Friday, 6 January 2017

Here Is The Full Welcome Pack You Have To Read If You Want To Be Romantically Involved With Me

This is a silly and entirely fictional short story. Promise.

This welcome pack is available in six different languages, a variety of different-sized fonts, and eight colours, but none of those trivial differences change the fact that it is essentially A List Of Reasons Not To Date Me.
The first thing you need to know is that I snore. I concede that this is not a particularly unique problem - show me a man who doesn’t! - but my mountainish heaving is not like anything you’ve heard before; it’s a whole new ballpark. When I snore, crockery has been known to quiver and shatter in the cupboards. A ripple of burglar alarms sets off further down the street. Neighbourhood dogs begin to bark, their inner Richter Scales misled by the near-earthquake they can detect. I sound like a boar with bronchitis that has a taste for Havana cigars. You can, I fear, say goodbye to sleeping well - or sleeping at all, really. If that’s the sort of sacrifice you’re prepared to make, you may keep reading.

The second thing you need to know is that I bite my nails. We aren’t talking the occasional gnaw here and there. I am a compulsive nail-biter. When I’m relaxed, I bite my nails. When I’m stressed, I bite my nails. When I’m in the bath, I bite my nails. When my food isn’t satisfying in and of itself, I bite my nails. Then I tend to spit out the remnants, which means the house and all the furniture get covered in a fine layer of whitish, pre-masticated, saliva-softened hardened protein granules which, I think, brings out the colour in my otherwise rheumy eyes. This nine-to-five twenty-four-seven keratin snacking has been known to wind some people up, so if you’re of that variety of person, I suggest picking up the Lonely Hearts column again.
The third thing you need to know is that I am commitment-phobic. Not the most attractive quality in a potential partner, I admit, but it’s always best to put one’s cards on the table and let everything out into the open. I can’t stand still for five minutes, let alone live in the same place for more than six months, let alone remain faithful to the same person for years on end. In fact what I quite like to do is rotate women through the month, usually on a weekly basis, or I would do if I could find any women to rotate. This may change, of course, though I wouldn’t get your hopes up. Don’t come looking to me for stability, love and contentment. Those things are for other relationships with other people.
The fourth thing you need to know is that I’m apoplectically allergic to dogs. In fact, that’s not strictly true. I just hate them. Passionately. If you’re a puppy-lover, you’ll no doubt want to turn away when I kick small dogs I pass by in the street. Sometimes I try and see if I can volley them into the air like footballs, which can have the most brilliant results in spacious parks. They make fabulous squeals when you plant the firm tendons of a gnarled right foot squarely in their soft, flabby stomachs. I don’t know what it is about them that gives me a sudden compulsion to demonstrate my striking skills, but I do know I don’t feel the same way about cats. They’re also much harder to kick because they’re bloody fast buggers. Anyway. The crux of the matter is that self-labelling ‘dog people’ need not apply.
The fifth thing you need to know is I don’t really like people either. Frankly, people are even more odious than dogs. I sometimes get called a ‘misanthrope’ which I think is a tad unfair since it’s not just people I detest so much as every living thing under the sun. After more than an hour in the company of any given person it’s all I can do not to reach across the smartly polished mahogany table, seize the cake fork and plunge it deep into their fleshy cheek. It’s one way to stop the endless inane drivel that passes for conversation these days. Don’t worry though. I’m not an actual psycho. I wouldn’t murder anybody, I just think about murdering people a lot. I hope that wouldn’t bother you.
The last thing you need to know is that I’m the dictator-in-absentia of a small South American country. This has been the case for some years now, and I see no reason why the status quo should change in the near future. I run the nation more or less out of my own coffers, though I rarely set foot there myself (the nation in question I shall not name here, in the interest of balance, though more information is available upon request), but I can assure any potential paramours that the fruits of its manifold labours will be theirs as much as they are mine: I can offer you the bananas that grow in the fields, rainforest balconies where the air is thick with an insect choir, long Amazon canoe trips through acres of my personal rubber plantations, and as many gourmet dishes of orang-utan brains as you can stomach. Also stomach bugs, mosquitoes and leeches, so start filling out your application form now.
I should probably also mention that I’m a compulsive liar, that I have cripplingly low self-esteem, that I make excuses for everything even when it’s very definitely my fault, and that I’ve been dreadfully lonely ever since my last girlfriend died.
Don’t forget to pop your name and address on the back of the attached SAE before sending it off. You can expect a reply within 24 hours.

Good luck! You’re going to need it.

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