Reasons to be cheerful

I’m delighted to discover Katy Red has found true happiness, even if it does seem to have only lasted about half the time it takes to write a blog about it.

I don’t know if happiness makes for great reading. No, scratch that: I know it doesn’t. It’s one of the reasons literally everybody in the known universe wants to stab Matthew  McConaughey in the face. He’s unfeasibly pleased with his life, and it makes me want to end it for him. I ache for him to become famous for a terrible-yet-hilarious accident involving an industrial threshing machine and a loose shoelace, which results in him missing a foot. In fact, I’m investing in a company which delivers poorly maintained threshing machines to Hollywood stars right now. It’s the type of thing that should be encouraged.

Did you know that if you take some of the letters away, replace them with others, and rearrange them a bit, Matthew McConaughey is an anagram of “smug bastard”?

Even when I’m happy, I try hard not to let it spill over into my online life, because there’s little that’s more depressing that hearing how bloody wonderful somebody else feels.

Won the lottery? Fantastic news, now share half the winnings or shut your flap. Or better still, share half the winnings and shut your flap.

Got a great relationship? That’s wonderful news, now ask yourself why nobody ever made a great movie about people who are ecstatically happy all the time. And while you’re asking that, shut your flap.

Just found a new job? OK, I’ll let you have that one. Jobs are pretty thin on the ground, and if you’ve got one and it makes you happy, I’ll let you shout about it without judging you. But it won’t last. In 6 weeks you’ll hate it, and that’s when I’ll be more interested. Tweet that you’ve got a job. Briefly tell us how happy you are. But don’t you dare to blog about it until you loathe your boss and believe you’d be happier working as the guy who combs the crusty bits out of the fur around Michael Winner’s hairy ringpiece.

Yes, I just put that image in your mind. That’s how much I hate your happiness.

I had a recent unfortunate slip. I accidentally let people know I was pretty happy. I still am, and long may it continue, but I promise you this is my last reference to it. You don’t care, and I don’t share. So back to moaning about life.

Katy lists the things that make for a happy life. Here’s the list:

  • Be healthy. Yeah, cheers. 40 years of boxing, rugby, little drinking and no smoking, and bingo: cancer. How are we meant to “be healthy” when the world is full of shit, delivered at random?
  • Live with a partner who loves and respects you. Genius. Why didn’t we think of that? I’ll just pop down to the Post Office and pick mine up, they’re 10 a penny.
  • Have a child. Tricky if you don’t have a partner, even trickier if nobody will have sex with you because you look like a strategically shaved baboon. I’ve tried stealing an urchin from the park, but their parents get so ruffled by it. Apparently their happiness trumps mine. Some people are so fucking selfish.
  • Get a cat/dog. Next door’s cat moved in. He regularly attacks my extremities. He wakes me at 5am to eat tuna, and 10 minutes later regurgitates it in a warm, watery pile on my duvet, then glares balefully at me because he hates the sound of me washing my bedding. I’m not sure either of us is happy with the relationship.
  • Spend less than you earn. I’ll just have a word with George Osborne about this, I’m sure he’ll help by instantly solving the global economic crisis.
  • Don’t use your credit card to pay for your expenditure on a monthly basis. This one has become easier since my bank insisted we go back to the old arrangement, where I paid my bills now and again. Credit cards are a thing of the past, like dignity.
  • Don’t borrow. Presumably meaning don’t get a mortgage, or a car, or start a business. In fact, for maximum happiness, live in your mum’s basement forever.
  • Don’t lend money. I won’t lend unicorns either, which are just as prevalent in my life right now.
  • Don’t gamble. Are you kidding me? My entire future planning consists of hoping for a lottery win. So does yours. Go on, admit it! If I’m wrong, and you actually have savings and a pension and an ISA, then you’re a bastard and probably responsible for the parlous economic state we’re in now. I’m sure you’ll be happy while you stride over the bodies of the rest of us sprawling destitute on the streets.
  • Surround yourself with pleasant smells. I have anosmia, which is the nasal equivalent of blindness. It’s caused by being punched, and reading this is bound to make you appreciate why punching has been a factor in my life. I can’t smell flowers, or fruits, or perfumes. But I can smell bullshit, which brings me to…
  • Keep a gratitude journal. I’m grateful to the education system, and public transport, and the environment, and investment in our national infrastructure, and the welfare state, and the NHS… what’s that? Oh, they’ve all gone. Cheers.
  • Make arrangements to donate your organs on your death. I’m one step ahead of you: one of mine is gone already.
  • Be realistic. Like this list is? That kind of realism? Brilliant.


