Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Last evening Mrs. Robbo and I went out to dinner at a place in the local mall.

Long time friends of the decanter will know Ol’ Robbo’s opinion of malls already. For the rest of you, the short version is that I hate them. In this instance, however, I thought I’d be safe: we go in, we eat, we get out, nobody gets hurt.

To quote Diane Keaton aping Marlon Brando’s Stanley Kowalski in “Sleeper”, “Ha! Ya got that? Ha! HA!”

Upon my taking care of the check, Mrs. R suddenly said, “Oh, by the way, I need to stop in and pick up a lipstick.”

The correct response would have been “I’ll meet you at the car” but Ol’ Robbo’s wits were a bit befuddled and I found myself trailing Mrs. R into the belly of the beast, eventually winding up at a Sephora way over on the other side of the mall.

Well, at least it wasn’t Victoria’s Secret, but standing around in a make-up store gave me a case of the heebie-jeebies. Everybody else in there, no matter what their actual age or sex, seemed to have the air of an adolescent girl. And to make matters worse, rayther than just grabbing something and going, Mrs. R spent what seemed to me an interminable amount of time fussing about for the right shade, not only glomming on to a sales critter, but actually trying to get me involved, too.

“What do you think of this?” she asked multiple times.

“It’s fine,” I invariably replied.

The sales critter started to giggle.

Ol’ Robbo’s only yardstick when it comes to make-up is “Don’t make a fool of yourself” (a standard sadly neglected by many, alas). Otherwise, I really don’t care much.

Finally – FINALLY – Mrs. R separated out one shade virtually indistinguishable from all the others she’d looked at. As we left the store, she said, “So, do you want to walk around for a bit?” We’ve known each other for almost 35 years now. It amazes me that she can still ask such a question.

“Car. Move. Now!” I replied in a heavy Scots accent.***

** Admiral Akbar

*** Charlie Mackenzie’s Dad (slightly modified)