorily and out of hand. There are no second chances here.
Sexuality. Worth having. Definitely.
High maintenance submissives. Need. Not. Apply.
Accessories. Mobile phones should on no account be used for sending pictures of one's gender specific attributes whether in a state of advanced arousal or no. This is in no way a symptom of a Victorian prurience but is rather borne out of the inarguable logic which states that such an act does automatically disqualify one from any claim one might have had to be, even barely, human.
Miscellaneous. Any queries answered on request for a nominal fee.
EC. A tall order? That's as maybe and not for the faint of heart but a reward well worth aspiring to nevertheless.
All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence and will not, never, no how be made public on Amstelladagain without prior permission.*
*This may not be entirely accurate.