Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Sunday, 22 January 2017
A unisexual plea for advice
Here's an innocent enough question: Why do the pockets of only corduroy trousers fall apart and get holes in?
Well it sounds like an innocent question, but already it is fraught with contention. On the one hand, it seems to be asking the advice of men, as it is only - or usually only - men who wear men's corduroy trousers. On the other hand, it could be asking the advice of women, as traditionally it is them with the sewing skills needed to repair them. See what I mean?
I have been having a little break from contention recently by writing boiled-down fiction, chapter by chapter, but I realised that the real world cannot be ignored for very long when the small change began to fall out of the bottom of my right trouser leg.
It began with 5p pieces, but quickly the denominations became higher as the hole grew larger. I have taken off those trousers for the last time, because H.I. is not the sort of woman who repairs trousers except under extreme duress, and I do not have the nessecary sewing skills. I just throw them away and buy another pair. If I took them to the Turkish tailors up the road, it would cost more than a replacement in a charity shop.
It is the keys that do the damage, but only in corduroy trousers. Women seldom have to deal with this problem because they use handbags, and if they do wear corduroy, they do not put everything they need to leave the house (and return to it later) in the pockets. All of H.I.'s trousers do not have pockets, and all of her handbags cost more than any loose change she has ever put in them.
As I write, my left pocket contains a wallet (made fat with credit cards rather than cash) and an iPhone. The right pocket contains about £3 in loose change, a folding knife which I use around five times a day for everything other than stabbing people, a packet of chewing gum, a pouch of tobacco, a cigarette lighter and a destructively large bunch of house, workshop and car keys. Before the age of ten it would have had a much kinder ball of string rather than keys.
Every couple of years I examine the key fob and find at least two keys for which I cannot remember any door which they might fit, so I take them off and put them somewhere safe for another couple of years, then I throw them away.
Whenever I go onto an airplane, I have to remember to leave the knife at home or have it confiscated, so I spend the whole holiday with dirty fingernails. The fight against terrorism is giving Britain a very bad name for personal cleanliness.
I refuse to use a manbag and I refuse to use a rucksack. Have you noticed that EVERYONE who uses a rucksack - no matter how small - completely loses all sense of personal space and the rules of ettiquette required to fill it?