As much as we love our London life, sometimes we feel the need to get away from the big smoke for a bit. Clear our lungs (did I mention we live in the most polluted zone in London?), clear our heads, and take some sea air. This was how, last Saturday, we found ourselves on a day trip to Brighton… having lunch with a pimp.
We had gone to visit my good friend, Renato. Brighton is a great city by the sea. Originally a ‘posh holiday’ town, it still retains an air of faded grandeur. Now, though, it’s a lively city with great restaurants, shops and of course a famous nightlife. On a sunny day, there’s nothing better than a walk down to the pier, and a pub lunch of fish and chips.
Little did we know our lunch would turn out to be so eventful. Right as we were set to eat, Renato got a call from one of his fútvolley acquaintances who was in Brighton for the day with his girlfriend and wanted to join us for lunch. If you don’t know what fútvolley is, I’ll take a moment to explain: imagine volleyball played like soccer – you can’t touch the ball with your hands, but you may use any other part of your body. It’s a game enjoyed by loads of cariocas every day on the beaches of Rio.
"I'm sorry," Renato told us after hanging up,"I couldn't think of a reason to say no. I hope it's okay if they join us for lunch." We assured him it was fine.
The couple who dined with us were very nice. He was a Brazilian immigrant to London who had previously lived in the US. She was a British PE teacher. They seemed relatively normal and we all had a good time. After we'd parted ways, I asked Renato why he hadn't seemed so keen on having them to lunch.
"Ah yes," he replied,"I have to tell you a story about that. The last time I went to London to visit this guy, we had to stop off at his house for something. Before getting out of the car, he turned to me and said ' there's something you should know'. I thought oh no, he's dealing drugs... but no. Instead he told me, 'I run a brothel from my house'. That was the last time I talked to him before today. I definitely don't need people like that in my life."
"Wow," I replied,"to think we've had lunch with a pimp and his girlfriend and we didn't even know! Wait, do you think his girlfriend knows?"
"I don't think so. Well, I doubt it anyway."
"Maybe," interjected my husband with a grin,"she's not really a PE teacher. All that talk of 'physical education' could mean something else."
We continued to debate the issue as we walked along the shore, enjoying the first sunny day of spring.