Deciduous alopecia was a familial problem which strategically struck the female members of the de Rigeurs, and the youthful Lady Micturata fell prey to it on the journey to her debutante’s ball in Hanover Square. A mere eighteen-years-old, her lustrous auburn hair began to take on the appearance of a
New England forest in the Fall: all golds, oranges, reds and yellows. Very picturesque in a New England forest in the Fall; less so on the head of a hopeful debutante. A deliberately highlighted autumnal hairstyle is all very amusing when framing the gormless fizzog of Ms. Hoi Polloi from the lower orders, but is too, too infra dignitatem for the occasion of a serious Deb on her coming out into society.
Lady Micturata had been warned by her mater that this might happen; her grandmother, so it had been explained to her, had suffered the same fate just prior to her coming out, and Lady Micturata’s mama had been struck on the morning of her wedding day.
By the time Lady Micturata’s journey had reached its half-way point, her deciduous hair had started to fall out; all very wistful and poignant for a
New England forest; less attractive in a girl of eighteen. Coinciding with a pause at the traffic lights, Lady Micturata considered the actions taken by her grandmother some forty-two years previously: stop the cab outside No. 42, Sloane Square, rush in, expertly purloin a wig from one of the shop window dummies, and carry on as normal. What had been a simple operation for Granny de Rigeur was slightly more problematical for Lady Micturata, for No. 42, Sloane Square had kept its doors resolutely bolted since one of their shop-window dummies had developed its own, mysterious case of alopecia some 42 years previously.
“Wait here,” instructed Lady Micturata, as she alighted onto the pavement, armed with a rear-seat fire extinguisher and shedding deciduous hair like a
New England horse chestnut tree in a gale.
Without any thought for the consequences, Lady Micturata hurled the makeshift red missile towards the glass frontage of No. 42, Sloane Square, ran in, grabbed an auburn wig, and leapt back rowards her waiting stretch limo.
But disaster! Lady Micturata felt a burly hand on the shoulder of her fur coat.
“And where do you think you’re going with that, young lady?”
* * *
Several financial transactions later, and Lady Micturata was in the clear. However, he acute embarrassment and shame of having been apprehended by the law was as nothing compared to the potential damage the incident could do to the future political career of Lady Micturata, for once she had graduated from Oxford and served a few years at Uncle Bertram’s PR firm in the City, Lady Micturata had set her heart on a seat in the House of Commons (renouncing her title had been considered and even accepted); and now this future, in one reckless action, was turned to ashes.
There was only one course of action to take.
* * *
Two years later than expected, Lady Micturata de Rigeur went up to take her place at
, but under a new guise; with a new alias; a new identity. A new sex. Oxford
And thus it was that a fresh-faced, be-wigged and slightly shiny foreheaded figure entered through the hallowed portal of St. Hilda’s College,
His friends would eventually come to know him as: “Dave”.