Thursday, 21 May 2015



Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. At 56 years of age I believe it is time to review my life,
take stock, make amends. I don’t believe there is a God or an afterlife, but who can be certain of such things. So I’d like to play safe and acknowledge all my major wrongdoings from over half a century of prowling the planet earth. After I’ve drawn my final breath, if I find myself at the ultimate junction, I want to ensure I’m ushered in the direction of the arrow labelled ‘fine wine, ale and warm female flesh’ rather than the one indicating ‘fire, brimstone and a perpetual knee to the bollocks’.

So brace yourself, here goes; my confessional.

Dad, I’m sorry I lied to you when I was 9 and you asked me about my 14-year-old brother’s liking for tobacco. Adopting my most sincere facial expression – chin jutting, eyes fixed on yours – I swore that I’d never seen Tony puff on a single cigarette. Father, I sinned. Your older child was smoking like a damp log on a campfire. Forgive me. I know it’s no excuse but I had been bribed by my big brother; he’d allowed me a couple of drags if I remained silent.

Mum, I’m sorry I lied to you when I was 7. I was responsible for those giant spiders that infested our house. My behaviour at the time would today have led to a hefty prescription of Ritalin. Forgive me, for it was I who engaged in frenzied fly-murdering sprees (aiming for a minimum cull of three bulbous blue-bottles a day) and stored their pulped carcasses under a loose window tile; word most have spread through the spider community that a ready-made feast was being served daily, motivating all the dominant eight-legged creatures within a 2-mile radius to descend on our living room. And didn’t they fatten up quickly; our window ledge soon resembled a scene from Arachnophobia.    

And mum, it was not the cat’s fault that your wardrobe smelt of piss in 1977 – it’s amazing where a semi-slumbering young man will urinate after ingesting 12 pints of finest ale.

Mrs Fenwick, I wish to retract my comment to you when you returned home to break up your son’s house party 39 years ago. With the maturity of middle-age, I can now understand why you might have felt annoyed to discover muddy foot-prints on the Artexed ceiling of your recently-decorated dining room, semi-naked teenagers in your bed, not to mention the pools of vomit on the bathroom floor. You were never a ‘stuck up, snotty cow’ so please forgive me for my foul-mouthed ignorance; again, the demon drink may have distorted my mind. (Although come to think of it, you did often carry an unfortunate facial expression, as if someone was wafting a turd under your nose).    

Jean, the cougar, please accept my sincerest apologies for my failure to rise to the occasion, particularly after that delicious three-course meal you prepared for me. I was good-to-go, until I caught sight of your lady bits which, after churning out three children –one of whom, at 20 years old, was my age – seemed discoloured and misshapen, like a poorly-assembled tent flapping in the wind, and not at all like those of my female peers. Please forgive me.

Jane, the lovely young lady from Durham, you were totally right to deny me access to your inner treasures on our first date. I was 20 years old, full of anger and resentment, and treated you shoddily. And I’m sure you were far from being a ‘frigid slab of whale blubber’; please forgive me.

I think that should just about cover it. Oh wait. To the old lady I met last week in the frozen-fish aisle of the local Tesco store: it was I, not you, who was responsible for emitting the rotting-cabbage smell; it just slipped out when I bent over the refrigerators in search of battered cod. I should never have accused you. Sorry.

Well, I feel lighter already. Wine, ale and warm female flesh, here I come!  
Photo courtesy of radnatt at