Fake it 'til you get found out

There must be some in our community who can fake it 'til they make it. I am not one. I fake it 'til I get found out. At that point I'm generally a long way from making it.

Take sophistication and that certain suave that some effortlessly possess. I was once asked to take a part in a play. My assigned character was the alter-ego "fashion conscious". I took this casting as an endorsement at one level and I was smugly pleased. My performance anxiety promptly set about to right my misplaced self-confidence.

During the show I tripped up the stairs onto the stage. I narrowly missed head butting the narrator as I plunged forward, arms flailing. I did manage not to hit the floor and avoided serious injury. A number of other cast members, however, suffered internal injuries as they tried to stifle their hysterical laughter.

Some years later, and a more refined faker, I decided to put myself to the ultimate test. I was to attend a venue that epitomises suave and sophistication.

I had never been to the races before, but a hen's invitation arrived in the mail. This was one of those tricky social occasions. I had met the bride on only a couple of brief occasions, but our respective partners were friends. I'm sure she felt as much obligation in inviting me as I did in attending. I knew no one else going, but, I reasoned, I could wear heels and a hat so surely I'd manage it.

The first hurdle I encountered was the 40 hens' parties lining the concourse. Many of the brides were in fancy dress, obscuring their true selves. I found the group and commenced charm and sophistication, introducing myself to other guests and making small talk. I didn't know a soul at the gathering and was determined to make an effort. It soon dawned on me I'd never before laid eyes on the bride at the centre of this affair either. I replaced my drink on a passing tray and excused myself.

Finding the right bride, I tackled charm and sophistication mark two. It was going pretty well. The races started and some of the guests began placing bets. I have never been much of a gambler. I lack knowledge of horses and am miserly with money. I blindly plunged ahead.

I wasn't especially surprised to see the horse I had selected finish last. "Oh well," I mused to my companion, "Perhaps my horse will do better on the run back." She looked at me quizzically. "You see," I felt the need to explain, "I had a bet each way."

If your horse is coming last and you could use a break, may I suggest this week's menu?