Once upon a time dear readers, I did actually have a boyfriend. I know it’s hard to believe considering I’ve been single and seemingly undateable for over a decade. But at one point in my adult life, I managed to hold down a relationship way past the first date.

I’m reminiscing about an era in my early twenties. Back when Atomic Kitten and Destiny’s Child were ruling the charts. A time when I dreamed of a sex change To become Tanya Turner and marry a footballer.

But as usual, I’m digressing and babbling on without getting to the point. Maybe that’s what I do on first dates and why I’ve never made it to a second date in ten years. Anyway, I’m not here for self-analysis today.

I was so in love with this boy in my early twenties. And he was so in love with me. Let’s call him Sebastian to avoid any law suits being filed against me. That’s probably an unfortunate choice of name to give him, considering this is a tale of crabs and I’m not talking about the cute red one from The Little Mermaid.

For nearly a year we lived in each other’s pockets, a whirlwind romance. I thought to myself on a daily basis; This is a man I’m going to spend the rest of my life with. He even met my family which is a rarity in my love life.

And then one night, I remember this vividly like it was only yesterday.

I was having a glass of wine with Jane, my neighbour and I saw her staring peculiarly at my crotch. Feeling I may need to remind her I’m gay, she suddenly screamed,

“You’ve been itching all night!”

After another glass of wine, I plucked up the courage to pull my trousers down in front of a lady. Well, I don’t know if you can call Jane a lady but let’s use that word because I’m feeling quite nice as I write this.

As she examined my pubic region, I heard her scream as she came eye to eye with a crab. Our jaws dropped and I burst into tears.

So did Jane I think.

We pulled out a medical dictionary from the bookshelf. Yes, that’s right. We didn’t have iPhones with Google at our fingertips in those days. And from our dictionary, we self-diagnosed crabs. I pulled one out and I could see its legs moving. Probably the most unpleasant moment of my life. Oh and probably Janes’ as well.

A quick visit to the sexual health clinic confirmed the self-diagnosis as correct. But the bare-faced cheek of the doctor asking me if I knew the dangers of sleeping around.

“I’ve got a boyfriend who I’ve been with for over a year!” I bellowed.

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“Well, one of you has been a naughty boy!” She retorted.

After establishing that it’s very rare to catch crabs from a toilet seat or dirty bedding, my eyes widened as I drew the only plausible conclusion. Sebastian must have been cheating on me because I damn well knew I had followed the rules of my Christian upbringing and remained faithful.

A few panic attack’s later and a slap around the face for Sebastian, another realisation dawned on me. I had to tell my Mum and Dad. The doctor had told me that everything in my house needed to go in the washing machine on a hot wash. And I still lived with my parents. Oh, the sheer embarrassment.

And then my eyes widened even wider at the prospect I may have given my Mum and Dad crabs. Our towels were always hanging on the rail together. Luckily, this story has a happy ending.

Sebastian was giving his marching orders.

I got rid of my infestation.

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And my parents were crab free.

About the author: Mark Woollard

Mark David Woollard graduated from Brunel University, West London in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative Writing and Journalism. Since then, he has written for many publications as a freelance writer. He has been ‘The Undateable Gay’ for The Gay UK magazine since 2015 where he documents his unsuccessful dating life. He wrote an opinion column for the national Student Times, discussing LGBT issues.

He also writes educational pieces for ‘Massage World’ magazine, giving advice to Reflexologists about treating certain ailments. He authored a novella in 2013 entitled ‘The Fun and Frolics of FIFI a L’Orange’, the crazy adventures of a drag queen.

And is currently working on a series of LGBT books for children and a collection of flash fiction.

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