I once said to a friend that a man’s role in life is 90% having sex and 10% assembling flat-pack furniture.

I stand by this statement having spent the last few days constructing various wardrobes and bookshelves (It is important to note that they were all flat-packed. I have neither the ability nor patience to attempt them from scratch; and certainly no-one would ever want to keep the fruits of my labour anyway). The tools were prepped beforehand with the contents of each cardboard box examined thoroughly to ensure John Lewis wasn’t screwing (NOT a pun) us over. Before I knew it, hours had slipped by as I meticulously followed the instructions, desperate to avoid error.

As I merrily worked away, A Question of Sport providing a suitable soundtrack, it struck me that, for once, I slightly resembled a man. For an adult male fast approaching 25 years of age, I find it a daily embarrassment that I look so oddly childlike – and this is without the almost guaranteed hassle of being asked for ID. I guess it can be explained in part by my chin’s outright refusal to grow any hair and my almost non-existant ears (apparently… Cheers for all your support guys). With an electric screwdriver in hand it gave me hope that the future may hold something more than just the semblance of ageing.

Soon, a series of inane Robert Dyas advertisements flashed across the screen, adverts that ordinarily I’d ignore as easily as the dreary opinions of weasel-faced garden-groper Alan Titchmarsh. Today was different though. Everything had changed; I had a taste of masculinity and I needed more. Soon I found myself being lured in by the sort of general tat that is rejected weekly by po-faced Debra Meaden and the rest of her cohorts. Fence painting machine, I’ll have that. Metal cutters, I could do with them. Tacwise 0273 Hobby 53EL Electric Stapler and Nailer, you never know when that might come in handy. Clearly, I had no adequate reason to purchase any of these items but somehow I felt inherently drawn. I guess that subconsciously I wanted to maintain this newly acquired macho feeling – Needless to say, it didn’t work.

What he said.


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