Katy raises some important philosophical points on her blog. And speaking of points… can I see yours please?

When I was 14 the single most important thing in the known universe was putting my hand on a breast. I hadn’t done it, but I knew I wanted to, and it obsessed me.

Now I’m 41, and the only thing that’s changed about me is the order in which the numbers 1 and 4 appear. Boobs still fascinate. I accept that it’s stupid, and that men are simple creatures, but there you have it.

Favourite joke.

Man: Can I weigh your boobs?

Woman: If you must.

Man: (grabs boobs) “Waaaaaaaaay”.

Women, I think, have a more sophisticated set of things which appeal to them. I recently read that a man’s forearm is a lovely thing, which was news to me, and pleasing because – unlike, say, a huge cock – I actually have forearms, so might be in with a chance. And I’ve known for a while that shoulders are good. You can touch a man’s arms or shoulders in public, on a date, or even in a business meeting while shaking his hand, and nobody would say a word.

But one handful of mamm, and a vintage “ar-ooo-ga” car-horn noise, and suddenly you’re in a tribunal… where’s the justice?

If I woke tomorrow morning and found I’d grown breasts, I’d stay in bed playing with them and do nothing else until the smell of my rotting corpse made the neighbours raise concerns with the police. And I’d die a happy man. Ladies don’t fully understand the power of their physique.

And it doesn’t have to be a huge pair of perfect pornstar globes. Tiny mounds, mid-range hillocks, bouncesome bazungas, they’re all good. Small hard nipples are my personal favourites, but that’s like choosing your favourite way of killing Simon Cowell – they all do the job, so bring it on. Large pale ones. Pink, brown, pierced, everything works a treat. Just let me do that thing to them. You know what thing, don’t make me type it.

I draw the line at grotesque fakes, or the kind of fleshy roll that is indistinguishable from the fleshy roll of the belly that is usually below it. Michelle McManus, as Katy mentioned, is not high on my list of mammarian manupulation. Sorry Michelle, I’m sure you’re heartbroken.

So I am, as most men are, in love with your funbags. And, in case they’re feeling left out, with your buttocks too.

But for the life of me, I can’t see the appeal of many of these Urban Dictionary claims (see Katy’s blog). Does anybody really – really – play testicle-tennis with your norks and your chin? I can’t see what you’d get out of it, and I can’t see what I’d get out of it either. Sounds like guff to me, and when it comes to guff I’m a man who knows a thing or two. You wouldn’t believe how much of it I’d say in order to have a little squeeze of your chesticles!

Being in a relationship is fucking great

Unless you’re one of the 7 people in the UK who saw it (and I know 4 of them), you’ve never heard of Arrested Development.

And that means you won’t know what the hell I’m talking about when I say any of the following:

  • I’ve made a huge mistake
  • I was the world’s first Analrapist
  • It’s a shemalé – I love it!

All of those things are incredibly funny jokes, but you don’t get any of them. Why? Because you’re on the outside. And being single is being permanently on the outside. You never get to learn the in-jokes. You’re permanently watching Keeping Up Appearances, and everybody else knows you’re an idiot.

Being in a relationship means you can get deeper. You can find out the truth about people. Maybe it’s not a truth you like, and it took you 5 years to discover that, and now you feel bitter that you wasted that time. But maybe it’s a wonderful truth, and being that deep means you’re warmer and safer and more comfortable than you’ve ever been before.

Isn’t it worth giving it a try? Isn’t it worth going that deep, and finding out if there’s something wonderful?

Isn’t it worth waking, and it’s early, and warm, and bright. And in my arms she lies, still, relaxed, pressed against me so closely that nothing is between us. She’s fast asleep, breathing softly, and yeah, she’s snoring a little, but God that’s nice. We’re naked, but not sexual. We’re just two soft, warm animals, clinging to each other through the night. But not from terror, not from fear, just from the ultimate comfort of knowing there isn’t any space between us.

She has long, wild hair, and it’s been pulled around her neck so I could lie behind and hold her close without it tickling my nose. She knew I liked that. She knew I liked my mouth against her naked shoulder, and our legs in a tangle. But here’s what makes it incredible: she didn’t have to wake to sweep her hair away. She knew it in her sleep. Is there anything more loving? Is there anything that speaks more perfectly of our oneness?

