Yesterday a guy called Walter, who I haven’t heard from in years, emailed me right out of the blue about attending our High School reunion. There used to be two Walters in my class at High School. To differentiate between them both we all called one Walter, and the other we all called Walter With The Big Nostrils. Not surprisingly we called him Walter With The Big Nostrils because he did have shockingly big nostrils in comparison to the size of the rest of his head. He didn’t mention anything about nostrils in his email but it was definitely Walter With The Big Nostrils who got in touch. The only conclusion I could draw was that after 30 years of steady growth the rest of him had finally caught up and he was now fully in proportion. Presumably he was desperate to show this phenomenon off to everybody.
“I don’t want to scare you but when I was younger I wasn’t like the other boys,” I said to Guido. He was upstairs laying on the loft floor doing multiple press-ups in between shifts downstairs at the café. I was laying on the sofa. I really like watching Guido exercise, especially when all he is wearing is a pair of joggers. Despite the fact that all that up and down motion was slowly working his sweat pants southwards towards his ankles, I was being annoyingly distracted by random thoughts of oversized noses.
“Let’s back up a bit,” said Guido. “When you say you weren’t like other boys just what exactly do you mean?” He looked worried. Like I was about to break it to him after all these years that I was actually a closet leprechaun.
“Well what I actually mean is, I couldn’t do things like most boys could.” I said. “I couldn’t throw a ball, or catch a ball. I was useless at field sports and no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t light a fire with just two twigs.”
Fortunately my talents lay hidden elsewhere. From an early age I discovered I had an uncanny but natural ability to wallpaper. As you can imagine my parents weren’t exactly thrilled. I’d spend hours thinking about what it would be like to be able to rag roll over the walls of the family home completely unhindered. Of course something like that was only ever going to happen if both my parents had an unexpected and horrible accident which landed them in adjoining oxygen tents. Just to reassure readers, I didn’t really want that to happen. I might not have been like other boys but I wasn’t a complete psychopath. But hey, it was still a satisfying thought to think that my parents would have been in no position to veto my plans for a Shaker kitchen.
“What does it matter what you used to be like, its what you can do now that’s important?” said Guido. He stopped lifting a medicine ball above his head with what looked like just one finger. “You can do things other guys I’ve met can’t do.” He looked at his watch. “I have an hour before prepping dinner service. Why don’t you do that hot thing you do where you take all your clothes off and then re-enact the mutiny scene from Treasure Island. I bet none of your old school buddies can do that? Only guessing.”
Well it did make a change from wallpapering.