Thursday, 23 July 2015

The middle-aged man's survival guide

Women are complicated. Sometimes they're unfathomable. Despite a relationship spanning over 34 years, I cannot yet claim to understand the mind of Mrs Jones. But I have learnt a few things along the way – how else would I have survived? – and I’d  like to share them for the benefit of other men out there who might be even more perplexed than I am about the female psyche.

With regards to her body shape and appearance, a lady will never ask a question of her man unless she has already identified the response she wants to hear. Consequently, such questions strike pulsating terror into the bowels of any male. We know there is a ‘correct’ answer that, if delivered promptly and with sincerity, could later be rewarded with an assortment of sexual favours. But get it wrong and punishment awaits, ranging from icy silences to physical assaults.    

So gentleman, here is my guide to how to (and how not to) respond to six common questions from our partners. If you’re masochistic enough to offer response 1, brace yourself for punishment of a type that would have seemed gruesome in the dark ages. Offer a response 2 and expect to spend at least the next 24 hours in social isolation during which she will emit only one-syllable replies to your attempts to initiate conversation. But get it right with a response 3 and you could be creasing the sheets while entwined in the limbs of a passionate woman (that is, your partner).

 
Question: Which of these two dresses should I wear at the restaurant tonight? (asked while trying them on)

RESPONSE 1: ‘Won’t your jeans and sweatshirt suffice?

RESPONSE 2: ‘They both look OK’

RESPONSE 3: ‘You look great in both; they each show off your figure, but I think the red one just edges it’

 

Question: Do you think my bingo wings are disappearing? (while tugging the flabby bits on her upper arms)

RESPONSE 1: ‘No, but all women your age have bingo wings. And now I come to think of it, even the pretty lass next door has them, and she’s a lot younger than you’

RESPONSE 2: ‘They’re getting there’

RESPONSE 3: ‘I can’t say I’ve ever noticed them; your arms always look slender and elegant to me’

 

Question: My boobs are getting really floppy; don’t you find them a big turn off?

RESPONSE 1: ‘Yes. They’re like two blubber-filled hammocks in a gale’

RESPONSE 2: ‘No, I like them floppy’

RESPONSE 3: ‘I love your boobs; what man wouldn’t? Soft and natural and so much better than those plastic ones that some models flash across the newspapers’

 

Question: Does my butt look big in these jeans?

RESPONSE 1: ‘Of course it does; I didn’t nickname you “bacon arse” for nothing!’

RESPONSE 2: ‘No, not really’

RESPONSE 3: ‘No way! It looks firm and pert. In fact it’s taking all my willpower not to caress it’

 

Question: Doesn’t that bracelet look gorgeous? (while gazing into a jeweller’s shop window)

RESPONSE 1: ‘Give me strength! At that price we should be living in it, never mind wearing it’

RESPONSE 2: ‘Yes it’s nice’

RESPONSE 3: ‘It would look fantastic on you. If only we could muster the funds to buy it’ (buy it later that day and surprise her)

 

Question: Do you think I’m losing weight? (while standing in front of a full-length mirror)

RESPONSE 1: ‘No, I can’t say I’ve noticed’

RESPONSE 2: ‘I hope not; I like you with a bit of excess poundage’

RESPONSE 3: ‘Without a doubt; you’re shape reminds me of our wedding day’   
 


 
Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

         

 

     

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, 26 June 2015

Reflections in front of a carriage clock


 

Image courtesy of farconville at
 FreeDigitalPhoto.net
Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock… …


I sit alone in the corner of a room, mindful of the passing seconds. Three months from now I will be 57; a year of existence for each of the Heinz varieties. Well past my half century, 8 years from ‘pensioner’ status, 41 years beyond the age of legal consent for sexual shenanigans.

 
Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock… …

 
I’ve always had an aversion to time. Relentless, taunting clocks spewing out their unsettling messages each time you glance into their faces: another hour of humiliation to endure in the school woodwork class at the mercy of a sadistic teacher; 45 minutes beyond the scheduled meeting time at the bus-stop confirms she’s stood me up; only 10 minutes remaining in the History exam and I’ve yet to start the final question; 11 hours into my wife’s torturous labour and no sign of my son’s head.