And of course, it’s reality. It’s not some romantic, passionate fantasy, full of movies and drinks and restaurants and sex. She knows what face I pull when I’m twisting my inflexible body so I can trim my toenails. I know her breasts aren’t all that perky really, because I’ve seen her sitting around in her sloppy clothes in the evening, braless and comfortable. She knows how furry my back is, because she’s scratched it for me when it itches, and has picked ingrowing hairs out of it for me. I know what colour her crap knickers are, the ones she likes, and she can’t bring herself to throw away even thought they’ve faded to thousand-wash beige, and lie limp and tattered on the radiator.

I’m not a ladies man, but yes, I’ve dated girls. I’ve had laughs, gone back to their place, had fabulous, original, clumsy sex, and cuddled up all night. But I’ve never known that girl’s favourite Womble, or whether she’s a bit weird about beans touching fried eggs. And she’s never discovered that I cry at Cyrano de Bergerac, or that for an atheist who hates Lloyd-Webber, I have an unexpected fondness for Jesus Christ Superstar. There’s always an element of pretence when you’re in the dating game. You don’t reveal that weird stuff. It’s like being on a constant job interview, showing your best side. But if you only show one side, you might as well be 2-dimensional.

And that’s why being in a relationship is fucking great: it’s in 3D. OK, the colours aren’t as bright as 2D Technicolor, and occasionally it gives you a headache. But it has depth, and you can move through it and get a fuller, richer experience. You can put your guard down in ways you never dream of when you’re on the dating game.

If you’re single, you are one person. Sometimes you meet another person, and you do some elementary maths: one plus one becomes two.

But in a relationship it’s safe to admit that you’re shit at maths, and never liked it, and need help with your tax return.

Because in a good, functioning relationship, maths breaks down anyway.

One plus one equals one. And being one is perfection.

Being single is fucking great

Monday isn’t the worst day: that’s Tuesday, without a doubt.

On Monday you can spend some time reminiscing about your weekend, and your boss is still too hung-over to make you do anything substantial (especially if, like me, you happen to be your own boss).

Wednesday is half-way to the finish line. In America they call it “hump day”, because you’re over the hump and into the downhill stretch. It’s pretty good, lots to feel happy about.

On Thursday you can console yourself with the thought that it’s Friday tomorrow. And by Friday you’ve done it – you’ve made it through another week, and party time is upon us.

But Tuesdays mean nothing. They’re the only day of the week with no redeeming features.

And being in a relationship is like being stuck in a perpetual Tuesday. You’re endlessly in the middle of things, there’s no end in sight. And after a while you realise that “hump day” is permanently tomorrow, tomorrow never seems to come… and neither do you any more!

Even if it’s a good Tuesday, and the sun is shining, and you’re going to take the day off and go to the zoo, at the back of your mind you know that tomorrow will be Tuesday again, and each Tuesday will be greyer and slower and duller than the last.

But being single? Being single is like a permanent Friday night. On Friday night I’m my own man, and answer to nobody. The world is my oyster, or lobster, or cuttlefish, or any other crustacean I fancy. I have a choice of crustaceans. In fact, I’m in lamellibranch heaven!

Nobody tells me what to do, or pecks at my head to find out why I haven’t done what they told me to do last time. If I want to be lazy, nobody forces me to get up and go out. If I want to be busy, nobody tells me to stay home and do the ironing. Being single is freedom.

It’s freedom to do things but it’s also freedom from things. From her choice of TV, her choice of dinner, her choice of music, her friends, her mess. And most of all it’s freedom from her blithering, meaningless babble about the time someone you never met said something you don’t care about to somebody else you never met.

I’m not having a go at girls here – I’m sure men are just as bad, or worse. Ladies, do you really want to hear about the football, or the carburetor, or what kind of machine guns they used in Band of Brothers? No, you don’t! But men want to talk about it (when they want to talk at all), and being in a relationship means we each have a permanent sounding board that isn’t allowed to walk away and talk to somebody more interesting instead. But giddy Jesus, don’t you want to?

Being single makes you happier. It makes you more hopeful. It makes you more adventurous and positive. It makes you more sociable, because the alternative is to be a solitary hermit, and nobody wants that. What we all want is to be a single person who meets interesting people and has sex with them. So we change, unwittingly, into better, happier, sexier, thinner people.

Thinner? Yes, being single makes you thinner. Well, it certainly doesn’t make you fat, but being in a relationship does: it’s called “the stone of contentment”, and it’s the weight people put on when they stop running after people to fuck. If she (or he, or they) are sat at the other end of the sofa, and don’t really care what you look like any more, you stop trying. Being single makes a lot of positive changes to your physique.

