Our dating columnist is visited by the historic lesbian legend who offers up her advice on heartbreak


Interior: She Bar, night.

The Cheeky Charmer sits at the bar, nursing a drink. It’s pink with an umbrella. Several empties are lined up. 

Suddenly we hear: “Jack-the-lass, Jack-the-lass. No one likes a Jack-the lass…”

CC: [Mutters] FFS, does that theme tune follow her everywhere?

[Anne Lister strides in, placing a leg jauntily on the stool next to the CC]

Anne: Ah, Charmer! There you are, good. What on earth are you drinking? Looks like Marian’s cough medicine. You need a proper drink.

CC: I’m fine with my pink flamingo thank you. I like pink drinks.

Anne: Pink what?

CC: Flamingo…

Anne: Ah yes, dissected one in Paris. Fascinating…

CC: Of course you have…

Anne: What’s wrong Charmer? Why are you crying into your pink… whatsit? After more advice for your dating column? 

CC: Shhhhhhh! I don’t want everyone knowing Anne Lister, the original secret sapphic blogger, has been helping write Love After Lockdown! People don’t need to know where my lesbian power move came from.

Anne: [Aside to camera] Oh, they know [winks].

CC: Who are you talking to?

Anne: I’ve been reading your journal… column… journal-column. Like the sex stuff. Bit lacking in the coal department.

CC: Well, that’s due to climate change and the fact I don’t own any coal…

Anne: Climate what?

CC: Yeah, been meaning to talk to you about that. Maybe get rid of some of those coal mines? Switch to solar energy? It would really help us in 2022.

Anne: Solar what?

CC: Never mind … Rose has left me.

Anne: What happened?

CC: Oh, you know how it is, one minute you’re paying a formal call on her aunt, the next you’re weeping into her crinoline (not a euphemism). Which reminds me, how do you deal with all that fabric? I have enough problems with bra straps.

Anne: Hmmmmm thought you were having women trouble when you invited me for an ale.

CC: You took your time getting here. Get stuck in Tinder again?

Anne: Completed it.

CC: You completed Tinder? 

Anne: Ran out of women I hadn’t bedded.

CC: Anne, help me! The woman of my dreams has left me!

Anne: Did you try building her an ornamental moss house?

CC: A what?

Anne: An ornamental moss house.

[CC looks confused]

Anne: A chaumière!

CC: Oh, you mean like a shed?

Anne: No, not a shed, my sister said that – why does everyone call it a shed?

CC: I mean, I could pop down to IKEA but I’m not sure that’s going to cut it…

Anne: Perhaps you need a bigger thermometer?

CC: There’s nothing wrong with the size of my thermometer, thank you very much! I’ve never had any complaints!

Anne: [To camera] True, it’s not the size of the thermometer but what you do with it that counts [winks].

CC: Will you stop doing that? It’s very disconcerting!

Anne: Charmer, you’re too much of an Icarus. You give too much heart and fly too close to the sun. 

CC: You can talk Lister! You’re the very definition of a U-Haul. You have two visits with Ann Walker and you’re inviting her to Switzerland for some fondu!

Anne: What’s fondu?

CC: You make bad choices all the time Anne! You go for married women and wonder why you end up on your knees, howling into a rich woman’s lap! And not in a good way!

Anne: To be fair, the crinoline makes a wonderful handkerchief.

CC: I can’t do this Anne! It hurts too much. I thought I’d found my Rose but now she’s gone and all I have is a broken heart and these stupid pink drinks!

Anne: Charmer, my advice is this: sometimes if we want to be happy, we have to risk getting hurt. Keep putting yourself out there, you might just meet your Miss Walker. Also, never drink anything pink…it’s emasculating…

DIVA magazine celebrates 28 years in print in 2022. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQI media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable. 

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