Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The One With No Title

When I started writing for the Daily Record ten months ago, the Features Editor sat me down and spelled out the two main rules by which I had to abide.

1. Try not to write about football because that's already adequately covered on the back pages.

2. Never write the column after drinking heavily and spending an hour in a hot tub with seven other guys having been out in the desert sun all afternoon during a golfing holiday 5,000 miles away in America.

I thought she was just talking crazy at the time but now I know better. Curing severe sunstroke with beer and fast bubbling water DOES NOT WORK.

It's always fun and rewarding wading through the stacks of emails in my in-box every week to read your feedback regarding the contents of this column. These can often be quite frank and forthright such as the note I received recently from a Ms G Greer in response to the story of my washing machine breakdown and how women love to do laundry. I could tell she was not in the best of moods when she began her message with "You chauvinist pig. How dare you…" but I gave her the benefit of the doubt and assumed she'd just typed it after burning some cakes or falling behind with her ironing.

Sometimes your correspondence can be a bit bewildering as evidenced by the six emails submitted by Mr V Agra after reading about my embarrassing episode trying to decipher the menu board in Starbucks. The subject header of each email read 'PLEASURE HER, ENLARGE NOW' which I understood to mean that I should buy my girlfriend a venti-sized coffee rather than a grandé, but come to think of it, he may have been writing to me on another subject altogether.

However most of your emails are very complimentary and a perfect example dropped into my in-box last Thursday as I was packing for my holidays. It was from a Miss A Stalker and said, "Dearest Neil. I've been enjoying your articles every week since they began ten months ago even though I suspect that sometimes you just make up stuff to fill the space. Up until now you've made no mention of your birthday so please can you let me know if this is imminent. I will then be able to buy you a large and extravagant gift as thanks for all the hours of pleasure your column has given me."

Well Miss Stalker, being a modest soul, I was going to let this particular subject matter pass quietly without any great fuss. But since you ask, I can exclusively reveal that this coming weekend, I will once again be celebrating my 39th birthday. (This'll be the fourth year in a row.) There really is no need to go to any great trouble to buy me a gift but the cash is clearly burning a hole in your pocket so I've taken the liberty of compiling a brief list to aid you on your shopping excursion.

1. A Raleigh Chopper bike. This has been top of my birthday list now for the past 35 years so I'd like to get hold of one soon before all the cool kids move on to some new fad. Better throw in a set of stabilisers while you're at it.

2. A new washing machine. I realise this may seem excessive but it'll avoid me turning up at your door with a bag full of dirty laundry and will help dispel my habit of "shackling glorious womanhood to the oppressive yoke of sexist slavery" as Ms Greer so quaintly puts it.

3. A triple-shot skinny venti caramel macchiato to go. I've got no idea what this is but I heard somebody mention it last week as I was plucking up the courage to go into Starbucks and it sounded exotic.

4. One of those electronic apples that people on the train seem to use to clean their ears. An iPod is it?

5. Socks, especially those multi-coloured, musical ones that colleagues seem to love so much at office parties.

6. Pizza. Any size. Any quantities. Any toppings. Except mushrooms. Oh, and beer.

I'll be home from my holidays on Friday so please arrange to leave any large items by my back door. Many thanks.


At 5/6/06 12:05 am, Blogger Jill Santuccio said...

I have a sickness when it comes to laundry. I think if I had lived a couple hundred years ago, I would have been a washer woman (ok, maybe with more modern technology?) It cracks me up that people gripe about doing laundry. I love it. If I could do it and get paid as if it were a "real job" I would make it a career!


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