 
Tick-tock, tick-tock… …

 
Yesterday I learnt of the sudden death of a longstanding friend. He was my age – seven months younger, actually. Fifty-two-years ago we sat, side-by-side, in the infant class on our first day at school, flushed pink with a combination of excitement and fear. Yet now he's gone, and each tick and tock proclaims I, too, am one second closer to nothingness, as Time inexorably inhales my juices, drying me up, edging me closer to that arid shell on the mortuary slab.

 
Tick-tock.

 


Tick-tock.

 
AND THAT IS WHY … …

 
I will book the flight to visit my only brother in the Bahamas, rather than just talking about it

 
Tick-tock, tick-tock… …

 
I will start to write that block-buster novel I’ve been pondering on for over a decade

 
Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock… …

 
I will invite my wonderful son over for a couple of bottles of Abbott’s ale while we listen to, and discuss, our favourite music. And take my beautiful daughter to a Mexican restaurant to catch up on her university experiences while imbibing chicken fajitas and a cool drop of Corona Extra

 
Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock… …

 
And tonight I’ll surprise Mrs Jones by preparing a meal of fillet steak, swilled down with a Spanish Rioja. We’ll talk, and reminisce, about our 34 joyful years together. After which I’ll lift my lady off her feet – a (little) bit like the iconic scene from An Officer and a Gentleman – carry her to bed, and pound her into multiple-orgasmic ecstasy. (Okay, just one orgasm, if I’m on form – and my lumbago doesn’t flare up while I’m in full piston-like flow – but it will be high quality).

 
Because, after all, we need to grasp each fucking tick and each fucking tock as if it’s our last.    

 

 

 

 

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Atonement


Atonement

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. At 56 years of age I believe it is time to review my life,
take stock, make amends. I don’t believe there is a God or an afterlife, but who can be certain of such things. So I’d like to play safe and acknowledge all my major wrongdoings from over half a century of prowling the planet earth. After I’ve drawn my final breath, if I find myself at the ultimate junction, I want to ensure I’m ushered in the direction of the arrow labelled ‘fine wine, ale and warm female flesh’ rather than the one indicating ‘fire, brimstone and a perpetual knee to the bollocks’.

So brace yourself, here goes; my confessional.

Dad, I’m sorry I lied to you when I was 9 and you asked me about my 14-year-old brother’s liking for tobacco. Adopting my most sincere facial expression – chin jutting, eyes fixed on yours – I swore that I’d never seen Tony puff on a single cigarette. Father, I sinned. Your older child was smoking like a damp log on a campfire. Forgive me. I know it’s no excuse but I had been bribed by my big brother; he’d allowed me a couple of drags if I remained silent.

Mum, I’m sorry I lied to you when I was 7. I was responsible for those giant spiders that infested our house. My behaviour at the time would today have led to a hefty prescription of Ritalin. Forgive me, for it was I who engaged in frenzied fly-murdering sprees (aiming for a minimum cull of three bulbous blue-bottles a day) and stored their pulped carcasses under a loose window tile; word most have spread through the spider community that a ready-made feast was being served daily, motivating all the dominant eight-legged creatures within a 2-mile radius to descend on our living room. And didn’t they fatten up quickly; our window ledge soon resembled a scene from Arachnophobia.    

And mum, it was not the cat’s fault that your wardrobe smelt of piss in 1977 – it’s amazing where a semi-slumbering young man will urinate after ingesting 12 pints of finest ale.

Mrs Fenwick, I wish to retract my comment to you when you returned home to break up your son’s house party 39 years ago. With the maturity of middle-age, I can now understand why you might have felt annoyed to discover muddy foot-prints on the Artexed ceiling of your recently-decorated dining room, semi-naked teenagers in your bed, not to mention the pools of vomit on the bathroom floor. You were never a ‘stuck up, snotty cow’ so please forgive me for my foul-mouthed ignorance; again, the demon drink may have distorted my mind. (Although come to think of it, you did often carry an unfortunate facial expression, as if someone was wafting a turd under your nose).    

Jean, the cougar, please accept my sincerest apologies for my failure to rise to the occasion, particularly after that delicious three-course meal you prepared for me. I was good-to-go, until I caught sight of your lady bits which, after churning out three children –one of whom, at 20 years old, was my age – seemed discoloured and misshapen, like a poorly-assembled tent flapping in the wind, and not at all like those of my female peers. Please forgive me.

