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The pressure of being a post-modern sex god

Posted on 14 March 2009 | 10:03am

So off to another Burnley home game. I had honestly (sic) been thinking I
would stay home, wash the car, trim the edges of the lawn, help pick new
fabrics for the worn sofa, maybe bake a cake and read all the reviews of
Fiona’s book and their focus on my inability (sic) to load a dishwasher. 

I was pleased to see that Mumsnet recognised the reality of our lives when
they introduced a session with Fiona on ‘The Secret World of the Working
Mother’ by saying she was ‘lucky enough’ to live with me. That’s what I call
perspective. When I pointed it out to her, she said ‘irony, dear.’ Oh yeah?

So there I was last night, purring gently after reading Paul Waugh of the
Evening Standard
saying my recent post on In The Loop was ‘possibly the most
post-modern blogpost I’ve ever read’, and just wondering whether to rustle up a
souffle for dinner, when my fellow spin doctor Darren Bentley calls.

Dazza, as we call him, is the legendary comms chief for Burnley FC. He
is my friend. I know this because he calls me pal in every sentence he says to

‘You coming tomorrow pal?’

‘Well, I was thinking I might take the dog to the groomers, Dazza.’

‘Oh bugger.’

‘Why? What’s the problem?’

‘Thing is pal, it’s
Ladies Day at the match tomorrow.’

‘It’s what?’

‘Ladies day pal. We’ve got 130 women coming, they get all dressed up like a
day at the races, champagne reception, three course meal, then a session with a

‘A what?’

‘A hypnotist … Oh don’t ask me. Thing is pal we
asked them who they wanted to meet from the club, and you’ve come out

‘Oh bloody hell Dazza,’ I said. ‘I’m supposed to be going to the farmers’
market tomorrow to buy some organic mangetout for the lunch I’ll be making for

‘This is a nightmare pal. I mean sorry and everything but I’ve told
them you’re coming and we’ve sold out now.’

‘What about the non-playing players? I mean, Ade Akimbiyi’s got the best
formed sixpack in Europe. Don’t they want that?’

‘No pal, it’s you they want. You can’t
let me down. I’ll have a riot of my hands if I turn up with a couple of lads
from the youth team.’

He sounded desperate. I know that feeling. I have been there, when ministers
have gone AWOL before radio interviews, when speechwriters failed to  deliver the draft on time, when numbers
in policy papers contradicted something I had said in the overnight briefing.
So I felt pity on a fellow man.

‘Oh ok Dazza. I’m on my way.’

‘Pal. You’re a legend.’

Fiona was out at the manicurist, or it might have been the acupunturist,
or making another plea for help to my psychiatrist.

So I left her a note. ‘Got to go to Burnley. 130 women want me.’

She always says I’d have been happier with a Northern woman. Our son will be
there to keep an eye on me. What do you mean it’s meant to be the other way
round? What do you lot know about The Secret World of the Post-Modern Man?

  • Catriona Smith

    Loved this! It’s great to wake up to a laugh in the morning…Enjoy your day!

  • Sanjeev

    Were you in Piccolino’s in last night?

  • Gabrielle L- P

    Alastair, not so much a blog as a telling of “…I had a really strange dream last night pal!


  • Lucy Coleman

    I am crying with laughter. You are indeed a genius.

  • David Whewell

    Uhmm – irony from Fiona and IRONY from Alastair! Good post – tickled my sense of humour.

  • Marcus Dillistone

    ‘Got to go to Burnley. 130 women want me.’

    At my grammar schooI I was toId reIentIessIy to avoid using ‘got’ at aII costs. It is an ugIy word, though I suspect used here for effect, eh AC?

    Thoughts anyone?

  • liz

    It would be more interesting to hear what they did with you once they had you Alastair !!! (I suspect they took you to the kitchens and gave you step by step instructions on how to load the dishwasher and all things domestic )

  • Alina Palimaru

    And sex god it is… 🙂

  • Emilianna

    I think I’m right in reading the anxiety about intentions of domestic performance contrasted against crushing social pressures to join the Burnley women as an echo of K.’s fight against the system in “The Castle”.

    I predict more entries of the kind will compel commentators to inevitably write you into a meta-literature of solispsist domestic Godness.

    Not exactly the same as actually being useful around the house but, you know, “les actes s’envolent mais les écrits reste”.

  • olli issakainen

    A good and important win for us v. Forest. I “watched” the game on BBC´s Live Text. Let´s see whether OC will be given any money from the Arsenal game to loan a player or two to make sure we`ll make the play-offs.

  • Alan Rae

    I was at the match, sitting just in front of the women. I have to say there were some very good lookers among them. Quite a lot seemed to stay inside and watch from behind the glass screen but they were really getting into it when we scored. When was the last time we scored three goals like 1, 4 and 5. What a day. Bet you’re glad you came – and I’m not talking women now

  • Jessica

    Thanks for popping in to see us today. We had a great time and especially because of the result. Some of us were first timers and I reckon we’ll be back. It was great to meet you. The woman you were speaking to when you first came in was practically in shock after you left!

  • Alan Quinn

    I never let my wife load the dishwasher as she puts everything in the wrong place. I went to football too after running my daughters to dancing and refereeing. Good win for FC United tempered with big United getting beaten by the scousers.

  • Emilianna

    Alina: “And sex god it is… :-)”

    Yeah, well, AC’s great and all that but he’s no Captain Jack Harkness…

    Alina and Alastair: Glad neither of you caught the conjugation error in my earlier comment. The simplicity of English verbs is ruining my French.

    liz: yes, I noticed the Tristram Shandy not-getting-to-the-point thing as well.

    Alan: I think 130 women were out shopping early yesterday looking for outfits so Alastair would think they look good. And men get into professional sports hoping it’s a great way to pull birds…

  • Darren Bentley

    And Sex God he is!

    130 Northern women sated for the day following Alastair’s mad dash north and a monumental 5-0 win to boot!

    Thanks for coming again … pal!

    Darren (BFC)

  • Alina Palimaru


    I actually did catch it (the missing “ent”), but I know your caliber, so I determined it was an accident and my correction would be futile.

    About Cpt. Harkness… I think there is a generic group of men in this world, including the Harkness fellow… then you have the post-modern sex god… can’t really compare apples and oranges, eh? 🙂 I’m sure Darren Bentley would agree with me. 🙂