D’ya hear yer man

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Little boys’ room

I revisited my old primary school last week to do a feature on their 75th anniversary.

During my visit I felt the urge to answer nature’s call. I found someone in a position of authority and asked her if the toilets were in the same place as they had been when I went to the school.

She looked at me and replied: “They are, but saying as you’re grown up now you’re allowed to use the staff toilets.”

Glowing red with embarrassment I made my way to the loo. It was just like being back at school.

Fun in the sun

I took last Friday off and was rewarded with a day of brilliant sunshine.

I know I’m getting old because my first reaction on seeing the sun splitting the stones was not ‘Let’s get the beer out’. Instead I thought it would be a good time to cut the grass.

Having mowed the lawn I progressed to the task of painting the garden furniture which I’ve been putting off for a while.

I’ll say this - dark oak woodstain looks great on garden furniture, but if you get any of it on your fingers, people will give you the strangest looks when you go out to the shops.

Having done the grass and spruced up the outdoor furniture I decided the conditions were perfect to organise a barbecue... for the following day.

I should have known that living in Northern Ireland the probability of two days brilliant sunshine in a row is nil. At least it didn’t rain on Saturday and the craic was good.

It’s amazing how you’re able to eat 15 times the amount of food in staggered helpings from a barbecue as you could in one sit-down serving in a restaurant.

I’m told binge-eating is known as grazing. Like what cattle do.

Given the amount of beef on the barbie I don’t think cows would appreciate the irony.

Sing, dance, cook

Since the dawn of time the people of planet earth have answered their primal urges to sing, dance and cook. As civilisations grow, evolve and die out so too do their tribal dances, their traditional ballads and their signature dishes. But has there been any generation of human beings who celebrate their ability to sing, dance and cook more than us?

Stars In Their Eyes, Strictly Come Dancing, Masterchef, Dancing On Ice, Pop Idol, X Factor, Dancing With The Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, The Great British Menu, Come Dine With Me, Britain’s Got Talent. These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to TV-based cooking, dancing and singing contests.

Now we’ve reached saturation point of chefs, singers and dancers I think it’s time to diversify. There’s plenty of other day-to-day activities that could be turned into an elitest competition. Here’s a few ideas I’ve come up with:

Strictly Come Ironing

Contestants progress by ironing items of differing degrees of difficulty, for example starting with a tea towel and moving up to a wigwam cover. They’ll be marked on timing and technique and lose points for creases and third degree burns.

Shopping With The Stars

Contestants have to go on a shopping trip accompanied by a celebrity. Not only do they have to pick up all the run-of-the-mill goods to stock their household shelves, but they’ve also to cater for their celebrity partner’s weird and wonderful tastes. The season finale will see the top two shoppers paired with Mariah Carey and J-Lo.

So You Think You Can Sleep

Round one will see contestants given a bed in front of a judging panel and told they have five minutes to enter the Land of Nod. I’m not sure who will make up the judging panel but Wayne Sleep is a dead cert. In round two competitors must sleep through a Metallica concert. In round three they’ll be strapped into a rollercoaster and told to catch 40 winks. The grand finale will see a devious twist to proceedings when contestants are tucked into king size, memory foam beds, serenading by a choir of angels and told to stay awake for as long as possible.

Weekly teaser

The answer to last week’s teaser was: two, the inside and the outside.

Here’s this week’s teaser provided by Jim Casey, a quizmaster for all seasons: Who was the last British Prime Minister not to have a wife?