Asset Stripper

The young blonde woman pushed the man in his wheelchair. He was old, fat and bald, and it would be fair to say he was unattractive. That was not Dimpy’s judgment on his character, merely on his appearance.

As Lucerne’s part-time Registrar of Weddings, Dimpy’s concerns were not superficial. She needed to know people’s reasons for getting married, and ensure there was nothing untoward; no force, coercion or deception. She would discover what she needed to know by interviewing them separately. She made small talk with them together, and then asked the woman to wheel out her fiancé.

When she returned, Dimpy gave her a severe look and said, “Please tell me how you met.”

Without a moment’s hesitation, the woman said, “I was a stripper at his seventieth birthday party. One of his friends paid me a lot of money to make sure that he enjoyed himself. I did my job and left and…”

Dimpy couldn’t help interrupting. “Is that your profession, a… an exotic dancer?”

The woman looked surprised at being called that, but continued matter of factly. “No, not really. I am unemployed at present. I haven’t had much luck with finding work. This is something I used to do a long time ago, and I needed the money, so…”

Honesty is good, thought Dimpy, but brazen hussy! Marrying a person you stripped for, and did God knows what else too, in front of his friends! Dimpy calmed her thoughts. She was a marital professional. She must continue the process. “How did the relationship develop?”

“He gave me his card that night and asked me to come again the next week.”

“On a date?” said Dimpy, hopefully. Regardless of the need for interrogation, she secretly wanted peoples’ relationships to work, especially those leading to marriage,.

“Yes, sort of,” said the woman.

“For money?”

“No,” the woman looked away. Then she said quietly, “Yes, for money.”

Honesty is good, Dimpy thought again.

“Is that still how your relationship functions?”

“Not anymore,” said the woman. “He gave me this ring” – she showed her a whopping diamond set in white gold – “and asked me to marry him.”

“Do you love him, really?” Dimpy couldn’t believe she’d said that. She could be disciplined for such a boorish question.

“That I do,” said the woman.

“And the fact that he’s in a wheelchair doesn’t bother you? Will he meet your physical needs?” God what am I saying, thought Dimpy.

But it had been the right question. The woman flushed and couldn’t face Dimpy. It showed that her physical needs were being met elsewhere.

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