There's no getting around it, I'm a hairy bugger. Not quite at the neanderthal level, but getting close. I wage a constant war against excessive man fur everywhere from my big toes to my ears, and it's only the rapidly receding hairline that breaks the trend.
Yesterday, tired of the persistent chest rug, I decided to do something radical. I've contemplated getting waxed many times but being a bit of a cheapskate I figured I'd resort to clippers and razor as an experiment, and if I liked the result then I'd pay for a wax when it had grown back sufficiently.
The interesting result of this little adventure is that I have discovered that I possess the chest of a supermodel. Unfortunately that would be a female supermodel, and now I've got to go through the prickly and itchy phase while the rug grows back. Will I never learn?
It's clear to me now that a hairless chest and middle age is a combination to be strictly reserved for women. If you're a bloke you need to be under forty with a tight gym-honed body rather than a slightly saggy middle-ager with moobs who has never seen the inside of a gym in his life, and with the best will in the world is never going to have a body like Brad Pitt did in Snatch.
The relentless parade of beer, chocolate and biscuits has sculpted my physique over the years to a point where it would take more effort to reshape myself than I'm prepared to make. The cycling is probably keeping the worst of it at bay but as far as toning is concerned it's only good for the legs, and as I'm no longer riding big motorcycles, my upper body strength is noticeably slipping. Funny how I never realised that riding bikes was a substitute for going to the gym, and maybe now is a time when I ought to be considering the bold step of joining one to prevent or at least delay the progress of middle age spread.
I could get a cross-trainer of course, but everyone knows that home gym equipment gets used for approximately six weeks until the novelty wears off, after which it gathers dust for the next couple of years before being consigned to the car boot sale or ebay.
I've reached that point in life where many things that I used to do suddenly seem like too much effort.
Take DIY for example. I've done no end of jobs over the years including gutting and refitting a kitchen, hanging new doors, putting down laminate flooring, painting, plumbing, and electrics, but since I stripped out and refurbished the bathroom about five years ago I've lost all enthusiasm. Now I only do what I absolutely have to rather that doing it because I fancy having something to do.
Because the cars get little attention beyond their yearly service, when something extra needs doing it takes me a while to summon up the will to buy the parts and crack on with it. I've just paid out 45 quid to have the aircon recharged in my Colt, only to find that there's a leak in the system and three days later it doesn't work again. I could pressurise it, leak check the system with leak detection spray, and fix the problem before getting the system recharged yet again, but I figure it's easier to open the window when it's hot than go through the arse-ache of putting it right.
Maybe this is something that won't go away and will only get progressively worse as the years roll by. It would probably explain why so many old people live in houses that look like they haven't been decorated in the last thirty years and have that 'old person' smell that hints of decay and unfulfilled dreams.
When we're young, everything is an exciting opportunity worthy of exploration but over time life's experiences make us more and more jaded until we end up sitting doing a jigsaw puzzle and drinking tea because at least that can't go wrong and leave us disappointed. Until some git presents you with one of those 'impossible' double-sided jigsaws. Now that's just cruel........