In fact, it changes many things. Your body, your mind, and your entire nervous system. Do you know what the most sensitive part of the body is while masturbating? It’s the ears: you’re always listening for the sound of somebody approaching. But not me. I can stuff my ears with cotton wool and wrap my head in a duvet before I “drop trou”. In fact, I think I will, right now, just because I can. Back in a moment.

OK, I’m back. That was fun, and nobody is judging me except for people on the internet, and don’t even pretend you haven’t thought about clicking away from this blog to look at some porn. Don’t even.

(Oh, and the cat saw me too. OK, I admit, it was a bit weird that he watched me; and I don’t really know if he understands what I just did, but he always looks disappointed in me, even when I’m feeding him fresh tuna. So I’m not reading too much into that baleful expression.)

But while we’re on the subject of sex – which we were before I got onto voyeuristic felines – isn’t sex in a relationship absolutely awful! I don’t mean at the beginning, or in the first couple of years. To start with it’s brilliant, and then it gets even better when you stop pretending to be sensitive and kind, and just tear each others’ clothes off, spit on each other, and rut like otters.

But before too long everything goes wrong, and not just with her. You’re bored. She’s bored. It’s the same every single time. Kiss. Squeeze. Feel. Mount. Dismount. Sleep. Sex is supposed to be the most thrilling thing in the world. If you attach electrodes to a rat’s brain and give it an “orgasm” button, it’ll keep pressing until it starves to death. Animals demand sex, and we should want it all the time.

But we don’t. And why? Because you bore each other to death. In a relationship, what should be a romantic night of passion (or at least a raw and dirty fuck with somebody who knows how you like it) becomes little more than a chore, or a desperate act to invigorate your flagging feelings or – more often than we care to admit – to help you to get to sleep. You might as well get out of bed and start decorating the kitchen.

And I know this might be controversial, but I’m gonna say it anyway: men have to perform. We have to actually do things. We can’t rely on a little KY and a patient expression, we have to actually be excited or nothing happens. And then who gets the blame? We do! You don’t point at us and allocate blame directly; instead we have the “don’t I excite you any more?” conversation, in which there is only one answer I can give, and that answer is a lie:

“Of course you excite me [you don’t], it’s just that I’ve had a long day [a long day dreaming about more interesting sex with people I haven’t seen naked over a million times]. Let’s do it properly tomorrow night [after I’ve spent the day looking at porn so I’ve got recent memories to help me along]”

Cynical? Fucking right it’s cynical, but it’s true!

I don’t want to live there. I don’t want to live in that dull, dreary, grey, sexless place, just waiting around until one of us dies, and hoping my hip still works when that moment arrives. Instead, I want to live in Singledonia, a land of opportunity, just like America. Sure, not all the opportunities pan out, but keep on panning and you’ll strike gold. Often in small worthless lumps, but still bright and shiny, and still exciting when you get it. And even if it turns out to be fools gold and worth less than nothing, you’ve still had that brief, intense thrill; and you have the pleasure of knowing there’s another thrill floating down the river towards you. Put on your waders and climb back in!

But being in a relationship is like living in Greece: the only sensible solution is to get out of the place before it drags everyone down.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating a series of one-night stands here. Far from it. There is little in life that’s more fun that dating someone a few times, learning about each other’s bodies, and getting better and better and the sexytimes. I love that. I love holding her afterwards, and I love making her laugh, and being made to laugh, and long, lazy Sunday mornings rolling around in bed with nothing to think about but how good her skin feels. Every day is “hump day”, and you never seem to go downhill.

And that’s why being single is fucking great. It’s a chance to discover and experience that thrill, over and over again. I’m trying to do it honestly, and without hurting anybody. I don’t date multiple people at once, but I do tell everyone up-front what I’m about.

And it’s not about Tuesday; it’s about Friday night.

What makes a woman sexy?

On Sunday I discovered half a bottle of Glenfiddich that I didn’t know I had, which essentially makes it free Glenfiddich. It may as well have been labelled “Vino Paralytiko: this bottle will make you drunker than you’ve ever been”.

Well, I had to drink that, didn’t I?

On Monday, by some miracle, I didn’t have a hangover, but I did have to work for 18 straight hours with nary a pause for a sandwich, and by the time I’d finished I was grouchy and mean-spirited.

Today is Tuesday, I have very little to do, and the lovely Katy Red has set me a challenge: a guest blog about what makes women sexy.

The first thing I’d like to say is that you’re all sexy, but especially the ones who could be bothered reading the first couple of paragraphs, which have literally nothing to do with the rest of the blog. It’s padding… which, if you ask me, is the first thing that makes women sexy. A bit of padding.

