I read on Popbitch the other day (so it must be true) that in the traumatic final days of her record round-the-world solo voyage "Dame" Ellen MacArthur was forced to sacrifice the batteries in her vibrator because she needed them to power important point-and-shoot sailing gubbins. Poor the Dame Ellen. Squillions of pounds worth of boat, state-of-the-art navigation systems and all the webcams the committed exhibitionist will ever need, and the nearest convenience store is in Uruguay.
If there is any truth in this sorry tale, it looks like there's a gap in the wind-up appliances market that Trevor Bayliss missed. Radios - what the hell was he thinking about? There must be millions of women out there, cross-eyed with frustration because there's nary a Duracell to be had in the house and the super-fast spin on the washing machine's knackered again*. They don't call them clockwork cucumbers for nothing, y'know.
*This is why they hardly ever show the launderette in EastEnders these days - they have to lever Fat Pat off the machinery with a crowbar, and this is all Trevor's fault.
Call me 'Ace'
I now know - to my cost - that my colleagues read these pages with a terrified fascination and a determination to found out what it is that makes me so skill. Hello. Now get on with your work. Just because I appear to be idle does not mean I am not hard at it.
Like the duck of the Lord's creation, I am seemingly calm on the surface, but paddling away like buggery below the waterline. And that is exactly what is happening at my desk, nothing more, nothing less. Only without all that messy below-the-waistline business.
So, it has come as a pleasant surprise to be addressed as "Ace" by not one, but two of my colleagues. This can only be interpreted an endorsement of my unusual and exceptional talents that I can only encourage, and not taking the piss in any way whatsoever. I have been assured that this is "Ace" in the highly-skilled context, and not "complete and utter sad bastard" along the lines of the Ace Rimmer character from Red Dwarf. I'm glad we sorted that out.
However, I would like my colleagues to refrain from pushing the Red Dwarf analogy any further, and would therefore encourage them not to use the phrase "Ace Hole". This can only lead to one thing: woe.