Jane, the lovely young lady from Durham, you were totally right to deny me access to your inner treasures on our first date. I was 20 years old, full of anger and resentment, and treated you shoddily. And I’m sure you were far from being a ‘frigid slab of whale blubber’; please forgive me.



I think that should just about cover it. Oh wait. To the old lady I met last week in the frozen-fish aisle of the local Tesco store: it was I, not you, who was responsible for emitting the rotting-cabbage smell; it just slipped out when I bent over the refrigerators in search of battered cod. I should never have accused you. Sorry.

Well, I feel lighter already. Wine, ale and warm female flesh, here I come!  
 
 
Photo courtesy of radnatt at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

Thursday, 16 April 2015

I'm a weight Nazi!


Courtesy of Raktim Chatterjee at
FreeDigitalPhotos.net
    'Wow, he's a big lad,' I said to Mrs Jones as we sat together on the settee watching our twice-weekly dollop of Judge Judy. 'Look at that gut; when was the last time he saw his knees, not to mention his bits and pieces!'

The victim of my verbal assault was a young man in his early 20s, standing before the solemn queen of arbitration in an attempt to sue his ex-girlfriend for the cost of an engagement ring. Clad in a grey suit and black tie, he clearly had made an effort to dress appropriately for Court. Articulate and respectful, he outlined the rationale for his claim. Thinking back, his demeanour suggested a pleasant, intelligent human being. But at the time I ignored those qualities, my attention focused only on the straining lower buttons of his white cotton shirt as they struggled to contain a wodge of overhanging flab demanding its freedom.      

I used to be a nice man. Size didn’t matter – except, of course, when creasing the sheets in the midst of lust – it was only behaviour and personality that counted when evaluating another human being. But that all changed in 2013 when a self-imposed exercise programme resulted in me shedding my beer-belly and 30 pounds.

Since my conversion from a chubby slob to thoroughbred athlete (don’t puncture my delusional bubble – it’s hard enough to maintain a positive self-image at 56), I’ve developed an obsession with people’s shapes and, like reformed smokers, I am now the harshest critic of those who are yet to change their ways. When meeting males for the first time, I zoom in on their contours and mass. Does he carry more than one chin? Are there any man-boobs lurking under his outer garments? Is that a poorly inflated rubber ring clinging to his waste or a swathe of whale blubber?

I know my reactions are distasteful, ignorant and sometimes repulsive. My rational self often immediately challenges my prejudicial thoughts:

‘Don’t be a fatist; you’re no better than a racist, sexist or any other “ist”’

‘If you must form opinions of others, look further than their physical appearance’

‘Never judge a book by its cover’

‘Some people are born to be bigger than others; it’s in their genes’

‘There are unfortunate folk with medical conditions that render weight loss difficult, even impossible’.

 
I’m familiar with all these retorts and believe them to be morally and factually sound. But there is an emotional, almost instinctive part of me that is impossible to restrain. Feel free to unfriend me now; I’ll understand.

Nor is my discriminatory gaze exclusive to males. When I’m introduced to a woman one of my first thoughts is, ‘How firm is her butt?’ A close second is, ‘What proportion of her breasts are pure mammary rather than excess poundage?’ And so my internal conflict is triggered again, my emotive prejudice challenged by my rational and moral values.

I often feel compelled to explain my turmoil to Mrs Jones. When she catches me staring at women’s arses and boobs I’m at pains to point out that I’m not yearning for soft, silky, tender, warm, succulent female flesh … …[* breath quickens*] … … but struggling to resolve my internal conflict. She is not yet convinced!

 

 

         

 

     

 

 

 

Friday, 3 April 2015

Measuring up


I recently stumbled upon an article in Medical News Today titled ‘What is the average penis size?’ My curiosity pricked – it’s my scientific mind, you know – I read on. Apparently, the average length of the male member is about 3.4 inches (8.5 cms) when flaccid, and 5.5 inches (14 cms) when fully erect.

