(Apologies for not posting on Wednesday, but try having seven culinary queens over for dinner mid week. Stealth-like, the Magnificent Seven effortlessly whip up mouth-watering delicacies almost impossible for a writer to compete with. I am sure you will understand why I had to focus entirely on getting my act together for the last couple of days.)
Much light of late has been shed upon unscrupulous Hebug activity. Like I explain in my first book, Shebug: Dissecting the Gold Digger, it has become a rapidly growing breed. So far this year, two people have given me in-depth stories about their encounters with Hebugs. One is a Parisian friend I have known since my early 20s; the other, a very glamorous English rose interested in hiring me as a ghostwriter.
Mireille is a self-made successful entrepreneur now based in Las Vegas. Generous to a fault, she almost lost everything when she became entangled with a dapper fifty something on the World Wide Web via a reputable dating site. Before the two were to meet face to face on Valentine’s Day, I caught up with her in London. She showed me his amorous emails and text messages he flooded her with, one more florid then the next and straight out of the pages of vintage Mills & Boon. In one of the only two photographs he sent her, he stood alongside a shiny Rolls Royce. In the other grainier one, he had his arm around his diminutive-but-happy mother.
Whilst Mireille fantasized about their rendezvous, I could not shut off the alarm bells going off inside my head.
Jane, on the other hand, married a count when she just twenty years old and re-located to his native Italy shortly thereafter where upon the honeymoon juddered to a halt. Not only did he refuse to discuss business with her, he quickly frittered away her funds.
Armed only with determination and lashings of courage, Jane sought justice from her husband’s boss himself: the godfather. No joking.
But the deal he offered, though frightfully appetizing, was not what Jane had hoped for. The Don argued that with her beauty and brains, she was more than adequately equipped in life, so he would not recuperate her funds from his posh lackey. What he did offer her, however, was a much more ‘permanent’ solution to her problem.
Being British, Jane kept calm and carried on. Rather admirable, really.