INTRUSIVE questions. I was thinking about the things I hate most in the world and right at the top are those nasty, probing, faux-sympathetic questions.

I don’t mean useful questions like, “Do you want another pint ?” or “Shall I take this off?” I mean questions that require information, information about me.

I want women to think, 'I’d best not hug him, he’ll have me undressed, quivering, bedraggled and forlorn before I know what’s hit me'

I’m pretty much given up on self-improvement; my depraved mind is what it is and I have become, if not happy, at least comfortable with the limited facets of my persona.

I’m fickle yet trustworthy, responsible yet prone to bouts of abandon, loving yet impatient and, above all, in a self-made pit of despair. And, yet, deliriously happy.

Going too far: Man hugs from Cameron and CleggGoing too far: Man hugs
from Cameron and Clegg
It’s taken me nearly 40  years to build this confused, emotional house of ever changing cards and I have no intention of either changing my ways or explaining to anybody how this state was nurtured from promising and stable beginnings into the social and spiritual hand grenade which now stands before you. 

Now, the reaction to such an unloading, from some of you evil bastards out there, would be either more questions or the single most terrifying thing in the world – a hug.

I don’t understand the point of the “hug”.

Okay, a manly embrace when you haven’t seen one of your main soldiers for a while is a welcome and wonderful thing. It is part of the dance. The dance that will end up in a kebab shop at 3am or having just one more whisky to “make us nice”.

The life-affirming embrace of your sweetheart as she departs for time unknown to foreign lands is a point in time, a magical few seconds, that will stay with you until the end of everything.

But some fucking do-gooder with a face like a kicked-in pie, wobbling their way over to you with that most dreaded of evil fanfares, “somebody needs a hug”, strikes sheer and unbridled terror into my already blackened heart.

Away with thee and thy savage advances! I would rather die where I stood than freeze, as solid and immovable as the Olympus Mons in your fetid and meandering grasp.

I’ve started to lie. This is such an unfortunate truth that I’m about to admit to you, I almost feel shame.

There are a few vehement huggers, or neo-rapists, as I like to call them, in my current arena. Everything starts and ends with a lecherous hug. A “hello” hug, an “oh, that’s terrible” hug, a “wow that’s amazing” hug then a final and dreadfully unwelcome “see you soon” hug.

So, I’ve told everybody that I have a fierce psychological aversion to physical contact which had been diagnosed as Aspergers, but regression therapy has also shown that I was the victim of a predatory physics teacher at my secondary school whom, whilst not blasting me everywhere with the big one, certainly made me feel that it was a possibility.

And still they try to hug.

I don’t consider myself to be a particularly huggable person. I like to carry myself with a slightly threatening demeanour; the desired effect should be lust tinged with a hint of fear. I want women to think, “ I’d best not hug him, he’ll have me undressed, quivering, bedraggled and forlorn before I know what’s hit me.”

Or maybe that’s what they want. It’s hugs they’re offering but what they’re hoping for is a carnal adventure that would make The Marquis De Sade blush with embarrassment and shake with licentious envy.
So, the hug has been outmaneuvered, but the questions still continue. I have promised myself to answer these oxygen-wasting intrusions with truth… naked, raw, unabashed truth.

“You seem weird, are you okay, is everything alright?”  –  “Well, I did spend the first part of the morning nursing my broken heart, then I thought about ending it all but then I got a text off that girl and she wants me to do outrageous things to her this Friday so I’m feeling pretty good.”

Tree Man HugSave it for the trees“What are you thinking? Are We okay?” – “Well, I’m wondering if Dempsey will fit into Rodgers’ 4-3-3 system and how much we’ll get for Andy Carroll. I also can’t get the middle bit from Abacab by Genesis to stop playing in my head and as for Us…well, I’m only still with you because you don’t seem to mind the terrible nature of my being and, quite frankly, you’re much younger than me and I probably would have to start working out more and get higher paid job if I wanted to do any better.”

Don’t ask the question if you’re not ready for the answer. And no hugging.