I was on a train to London today with the 15 year-old and we somehow got to talking about kissing. This was sparked by the recent re-run of Casino Royale, in which Daniel Craig kisses his co-star in a disturbingly droopy-bottom-lipped fashion. We have been taking the mickey out of him ever since, and have sent notes of condolence to Rachel Weisz as she now has this to look forward to every day forever or at least until they get sick of sharing LA mansions together. It’s difficult to describe how droopy his lip is when in the kiss-zone, but if you watch him, you’ll see exactly what we mean. It’s a little bit like a thick wedge of sashimi coming straight at you. Or a huge slice of beef tomato. Ugh.
But to be fair to Daniel, he is not alone. There are other celebrity crap-kissers out there. Colin Firth – not only does he have trouble speaking the King’s English, but he cannot unpurse his lips enough to impart any passion on the pouting popsies of his co-stars. In the Bridget Jones films, he sort of pecks at Renee Zellweger like a parrot. Far more passion-killing than any big pants I’ve ever donned. Russell Crowe is another. He wetly smothers his leading ladies in a Granny-lick lather. Thanks, Russ, but I’ve already had a shower today and if I wanted that much tongue I’d buy a giraffe. Then there’s poor old Liam Neeson. Yes, he has had some personal tragedy. But this does not excuse his inability to snog on screen. Seriously.
So the girl and I decided on a new business idea: School for Kissers. Designed to help all those face-suckers, parrot-peckers, lip-biters, lick-merchants, tongue-chokers and nose-squashed-until-you-can’t-breathers. Because these boys need some serious help. The girl-child can tell this already and she’s only 15. If memory serves, it is one of the things she should most look forward to when thinking about future potential boyfriends, meantime spending time practicing on a hand or pillow. It will be an unfortunate life lesson for her (like us all) to discover that some boys just have no kissing clue.
There are a myriad of dating websites out there that hook men and women together based on compatibility, attraction etc. But not one that teaches these men how to kiss once they have hooked up that soul-match. THAT’s why their relationships don’t work! It’s not incompatibility, but unabletokissability. A problem that’s been swept under the carpet for too many years, and now we at Piglet World have decided to bring it out into the open, approach Duncan Bannatyne for some dragon funding for classroom space and lip balm (£50,000 for 10% of the business and free lessons because he looks like a prime candidate) so we can help these chaps out.
There are men out there to be admired, of course. Mel Gibson, whether you like his politics or not, can deliver a good smooch. As can Hugh Grant – although I have it on reliable authority that he is in fact a right grumpy sod. Keanu Reeves is a perfect gentleman with a kiss to match. He just needs a quick back, sack and crack and he’d be heaven in a human.
So taking these as our role models, we will be planning our lessons, making YouTube video demonstrations and searching for suitable teachers to impart our wisdom. Bad kissers need not apply. Nor anyone with fag or coffee breath.
Anyone got a particularly bad kisser in their midst? Either leave him, or send him along. Because, Men of the World, it’s neither clever or funny to commit Grevious Bodily Lip.
I have just spent the last weekend trawling the local stores for the new school uniform my boy will need when he starts secondary school in September. We did quite well – I’m £150 lighter in the bank, but have only a couple of items outstanding. Oh, and I have the ritual nightmare that is shopping for school shoes for both girl and boy still to look forward to – not. That torture I am saving for when I’ve had three Weetabix one morning and have been religiously mainlining neat vallium with vodka for the preceding two weeks. Only then will I have the mental and physical strength to get through it.
So we’re just paying for the boy’s new blazer at the counter when hubby decides to try on a polo shirt lurking in a corner next to the gumshields. His incessant whining that he has no decent summer clothes had reached a screeching crescendo of late so, as the shirt actually looked really good on him, we bought that too.
Now maybe I’m just being a ratbag because it’s Monday and I have to be at work instead of sucking down rosé in the garden, but this fairly tasteful purchase got me thinking about what happens to the average British male’s fashion sense when the sun finally emerges from its long winter hibernation. There are, it has to be said, some absolute shockers going on out there. The merest glimmer of UVA turns our normally sensible chaps into overgrown toddlers in the wardrobe department. And we girls are somehow letting them get away with it! Here are some of the worst offenders I have noticed:
Naked Toddlers: Now I have nothing against showing a little more skin in hot weather. I’ve been known to shuck off the odd layer of fleece myself. But what is with these men with more than a little -ahem – girth, shall we say, around their middles suddenly deciding that shirts are no longer necessary AT ALL. If they are about to have a water fight with the kids (or each other) then, yes, by all means remove your top. But on the London Underground? In the rush hour? With my unfortunate face at armpit level? Er – no. Thanks. But no.
“Vesties”: These, I have noticed, are habitual offenders in the summer toddler fashionfest. It is just my personal opinion, but frankly I don’t believe anyone not currently playing major league basketball for a living has any justification displaying their mozzarella-pale, flaccid bingo wings through baggy holes in their tops where their sleeves should be. Especially when seated at a table next to the salad counter in the Harvester. As underwear on a cold winter’s day, by all means. But NEVER as a fashion choice in 30 degree heat whilst shopping in Sainsburys. I do not want to see inside your shirt and get an eyeful of your man-boobs every time you bend to reach the yoghurt on the lower shelves. It puts me right off my Pimms.
Professional Toddlers: These are men who wear sensible work wear all week, then insist on slipping into three-quarter length cargo pants which hang halfway down their arses and leave their luminously white, skinny, hairy ankles on show. These men are predominantly in their late forties/early fifties, if you look, and really should know better. They compound the crime by teaming these cargos with comedy T-shirts: usually Homer Simpson or South Park characters with some “amusing” quote on the front. Occasionally they go the whole hog and don comedy socks too. With sandals. Holy Moly.
Toddler Twins: Finally, there is the group who like to dress in larger versions of what their little boys are wearing. I can only assume these chaps have been dressed by, or are scared of, their wives. Why else would you hit BlueWater or the Trafford Centre looking like Tweedle Dee/Dum? Perhaps to avoid a telling-off? Well, it doesn’t work, it’s not at all “cute” – it’s just sad and makes me want to hit the back of their legs with a hairbrush. Therapy may be the only option for these desperate fellows.
Now I’m not saying that everything we girls wear is perfect – Hello Kitty adult clothing is a classic example of toddler styling for those who choose to embrace their inner child. But as wives and mums we should surely be setting an example to our little ones by refusing to let our menfolk – their parents! – leave the house looking like one of the above. A Mr Bump T-Shirt is all very cute worn to bed as a beloved Father’s Day gift. But not out in public at the school fete or PTA barbecue.
I’m old-fashioned, perhaps, a great believer in men being men. I think past the age of 15, there is really no excuse for any of the above. Together with combovers and badly applied fake tan, toddler styling is an abomination which we must work hard as girls to eliminate. Help me out here. Go upstairs, now. Go through your man’s closet removing all offending articles, including those boxer shorts YOU bought him that say “Mummy’s Little Helper” on the front (what were you thinking??). Use them as dusters or turn them into cushion covers for the kids rooms. But do not, under any circumstances, allow him outside to play in any of it.
Photo credit: http://thefashionpolice.net