To be printed 23/02/11.
Men of Britain! You're quite lucky to get the following column, because were it not for a few intervening factors (lack of interested publisher, lack of ideas, lack of being arsed) I would almost certainly turn it into a book. But as it is, the following concise little offering is small enough to slip, almost unnoticed, into your life, where it will better it significantly for you and those around you. Put it on your fridge, keep it in your wallet, sleep with it under your pillow. You're welcome.
THINGS EVERY MAN NEEDS TO KNOW
1. Telling a woman that you see in the street to "smile" does not make her want to smile. It makes her want to punch you in the kidneys.
2. Your shoes are more important than you think. However important you think they are, they're more important than that.
3. You cannot buy Nuts magazine ironically.
4. Sex and the City by no means represents what women actually think. But when asked, you must always say your favourite is Carrie. Lie. And don't mention horses.
5. Unless you are called Julio or are attending a fancy dress party as Marti Pellow, you may not have a ponytail. Ever. No exceptions.
6. Definitely is spelled 'definitely'. Not 'definately'. Actually everybody needs to know this one, but now seems as good a time as any to say it.
7. However well meaning your intentions, telling a woman she has a ladder in her tights will never be well received. She probably knows. And even if she doesn't, she isn't about to run home and change. Just keep schtum
8. Do you own a large, short-sleeved shirt? Is it useful for work and breezy in the summer? Do you wear it with jeans to 'smart' clubs? Burn it.
9. The man who dances will earn more points than the man who doesn't, no matter how David Brent the moves are. Girls like dancing with dodgy dancers. It reminds us of our Dads.
10. If you live in Britain, you are only permitted to remove your shirt in public during the months of July and August. And only then if unseasonably warm.
11. No man in the history of the world has ever pulled by calling a girl he doesn't know "gorgeous" in a leery fashion at a bus stop at 11 o'clock in the morning. Your life will be significantly easier once you realise this.
12. Never underestimate the power of a good scarf.
13. Growing your nails long makes you look like a terrifying child catcher from a fairytale. I don't care if it helps you play guitar like Hendrix.
14. The girls you think look great without make up are almost invariably wearing make up.
15. No gift bought in Clintons will ever please anyone. If it does, you are dating an idiot.
16. Put. The hair gel. Down.
17. Periods may not be as painful as being kicked in the crotch. Ok. But you aren't kicked in the crotch once a month for several days for 40-odd years of your life.
18. We are never going to wear stockings on a day to day basis. They chafe. So stop asking.
19. Look at your estate agent. Then wear and do the opposite.
20. If you are a genuinely nice person, then none of the above matters*.
*This is a massive lie. Learn to recognise those.
In which I consider what's in a name
5 weeks ago