It's Father's Day soon. I hate Father's Day. Not for any oedipal-type reason: more because of the sort of crap you see marketed in stores as Father's Day approaches. Our store has a father's day table: guess what's on it? Top Gear bollocks, books about beer, 'hilarious' Vimrod cards about farting, books about football and cricket ad blah blah bloody blah...
Why this crap? Because it's what men are supposed to be interested in, of course. Cars and sport and army men and booze, shit jokes and farting.
I'm a man. I fart, I drink, and I tell shit jokes from time to time. There are some sports in which I take an interest, but football and cricket are not among them. Cars I can take or leave. I understand that some of them provide the inadequate with nice fantasy cock substitutes but, y'know, I'm basically a pedestrian.
But y'know what I do like? Art. Poetry. Music - and not just stereotypical manly music of the Springsteen/Meat Loaf variety either. I like sensitive female singer-songwriter stuff about finding your voice and going down on people in theatres. We had the Little Boots album on in the shop today, and I was as giddy as a gaggle of gay geese to find out that one of the songs on said album references Little Earthquakes . I like ballet.
Apparently, I shouldn't, though. You see - I hadn't been aware of this until tonight - but apparently knowing shit about ballet disqualifies you from being a man .
Bullshit. I've only ever met one male ballet dancer, but the thing is, he was the hardest man I've ever met. After knocking the ballet on the head, he joined the Paras , for God's sake. I'm guessing none of the blokes in the McCoys ad have done anything like that.
And it occurs to me that, the other day, I had to protect Alfie from some dickhead's overly-aggressive greyhound by literally roaring at both dog and owner until they scuttled off, tails between their legs. And I'm the kind of gaylord who gets drunk and sings the lyrics to Hey Jupiter when I'm feeling maudlin, for heaven's sake.
The point is: I'm not making an Iron John-style case about the hidden subtle mysteries of manhood. A lot of guys are dumb. A lot of guys probably go along with this stupid, yuk-yuk-yuk, we're all about football, farting and fighting bollocks. But the point is: those guys are idiots. They're not even really as 'manly' as they think they are: if they were, they wouldn't have to police their gender-rules so obsessively. But then I would say this, of course, because, after all, I'm a total ponce, apparently.