Shopping


'How many real men does it take to change a lightbulb? None, real men aren't afraid of the dark.'

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Men and women are different. That’s easy to work out. I am reminded of this most forcibly when my mother descends on me for one of her famous visits. We start negotiating about a day after she has gone home. She rings me and says ‘I’m missing you, when can I come and see you?’ I swear at her and tell her I’ve only just got rid of her. This goes on for about three months until she wears me down and I lose the will to live.

That moment is fast approaching. I will have the pleasure of her company next week. Now, one of my mother’s favourite methods of tormenting her poor downtrodden son is to take me ‘shopping’. I use inverted commas because her concept of shopping and mine are totally different.

I am a man. I am very good at shopping. When I go shopping, I have a goal. I know exactly what I am buying and where. I go, buy, then go home. Mission accomplished. I am focussed on my purchase and nothing distracts me. I know what I want and get it. End of story.

And then there is the female of the species. ‘Shopping’ in the language of Venus is a very strange concept. My mother insists on taking me to Marks and Spencer every day she is here. After fifteen years of my living in Milton Keynes and her visiting me four times a year, a total of 840 days of shopping and torment, she has never yet bought anything in Marks and Spencer. I am looking forward with great expectations to the day she finally buys something. She is 84 now so it must be soon.

The ritual is always the same. She says, ‘Let’s go into M&S and have a coffee.’ But she gets sidetracked. She sees an item of clothing on a rail and examines it closely. I am by now half way up the stairs, dying of thirst. She says ‘Hang on a minute.’ Then she delivers her verdict. She doesn’t like the price. She doesn’t like the material. She doesn’t like the colour. She doesn’t like the design.

Occasionally she does like the garment in question. Then I say something stupid like, ‘Why don’t you try it on?’ She gives me a withering look and says, ‘I can’t, I’m too fat.’ Very occasionally, she agrees with me (that doesn’t happen very often, her default status is that I am wrong). Then she makes a mental note to come back another day and look at it again. Every time she comes back to look at it again, it has sold out and can’t be ordered.

Then, finally, we get to the café and have a drink. She looks at me and says, ‘I really enjoy shopping with you.’ I make a mental note to strangle her with her own scarf and bury her under the patio. Oh the joys of shopping.

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The time to despair has finally arrived. I have spent years trying to improve my sex life, inventing new ways of stimulating myself and my partners, taking pleasure in seeing my partner's pleasure, taking pleasure in pleasure itself. And apparently all the time I was wasting my energy. I should just have been a chimp instead. Chimps have better sex

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New pages since the last newsletter:

Wedding Jokes
Revenge Sex
My name is Charles Evans, I can be contacted at

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