The other night, Saffy’s phone pinged.
She and I were at home, comfortably sunk into the sofa with the air-con on full blast and Dr Sandra Lee’s latest procedure streaming from my laptop onto our big screen.
“Honestly,” Saffy said, her hands diving into the bowl of popcorn I had made for the occasion, “this is the best thing ever. I should get a tee-shirt made that says ‘Cysters Forever’!’”
“She’s got such incredible technique!” I said through a mouthful of popcorn. “I mean, look at her snip around that cyst! How she doesn’t nick it, I don’t know.”
Saffy never took her eyes off the screen as she reached for her phone. “I love epidermoid cysts! Actually, I love all types of cysts. Maybe for my next career, I could work as her assistant!”
“You’d have to move to Oakland, California though,” I told her. Out of the corner of my eye, I watched Saffy read her text message. “Do you want to live in Oakland, California?”
“Amanda says Prince Harry is giving a speech right now and that her ovaries are exploding.”
I dropped my handful of popcorn back into the bowl. “Well, that just put me off eating for the rest of the night!”
For weeks after Amanda had been invited to the St Regis for a gala dinner for a charity Prince Harry is patron of, and which he’d be attending in person and not through a stupid pre-recorded video, it consumed her waking days. She dropped a small fortune on a new black cocktail dress for the occasion, and two days before, she skipped down to Strip for a wax.
“You’re waxing?” Saffy had asked. “What’s the point? You know they’re not going to let anyone within two metres of him, right?”
“Oh I know, but you always want to be prepared!” Amanda said without specifying quite what she wanted to be prepared for.
And when the big night finally arrived, she behaved in much the same way Saffy does when confronted by an all-you-can-eat seafood buffet. That is to say, with religious gratitude.
“Don’t wait up for me!” she murmured as she glided out the front door.
“OK!” I said loudly over the hum of the microwaving popcorn.
“I honestly don’t know what the big deal about him is,” Saffy said, her lips pursed with dissatisfaction. On screen, Dr Sandra was slowly lifting the cyst sac out of the cavity, as she carefully snipped away at the membranes tethering it to underlying muscles. “I mean, he’s just so scruffy, with all that orange facial hair and wild hair. What’s the attraction?”
“You’d have to ask Amanda,” I said, and remembering something, added, “and also that ‘Suits’ chick.”
“Oh, Meghan Markle?” asked Saffy, life-time subscriber to every gossip website on the planet. “Yeah, see, I can understand the attraction with her. I mean, that woman is really gorgeous, but going the other way? Not so much.”
When Amanda came home later that night, she practically floated through the front door. She was radiant.
“Oh God, he’s gorgeous!” she sighed as she dropped her handbag on the side-table, kicked off her heels and leaned against the door.
“You don’t find him a little, well, scruffy?” Saffy asked.
“Oh, not at all! I think that’s what makes him so attractive! He doesn’t try too hard. Every man I’ve dated this month has been so obsessed with his looks. Harry is such a refreshing change!”
Saffy and I exchanged a glance over the bowl of popcorn. Eventually she coughed. “So, did you get a picture of His Royal Scruffiness?”
“No. They banned photography in the ballroom which, by the way, I have got to get the number of the person who styled it. It was just glorious! Huge flowers on every table and just the most gorgeous lighting! It really was like a fairy-tale!”
“Did you get to speak to him?” I asked.
“No. I didn’t dare. But I was two tables away and got a really good clear view of him. Mmmm! So hot! And then he got up to speak, which is when my ovaries exploded!”
“Hmmm….” Saffy began.
“No, really. He has a deep sexy voice and his accent is so posh!”
“Well, he is royal,” I pointed out.
“And third in line to the throne!” Amanda added. “Which really is the best thing, because then you’re still a big deal but you don’t have to deal with the prospect of actually being king which would put too much spotlight and stress on you!”
“You should update your Facebook relationship status,” Saffy told her.