The shower is warm and the air is steamy and I’m singing – upbeat – aware of myself in a way that was not possible years before. There’s a confidence about me in the way the soap caresses my pits because I’ve learnt, through trial and error, to wash myself to a point of cleanliness that emits just the right level of pheromonal manliness and this is important – crucial – because it’s date night and Reservoir Mum waits in the living room like a Hogna Helluo spider. She wants to eat me. I need to be ready.


Even though I once considered date nights to be the antithesis of romance my world has since been torn apart and reformed by children in such a dramatic way that I now see it as the cornerstone of my life. Without it I think I would die.


I have been refining the date night ceremony – what Reservoir Mum and myself refer to as The Pheromony – for months now and have such faith in every step of the process that I meet Friday evenings like a tiger full of pounce.


As per step 2 of The Pheromony, the CD player in the bathroom is rotating randomly through several CDs – Greatest Hits Of The Eighties, The Best Of The Doors, The Deuce Bigalow Soundtrack and 150 Toddler Tunes – Disc 2. Every song from Riders On The Storm, to You Sexy Thing to The Owl and The Pussycat seems sexual when played in this context and the only thing stopping me from honoring my seemingly innate desire to dance the electric robot is the shower’s slippery environment and the real chance of injury or death.


The other participants in date night – Mr Plas, our fifty inch Plasma TV, and Springy – the beaten up mattress I drag from the spare room to the living room, have been turned on, straightened up and prepared in accordance with step 3 of The Pheromony.


Step 7 determines our pre-sex entertainment. Although we enjoy horror, drama and romantic comedies our date night movie selection always comes from a crazier kind of comedy to match our preference for a crazier kind of sex. Tonight’s movie is The Other Guys and promises to be a real mood enhancer.


I’ve been fully lathered and de-lathered and am allowing just a few minutes to soak in the warm water and the suggestive lyrics of Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush when I notice what seems to be a small growth on my knee. A closer inspection reveals nothing more than a shard of soap but a seed has been planted in my mind and I am instantly aware of a psychic disruption to the vibe of The Pheromony which could result in the total unwinding of date night.


During a phone conversation with my younger sister earlier in the week she revealed to me that one of my nephews had developed an allergy to a particular kind of soap only found at bargain shops like The $2 Shop, Bargain Express and Please Buy This Crap and while this is neither here nor there the soap connection acts as a hook to another part of the conversation about my older sister Cally, that went something like this –


Joanne (laughing) – Oh, guess what Cally told me the other day?


RD – What?
Joanne – She told me that her and Rohan were having sex last week when she suddenly thought, Shit, it’s Friday night, Reservoir Mum and my brother are probably having sex right now as well.


RD – Yawhat! How the hell do you guys know about date night?


Joanne – You told us RD! haha!


The water suddenly feels like a creepy old man with a thousand slippery fingers and the tinny yet addictive percussion of Telechtronic’s Pump Up The Jam sounds unusually cheap. Although I am physically alone in this bathroom I feel the presence of others and cannot fight the urge to turn off the water and reach for my favorite “No One Cares About Your Blog” beach towel.


Being dry offers some physical relief but I can’t shake the succession of memories that the shard of soap has unfurled and I’m overwhelmed by a deepening dread as I remember that a few months ago Reservoir Mum told me that just before she jumped on a train at the end of the working week two of her corporate colleagues raised their eyebrows suggestively several times as they wished her well with ‘date night’. She also went on to tell me that one of those colleagues was following our lead and penciling in some hot and heavy action with her partner every Friday.


bluelagoonKnowing how those rodent-like, high-rise office building enclosures function I am certain that the word has spread and that, as I stand here, over one hundred people are having sex and thinking, ‘Reservoir Dad is having sex right now.’ I am feeling pressure in all the wrong places.


My reflection, peering back at me through the steam is now my only source of strength. “Come on, RD, I say to myself. Look at those perfectly formed shoulders, the mountainous pecs, the swift sweep of hair from navel to groin. Everything is physically ready, isn’t it?”


“Yes, RD,” I reply, “Of course it is, silly. But remember, Cally tells Mum and Dad everything.”


Oh shit. I remember that during our last visit to my parents house, Mum looked just a little excited and even offered to carry our bags to the car as we were leaving. My father proudly showed me the new plasma TV and behind the couch I noticed his beaten up double-bed sized camping swag. It seems that Mr Plas and Springy have entered my parent’s building.


My reflection now offers me no support. My shoulders seem immature. My pecs seem droopy, the nipples not quite symmetrical. The sweep of hair seems nothing more than a scraggly bunch of pubes. How can I go to Reservoir Mum and perform as impeccably as usual while I am thinking that we have encouraged hundreds of other couples into having sex at the same time that they are thinking about us having sex? It’s an orgy of telekinetic origin. It’s unfathomable.


shavedcat_clints_head_copyThe sacredness of date night, that made it feel like the sheltered cove of the Blue Lagoon, has been invaded by hordes of outsiders. Our house suddenly feels like a glass dome at The Melbourne Aquarium allowing all angle access to the gawking perverted patrons. My confidence, my intensity, the very substance of my sexual self is being torn apart and distributed by hundreds of looting minds and even though I was a pouncing tiger only moments ago I now feel like an aging cat that has been shaved, dressed in a cardigan and photographed for some abusive, yet reasonably entertaining, website.


Date night lies in ruins and desperate to resurrect it I fall instinctively to the floor and adopt a yoga position I saw George Harrison doing once. As I move my arms to the Lotus positon I am beset upon by my own odor. It’s nothing short of impressive. Once again I have achieved the perfect level of pheromonal manliness needed to titillate the good lady wife and I am reminded that I possess the necessary skills to rise to any challenge.


My mind begins to turn. I cannot change the world around me but I can change my response to it. The cold tiles on my bare arse act like a party drug and lifted by The Theme From S-Express, I am now able to access the expansive, less restricted part of my mind. My crown chakra opens. I feel a sense of oneness, of shared awareness.


A vision begins to form that encourages me to stand again and being sure of my footing on the dry surface I allow my body to express itself. A full minute of the electric robot ensues and I see millions of couples united by their own version of The Pheromony – their own Mr Plas, their own version of our faithful Springy. They’re talking, canoodling, practicing the mattress mambo, awash with love, maintaining – even building on – their passion. The atmosphere, one of celebration, is irrepressible.


When I open my eyes the path before me is clear. Encumbered by the speed of the modern world, couples need a regular time set aside to focus their solely on each other. We all do. It needs to happen now. Tonight! And then again every Friday night ‘until death do us part’. I am overwhelmed by a sense of purpose. My confidence, my vigor, my awareness of my sexual self has returned tenfold.


From this day on Friday Night is officially World Date Night for time-poor couples everywhere. I invite you to join me in changing the world. Overwhelmed by work, household chores, children, bills and other daily responsibilities? Are you losing touch with the one you love best? Has the passion in your relationship been shunted aside?Join the World Date Night Facebook Page and be part of a sexual revolution that will make The Sixties look like you’ve just inherited your Nana’s bloomers. Share your date night stories. Inspire others with your own Pheromony. Maintain the passion!


And gather around the glass dome, friends, strangers, Mum and Dad. The pounce is back in this tiger. I am ready.