Always nice to get a positive review for one of my books and even better when it comes from another 'ex-pat' Burtonian! Carol post...
Friday, 15 November 2013
By the authority vested in me...Part 1
Around this time of year you will find that you're inundated with well-meaning advice from journalists and 'experts' about what to buy for Christmas...I thought that I might as well get in on the act!
If you are currently wondering what to get for the man in your life, for Christmas, birthday or any other significant occasion, then I'll let you in to a little secret. For a start off, you can forget all of your power tools. You can certainly forget them as far as I'm concerned. I have spent a good deal of my existence getting rid of tools, power-driven or otherwise, in the certain knowledge that I'm a lot safer without access to these. You see, if I have tools in my possession, then it's only a matter of time before I persuade myself, or someone persuades me (more likely) that "it's only a simple job, I'm sure you could manage it". If you don't have the necessary tools in the first place, then you can't do it and, hopefully, the evil moment will pass. Otherwise, you can finish up in the same position as someone I know who, during various spells of unemployment, has systematically demolished his own house from the inside.
Anyway, back to my original point. Forget power tools, forget also 'smellies'. We don't mind these but the problem is that we never wind up with a set of complementary products. We may start with such a set, of course, perhaps bought by some generous aunt or sister, but, in due course, various elements will run out whilst other, less useful, elements linger like a constant rebuke. Face Scrub, for instance, may prove to be surprisingly long-lasting, whereas anti-perspirant or shower gel will vanish like butter in the sun. The end result is that these are then replaced by various ad-hoc presents during the year which will, inevitably, be of an entirely different fragrance. This means that the average man, if he wears anything at all, is likely to be the olfactory equivalent of a contemporary jazz ensemble, with each player adding an entirely different tune.
So, we've established what not to get? Well, almost. Clothes are also a no-no, because we will be inclined to wear them. Even after the first trial session, when you realise with a sinking heart that you have bought something for the shape that you would like him to have, not the shape he actually has. No amount of "I could change it if you don't like it" will make any difference. In fact, the likelihood of the man in your life holding on to it grimly and insisting that he absolutely loves it will be in direct inverse proportion to how unsuitable you now think it is. Thus, that skin-tight pullover that you now realise makes him look ten months pregnant, will be the best thing you've ever bought him because, when he looks in the mirror, he sees the shape that he thinks he has and that you remembered when you bought it. The impact of fish and chips, pints of beer and zero exercise is entirely and wondrously discounted by the magical stretching abilities of modern fabrics.
Just whilst we're on this topic, why do some women of a certain weight insist on wearing clothes that are bound to emphasise the avoirdupois? Amazingly, skin-tight leggings do not have a slimming effect and neither do horizontal stripes, crop-tops or min-skirts. I'm not saying 'wear a sack and have done with it'. It's perfectly possible to be a little short for your weight and still look elegant and attractive. I accept that, according to my weight, I should be 7' 2", mind you, I'm neither elegant nor attractive.