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You know, there is little that really upsets me. I don"t like damp hand towels when I am visiting friends. I am not too keen on holding onto hand rails on public transport. I don"t like people with breath like a dog. And I don"t like people who, when you ask them how their working day is going, turn to you with a look of faux-exasperation that borders on constipation, and say 'I"m really up against it'.

Up against what exactly? Why not say, 'I am finding work too difficult for me today as I never really put the work in over the past month'? Or, 'I can"t be arsed but my boss is on my back and is making my life hell'? But instead, some people insist on telling you that they"re "up against it".

I remember once being up against it. "It" was a wall and Susie McAlpine was holding me against it. I was once up against it again when "it" was a police horse called "Spud". I was waiting to get into the game at Preston North End when three police horses came to organise the crowd that had, up until this point, been as calm as a lake in summer. I was sandwiched against a wall between Big Arthur Hutton and Tambo "The Mountain" O"Sullivan. Their shoulders were huge and wedged me against the brick wall. As I stood there, the horse started to reverse and I couldn"t move. I was trapped. Three yards. Two yards. One yard. Then next thing I had a horses arse chalking my nose. Now that was up against.

Reputations and chat-up lines


I understand that sometimes I can be as coarse as the next man, but more often than not I like to think of myself as a British Gentleman. However, it seemed that a couple of years ago, my reputation had grown and developed into something which was little to do with the real Bobby.

I was standing in a club in Wigan, which had been my regular club for about six months, waiting for my mate, Seymour Arkles (of the band, 'The Moon-pig Men'), when a girl walked up next to me at the bar. I had noticed her in 'The Flame' before. I clocked her and she clocked me. She ordered her drink from the bar and turned to me to talk. I thought she was going to ask if I wanted to drink or a dance. Instead, she turned and said, 'Sorry, that was me. I just farted.' I was appalled, if not a little amused. When I asked if she thought that was a line to lead me on, she said that it was. She had been told that I was fond of farting women, cheap jokes about bodily functions and other such coarse subjects. Needless to say, we danced for a little, but I wanted a woman to respect me for my intellect and mind. When she left my flat the next morning, I think she had a greater understanding. In fact, she asked if she could borrow some of my Ed McBain books.

I just want to put this to bed: I am fairly amused by the odd joke about bodily functions, but I am - by no means - turned on by them. I may be a little coarse every once in a blue moon, but that is not unlike the top-tier of men. Even royalty must laugh at a knob gag.

"That'll be the door"


When I have found myself lost for words in the midst of a conversation that I have taken down a suicidal cul de sac with a loose word/phrase or two, I find it better to mutter the phrase 'That"ll be the door' and make a quick exit. That way you"re able to excuse yourself from the conversation and the room so you can chastise yourself in private and out of ear-shot. A warning to those who aren"t too clever: don"t use this phrase if you"re trying to exist a conversation on a mountain side or on a beach.

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