Seconds later, I’m rummaging in Mrs Jones’ sowing tin for the tape measure, hands trembling with anticipation. After a fruitless search among the needles and threads, I shifted the pursuit to my toolbox – the puns just keep on coming; whoops, there’s another one – until I located the spring-loaded tape, and retired to the bathroom to determine how I measured up.

I’m sure most men will be familiar with the process of penis measurement, but I doubt whether many have carried out the procedure deploying a steel-bladed, automatic-locking device with push-button retraction; you’ll be familiar with the contraption, the one that closes like a mouse trap when you press the ‘recoil’ knob. Suffice it to say that, at the age of 56, I almost earned entry into the Guinness Book of Records for the oldest man to perform a do-it-yourself circumcision.

Smug with the realisation that I was comfortably within the average range (albeit after a fair bit of burrowing into the testicular region), I returned, reassured, to read the remainder of the article. One study had reported that women’s satisfaction with the sexual act depended more on penis girth than length. My eyes scoured the text for the relevant data: the average circumference of the trouser-snake is 3.7 inches (9.5 cms) at slumber and 4.7 inches (12 cms) when reporting for duty; cue round two of jousting with the steel tape measure.

After the discovery that my member was again firmly within the average range, not even the loss of 50 units of O-negative could erase my self-satisfied grin.

Apparently, there are cultural differences in average penis size. It seems that Indian men were dealt an inferior stack when the todger cards were distributed, their average length falling a crucial half-inch short of their American counterparts. So it’s New Delhi rather than New York as a destination for me this summer; brace yourselves Keshika, Sita and Shefali, big Bryan – or comfortably-in-the-average-range Bryan - is on his way.

 

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Shocking curiosity

Courtesy of Suat Eman at
FreeDigitalPhotods.net
     'Whatever you do, never, ever, stick your finger in here' said
      my 11-year-old brother.

Tony, my elder sibling, was standing in our living room with the table lamp in his hand. He was pointing at the opening where the light bulb would go. I was aware that the lamp had been without a bulb (and shade) for some time; each morning, prior to leaving for work, my dad would plug his electric shaver into this socket.

‘Why not?’ I asked.
      ‘Just don’t do it’, said Tony. ‘If you do you’ll get electrocuted.’

When Tony left, and I was alone playing on the carpet with my Lego, I struggled to maintain concentration on building my plastic-brick tower. My gaze repeatedly drifted to the lamp socket. It looked harmless enough; brown plastic casing circling two small holes. And what did ‘electrocuted’ mean? To my 7-year-old mind, anything with the word ‘cute’ in it couldn’t be that bad; my grandmother called me it all the time.

As the morning progressed, my bottom (and plastic tower) shuffled ever nearer to the lamp until I was in touching distance of that two-holed curiosity. Tentatively, as if extending a hand towards a sleeping Rottweiler, my fingers brushed the plastic casing, before snatching them back. Nothing happened. Tony must have been trying to scare me again; one of his favourite pastimes.

I approached the socket a second time, my index finger outstretched. It hovered at the entry, before plunging into the abyss.

My recollection of what happened next is vague and fragmented. I recall a searing vibration shooting along the length of my arm, as if I was clinging to a giant locust. Moments later I was lying on my back, in the middle of our living room, surrounded by Lego bricks, with a whiff of singed flesh in my nostrils.

To this day I remain uncertain as to my big brother’s motive in issuing his warning about that light socket. He knew I was a curious boy who always sought explanations and who was inclined to experiment to find answers. Almost half a century on, when I reminded him of the incident, he claimed no memory of it, adding that, if he said such a thing, it would have been fuelled by a desire to keep his little brother safe. I continue to doubt; after all, a few months earlier he had almost expired after I locked him in a suitcase. Nevertheless, we remain the closest of brothers, perhaps fused in friendship by having both – miraculously - survived our childhoods.  

 

         

 

     

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, 23 February 2015

Seven questions for seven deviants

The queen of the blogging world, Terrye Toombs, posed seven of her most devilish questions and I was one of the victims. If anyone is interested to hear about knickerbockers flying over Castorbridge Wood in the remake of a Thomas Hardy classic - and much, much more - drop in via the following link:

http://asshatrants.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/seven-questions-for-seven-bloggers.html?showComment=1424727656215#c7547483708254824656

I'm sure you will not be disappointed.