La La La….

Well of course to read the title properly you need to have the index finger on each hand, in each ear.

I suggest, for both ease and comfort that you place the corresponding finger in the corresponding ear, but it’s up to you…doing it at all makes you look silly, but doing it with opposite fingers does make you look a little bit like you should have been isolated in a cell long before the crisis began, and not of your own volition.

I have the ‘advantage’ (and what an advantage it is!) of being stone deaf in my right ear so I could do it with one finger in one ear and appear very casual about it, but where that falls to the ground is that if you don’t know I’m deaf in that ear you just think that I am either being lazy or don’t really get the concept of it.

What I am trying to get across is the concept that I have now reached the point that hearing the same news with micro-adjustments/developments every day has now reached saturation for me.

Of average intelligence, I think I have got the fact that I need to stay at home wherever possible and appropriately social distance on the couple of times a week I leave the house. It didn’t take much drumming in to be honest, as I say, I make no pretence at keen intelligence but the first time I was told this, along with facts about the number of people dying, the strain on hospitals and the general collapse of everything we hold dear, I got it.

The trouble is, I guess, that many people didn’t, and of course it is a critical message, so please don’t think that I am trying to make light of what is going on, I do understand, I also understand that I am relatively comfortably off, have a pleasant house with a garden and whilst this is all a bit of a pause on my life, with obvious threat, my heart goes out to those who have lost their jobs, have no income, can’t deal with isolation and live in crowded situations and, of course, all those amazing, brave, front-liners out there.

It’s just…well,…OK, I’m going to say it, I have reached Brexit point with the news, minutiae of detail and the frankly banal questions being asked…ANYWAY, the point is that I am not here today to talk about the crisis, but rather try to give some kind of relief by trying to talk about other things, to distract, or divert, if you will (I hear you say “What happens if I won’t?”…to which I reply “Well use distract then, cloth ears”).

So, the whole point of the title and following diatribe up to this point is to say “got the message, doing as I’m told and will continue to do so until its all over”.

In the intervening months between me regularly posting these things and actually starting again last week I, as a consumer of news and commentator or author if you will (OK I did it for effect this time, see the above comments for if you won’t and apply) and generally sentient being, would make mental notes, physical reminders and observations to myself for future reference.

I am a ‘generously proportioned’ gentleman, width-wise as opposed to height-wise; in the more common vernacular, a short, fat individual, which for some reason, and I have no specific idea why, it is generally accepted can be suffixed by the word ‘bastard’ and be acceptable to many. Add the further development of a glabrous napper and the the word “bastard” can be prefixed by ‘bald’. The complete, matching set, so to speak is to throw in “ugly”, but even I jib at that.

Anyway, trying to buy clothes when thus proportioned is a nightmare.

In days of yore, when human beings freely roamed the streets and countryside, Mrs Brooke and I would often go into town and have a snout about (promenading is, I believe, the more correct, and probably slightly more pleasant, term)  and whilst so doing we would often partake in some shopping.

Well at least she would.

Tall, slim and beautifully proportioned, my wife can always find clothes and looks immaculate in them…let’s move to the men’s department shall we?!

In fact, let’s not bother, because unless I’m looking for boxer shorts, socks, shoes, ties or cravats or hats I am wasting my time.

If I get a top that fits me generally, the sleeves will be too long.

Trousers…I have actually cut about nine inches of denim off the bottom of pairs of jeans before leaving the requisite 2/3 inches extra to roll up. If it had been the seventies I could have made some nice wristbands and a patchwork cap for myself (I say ‘nice’, you know what I mean).

I am convinced that tailors have made children’s 3-piece suits for weddings and formal occasions, out of the off-cuts necessary to make me look like ‘Benny the Ball’  out of ‘Top Cat’, and used to spend hours furiously scanning their windows for evidence when I went past their establishments.

The bitter irony of going into a shop called ‘Fat Face’ and never being able to find anything that fits me!

As for TK Maxx…to be fair, over the years I have bought some really nice items of clothing from there, often at very good prices, but this is always part of the problem for me, because, like the fool I am, I still go in there nurturing some kind of germ of hope.

It’s not that they are unlikely to have things that fit me, though of course because it’s ‘designer’ gear you have to go up at least two sizes, and this, dear reader, is a hinterland of outlandish colours and patterns, otherwise never seen outside of a golfers shop or clown’s outfitters. This is where Ralph Lauren creates special shades of green, brown and orange on shirts with vertical stripes one inch thick.

Giant hound’s tooth, sits next to bright reds, tweed jackets with massive, bright squared cheque hang cheek by jowl with vile, bizarre knitted tops with combinations of colours never considered since the 1970s, or by Jackson Pollock to spice things up a little.

I often wonder in idle moments, through the designers’ obsession with slim people, if they have special departments set up up to create the kind of clothing equivalent to obscenities committed to canvas by Francis Bacon with the sole intention of scaring FBs out of shops!

At night I have ‘Fantasia-style’ nightmares as wave after wave of horrific oversized clothing marches relentlessly from the horizon towards me, engulfing me and causing a searing headache.

So, after about half an hour of this ritual humiliation, I suggest a coffee or pub break and she looks at me with that resigned but remarkably tolerant gleam in her eye and comments that ‘you’re always thinking about your stomach’, and of course she’s right, but there again the disproportionate size of it is always being underlined wherever I go!

Cheers & KEEP SAFE.