I’m not a social butterfly, but I have known more than 7 blokes in my life (I’m boasting now) and all of them have agreed totally that women need to diet a lot less. It’s ridiculous. You’re allowing OK Magazine to bully you into an early grave.

So my first rule about being sexy is this: eat a pie, woman! I don’t want my hips to bang into yours if there’s a chance your spiky, unpadded pelvis will lacerate me. Put on a couple of pounds, and be proudly curvy. I’ve never spent the night with a girl whose ribs were visible through your vest, but I’ve seen the photos, and nothing about that body makes me want to hold it and cuddle it.

Now, maybe I’m wrong, and girls don’t really want their guy to cuddle them. Maybe you want us to give you a startling haircut, make you lean your weight on one hip and look sassy while we take photos of you in your best frock. But somehow I think that’s what fashion photographers want; not men, and probably not women either. Girls, I suspect, quite fancy a cuddle on the sofa with a glass of wine and a movie (preferably not a war movie, boys!). But all that dieting makes cuddling you feel like gripping a bag of elbows. Stop it.

Don’t wear too much make-up. Yes, your skin is a little patchy, and you may have a zit, and you may have bags under your eyes. Guess what: so have men (unless they’re that bizarre invention of 21st Century life, the “metrosexual”, in which case dump that boy and find yourself a proper bloke, with a belly and a bag of chips and a dirty, dirty laugh). Personally I don’t want to touch a layer of polyfilla, I want to kiss your skin. If we’re going out somewhere nice, of course you’ll want to get dolled-up. But what’s this business with wearing slap every minute of every day? Pack it in, and be natural. It’s much better.

Other than that, I don’t really have a strong opinion about how you look. Small boobs: nice! Big boobs: nice! Who cares, as long as you let me touch them now and again.

Looks are over-rated. Honestly, I mean it. I’m so sick of seeing adverts and television programmes infested with beautiful people. I can’t even tell if they’re beautiful any more, because there’s no “normal” people around to compare them to. If I see another advert with Cheryl sodding Cole in it, I’m going to commit a war crime. Yes, she’s bonny… probably, under that avalanche of make-up… but I no longer care. I’ve seen her and Angelina and Jennifer so often now that they’re visual wallpaper. So forget about perfection, and just be you. It’s SO much more interesting.

Which brings me onto the next point: interesting women. God, I love them. Brains (phwoah). Personality (ding-dong). Humour (whoops, I’ll have to change my pants).

All of this opinion may be utterly pointless. I don’t for a moment think girls want a man like me. I’m on the wrong side of 40, barely on the right side of ugly, some distance from being rich, Northern, and make very little effort to achieve the body beautiful (I’m going for the body bountiful instead).

In fact, scratching around for things to recommend myself, I find I can only come up with the following:

  • I can fry eggs
  • I know quite a lot about Arctic Exploration

In short, I don’t exactly sweep girls off their feet, although I do sometimes push them over when they’re not expecting it. So you’d be ever-so-slightly mental if you follow this advice and then expect hot, young, wealthy men to chase after you. They won’t; although you might get a line of fun, comfy, stable guys expressing a sudden interest.

But since I was asked what makes women sexy, I’m going to tell you: the thing that gets going – I mean really makes me want to take you home and have a furtle in your underwear – is some smarts. Drop a magazine and read a few books. Stop watching Corrie and watch some documentaries. Find out what Quantitive Easing is, and why it’s going to destroy us all.

I don’t want to know about X-Factor. Yeah, I watch it when it’s on, and I laugh at the funny bits and vomit disdainfully at the “emotional” bits. But then I feel slightly queasy, like the moment when you’ve just finished masturbating and look at yourself and what you’ve become. So if your Facebook page lists X Factor as your favourite thing in the world, nothing is going to happen between us.

The human brain is (quite literally) the single most complicated and sophisticated thing in the entire known universe during its entire 14.5 billion year history. And what are you using yours for? Take Me Out? OK Magazine? The Daily Express? Oh, come on people, you’re so much better than that.

You’ll earn more money. You’ll be more interesting. You’ll feel more interesting. You’ll meet more interesting people. And me, or someone like me, will ask you what you’re doing on Friday night.

All of these things happen when you start reading The Guardian instead of The Sun.

This blog is meant to have a conclusion, so here’s it is: worry less about exercising your body, and more about exercising your brain. That’s what makes a woman sexy.

Well, that and an overt willingless to try anal.