Tuesday, September 06, 2005

You Know I Can't Smile Without You

Well the votes on last week’s market research consumer survey type thing are in and I’ve spent the last three days counting them all. Thanks to all who took part and thanks also to those who thought about taking part but managed to spoil their voting paper, such was their excitement at being part of a truly democratic process.

You’ll be glad to learn that the result does not require referral to (or overturning by) the Supreme Court and by a landslide majority you’ve voted to keep my Daily Record articles here in their spiritual home. If you’ve got extra time on your hands or you’ve simply called in sick to work, you can also read it (and others) by clicking here on these red words that are underlined.

So without any further ado, here’s this week’s effort… can you tell I was struggling to hit a deadline?

Hi. My name is Neil and I (cough) used to own a Barry Manilow album. In my defence, let me just say that it was Christmas 1980 and I received the LP as a present from my then girlfriend. Although confused with the choice of gift, I smiled enthusiastically (love is blind after all) and promised to play it continuously as soon as I got home. Three days later I got a phone call telling me I was chucked*.

I should have seen it coming of course. I’d never previously expressed any desire to add Barry to my vinyl collection and the album, ironically enough, was entitled Bermuda Triangle – it really DID make people disappear.

I was reminded of this sorrowful little tale last week when I literally stumbled across a book that was lying around the house waiting to be tidied away. Doubly ironic this time because not only was the book called “Household Management For Men”, it too had been a gift from a former partner who was clearly trying to tell me something.

Resisting the urge to throw the offending publication on top of a pile of clothes that have been waiting a month to be ironed, I decided to give it the once over to see if it could teach me anything new. And what a fascinating read it turned out to be.

I knew immediately I was on shaky ground when I took the initial “do you know it all already” multiple choice quiz.

“How often should you clean the bath?” asked question 1.
“Surely it gets cleaned every time I have a bath,” I pondered as I ticked the “didn’t know you had to” option.

“How often should you launder the bed linen?” continued question 2.
“Oh that’s an easy one,” I sniggered as I ticked the option that read “whenever I have a ‘sleepover’”. Incredibly, the correct answer was once a fortnight.

“Why should you remove dust regularly from surfaces?”
“Because it spoils the view on the television screen.” Obviously.

After failing the quiz spectacularly, I moved on to the introduction which warned, “Mess attracts mess. Three lonely and unwashed plates will quickly be joined by three potential mates. They reproduce and soon you have a little family of unwashed dishes. But what if a potential romantic interest pops round unannounced?”

“Well,” I snorted. “If that ever happens, the first room they visit will NOT be on the ground floor.

The book’s chapters were organised logically, each one covering the requirements for a different room in the house. Particularly helpful was the “yes/no” flow chart designed for men who are not sure what room it is they’re occupying.

“Is there a bath in the room?” asked the book in an increasingly sarcastic tone. “If yes, go to chapter 2, ‘The Bathroom’.”

Here I discovered how to properly unblock a toilet (a skill I can well imagine using in the future) and also how to clean mirrors with a solution of water and vinegar. “Once polished, admire your reflection,” encouraged the book. No problem, I think can handle that one.

The book was full of little hints about which household management chores should be done daily, weekly, monthly etc. and these were summarised perfectly in a handy, detachable chore chart. Disappointingly, the book’s editors had failed to correct an obvious printing error as “buy food” (weekly) and “personal hygiene” (daily) had clearly been placed in each other’s columns.

That aside, the book was excellent and I look forward to bringing you more riveting insights when I finish the last five chapters. Tune in next week gents when we’ll talk about how to carve a chicken (who knew you needed cutlery to eat chicken?) and we’ll discuss laundry labels made easy.

*Chuck v.
1. To throw or fling in a haphazard manner.
2. Scottish colloquialism for ending a relationship, often carried out in a haphazard manner, e.g. “My pal’s just telt me to tell ye that yir chucked!”


At 6/9/05 12:03 pm, Blogger DC said...


For me to tell you that I've been "telt ti tell yi yir chucked", in an off-hand haphazard manner, you would need to be in some kind of relationship with a girly. Still single?

You may wish to check your e-mails for some interesting info.


At 6/9/05 9:15 pm, Blogger Neil said...


Please refrain from sending me emails offering back issues of your "Thai Brides Monthly" catalogue. You know fine well the 2 for 1 offer has now expired so you're only doing it to impose mental torture.

Your good friend otherwise.


At 6/9/05 11:03 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heya pet.Just wanted to say had a giggle at this one and glad you still post here cos I am a lazy sod and rather have your face beamin at me over the net than some hairy-arsed scot from the Daily Rag...er...youknowwharrimean.I´m off home now to drink myself stupid with a depressed boyfriend I made miserable! :)Sai


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