A middle aged friend of mine has been staying with us over Easter, let’s just call him CT. People often turn up over this Holy holiday, not that I’m the Pope or anything, they just turn up – particularly those whose chocolate coated lives have taken a pasting from the recession.  The prospect of free board and lodging has something to do with it no doubt.

Anyway, now this friend of mine has always been been a bit of a boy where the ladies are concerned (plastic surgery and hair gel permitting), any lady it must be said. Good looks or indeed age have never been too high on his order of priorities – you know the sort, ‘any port in a storm’, ‘you don’t look at the mantlepiece when you’re poking the fire’ etc etc.

As usual, on his first night he took my wife out to get drunk. How odd, I hear some of you more retiring readers say.Well now, it’s not odd at all, my wife enjoys a drink I don’t (at least rarely anyway), so as far as I’m concerned the further away I am from the blast site the better – you don’t know what my wife is like when she’s drunk. I’m not going to even start on the snoring!

Again, as usual, CT dumps his dirty washing in the washing machine the following morning. Taking liberties is a natural consequence of true friendship before any of you start thinking ‘cheeky devil’. That’s my story anyway and I’m sticking to it.A little later, being the domestic drudge that I am, I take out the washing and begin hanging it up on the line; I refuse to employ the convenience of a tumble dryer, I’m too mean and besides I have a wife – when she’s sober and not fraternising with strange men.

Now I need to explain something here.

I am not a ‘fashionable’ man. That is, I have no interest in clothes that are ‘fashionable’ or ‘in’ or whatever Mr Wok in his profound wisdom considers to be the latest ‘wow’ in sartorial shallowness. I don’t use hair gel, I don’t read glossy magazines and how any man beyond thirty can wear Levi jeans is beyond me. I used to have a pair once when I was a student but that was most definitely a long time ago, oh and I don’t dye my hair either, going around looking like Little Red Riding Hood simply doesn’t appeal.

The point is I have no idea what on earth is going on in the rag trade at any given time – my own shirts, ties and battered tweeds always seem to be ‘in fashion’ anyway, oh and I don’t walk about the place looking as if I have forgotten to tuck in my shirt after some lavatorial action either.

So, there I am.

Pegs in mouth, arms outstreched and cursing my darling wife for remaining in bed while she tries to fight off a hangover.I hang out the towels, the shirts, the pants, my wife’s knickers (which take a good few pegs for each pair but we won’t go into that) and then I come to a couple of items I have never seen before. A pair of tiny white socks, children’s socks. As I held them in my hands, a trifle mystified, I remembered CT’s constant moans about being too old for young women etc etc. Dear God I thought, no, this can’t be. CT? No, impossible. He’s a decent man,hair gel and plastic face notwithstanding.

I remained still as I tried to work out what to do next. Should I confront him? Should I send him on his way? What the hell was I to do? Next thing CT is bounding up to me, ‘Ah, there they are! I’ve been looking everywhere for those.’

He snatched the white ‘socks’ out of my hands before I could say anything. ‘ Trainers are bloody uncomforatble without these things…..’,says he with an innocent grin, ‘…..rub the feet. They only cover the foot so you can’t see ’em. Socks look bloody awful. Not the in thing at all. Thanks’.

He walked off leaving me feel a little ashamed of myself. You see I have never owned, let alone worn a pair of trainers, I really should pay a little more attention to ‘fashion’ shouldn’t I?



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