"My boyfriend's a builder," she said.
"Oh." I said. "A builder?" I was slightly shocked and a little bit impressed. I kind of thought she'd be going out with a DJ or a graphic designer or a project person or something boring like that. But she didn't notice that I was a little bit impressed. She only noticed the slightly shocked-ness.
"Jacinta," she said, defiantly. "Don't be all like that. Builders are sexy."
"Yeah, I know," I said, sullenly.
"Being a builder is one of the sexiest professions a man can, like, have," she said.
"Actually, to be honest," I said, "I think most working class professions are pretty sexy. Builders. Carpenters. Firemen. Scaffolders, cooks, taxi drivers."
"Taxi drivers are not sexy," she said.
"Not the fat ones," I said. "But the skinny ones are. A skinny taxi-driver with hairy arms, hairy, skinny, little arms and you can see the hair poking out from under his sleeve - like, you can see the actual bit where the hair on his wrist goes from the hairy arm bit and touches the hairless hand bit and he, like, taps on the steering wheel in time to some music."
"Plumbers," I continued. "Plumbers, Erzieher, those people who read your radiators to see how much heating you've had on."
"You know what?" she said. "You shouldn't even be bringing class into it. Class is totally irrelevant. The three sexiest jobs in the world – and only one of them is working class."
"And what are the other two?"
"Model and musician."
I looked at her in pure disgust. "Urgh," I said, and started making puking noises. "A model! Why don't you just go out with a hairdresser?"
"Hey," said a German boy who'd been listening to our conversation, "hairdressers are working class, aren't they?"
"Yeah, but they're not sexy," I said. "Not all working class jobs are sexy, but all sexy jobs are working class. Gardeners."
"And what about musicians?" my Bekannte asked. "You must fancy musicians, Jacinta. There isn't a girl alive who doesn't fancy musicians."
"Erm," I said.
"You don't fancy musicians, do you, Jacinta?"
I looked at her with a bit of guilt. "I like the idea of them," I said apologetically. "But whenever I meet one I just think they're a bit stupid. You know who I fancy? You know who I really fancy? Who I really, really, really fancy? The police. Especially the German police. I think they're beautiful. Especially now they don't wear those silly green trousers anymore. Those silly green trousers did make them look like they had fat arses. But, basically, I love the police. I'd like to have sex with every single police officer in Germany, one after the other, slowly, surely, carefully, cautiously; starting off with that boy in Saxony who got put on traffic duty coz he'd nabbed too many neo-Nazis. He's beautiful. I love the police."
My friend looked at me, aghast.
"You can't love the police," she said.
"I love the police," I said.
"You don't love the police," she said. "You hate the police. Everybody hates the police. That's what they're there for. They're scum. They're employed criminals. They're evil. I hate them. We all hate them. I want them all to die. I wish they'd all die. If every single police officer in Germany died, I would be happy. I'd laugh. I'd laugh with joy."
The German boy who we'd been talking to turned to look at my acquaintance all misty-eyed with love and respect and admiration and feelings like that.
"You're wonderful," he whispered. "You're perfect. You're the coolest person in the world."
Thing is, though, it would be really shit if all the police in Germany died. It would be crap. It would be rubbish. We'd all commit loads of crimes, because there'd be nobody to drive us all to prison. I'd probably murder about 70 people, just to see what it felt like. That is not to say that it's not horrifically horrendous when you have to show a copper your ID or that they're half of them racist bastards and/or totally out-of-control at demos. But we can't hate them all. We can't automatically hate all coppers. And the main reason we can't hate them all is that it's bad luck for wanky artistic type people to hate working class people. It gives you seven years' bad luck. Plus it's really precious and annoying. So. We don't slag off the girls at Schlecker and the people who check your radiators and we shouldn't slag off cops in general. They're just ordinary working class guys and we shouldn't slag them off. Plus they look totally sexy and manly now they're not all dressed like park attendants/zoo workers with unflattering trousers on.
"Hmmm," I said, interrupting their love-in. "I'm gonna sleep with every police person in Germany who isn't actually a racist."
My Bekannte looked at me, shaking her head and curling up her lip in disapproval.
"You do that," she sniffed. "You do that."
But the German boy just laughed.
"It won't take you long," he said. "There's probably only about seventy of them in the whole Bundesrepublik. You'll be done before the start of summer."