How To… Kiss it Better

You can really tell that this particular phrase wasn’t coined in a post-MeToo era. Post-Weinstein/Spacey/whoever it is this week? No, that was a cynical attempt to pad the word count, I’m not a big fan of defining this whole movement in terms of men. Even though it strongly relates to bad stuff what they have done. But it shouldn’t always have to be about them. I should probably back away from this subject because there are far more eloquent, far more qualified people out there who deserve to be listened to. And believed.

I’d also hazard a guess that whoever advocates kissing whatever’s wrong better almost certainly doesn’t have a medical degree. I feel a real doctor would almost definitely advocate taking two of some variety of tablet and seeing them in the morning. You totally can’t tell I haven’t had extensive medical training now can you?

Anyway, I’m sure that the advice or prescription of kissing it better is highly circumstantial. Afflicted as I currently am with a nasty case of the plague (alright, it’s just a cold but my head feels incredibly fuzzy and it’s been about a month since I could breathe properly), I doubt there’s anyone out there who feels especially keen to kiss me. Just out of fear of catching my germs of course, it’s not just the fever that makes me a hottie.

To be irritatingly pedestrian about the whole affair, I suspect that kissing it better is reserved for the traumatic world of cuts and scrapes. The sting of a knee graze can be magically alleviated by the application of a brief smooch of the affected area. Probably best to keep this just to your own kids or at least those you were relatively well acquainted with before whatever accident befell them. You don’t want anyone to get the wrong impression of your benevolent healing powers.

Kiss it better – Rihanna


How To… Breakfast in Bed

There are a few different things I’m finding it hard to do in bed at the moment. Oh, don’t start thinking you can read certain things into my relationship. It’s almost definitely not what you think and if I kick things off with getting overly defensive even more people will believe their suspicions confirmed. The stuff I’m having trouble with includes reading and eating, two of my more usual specialties.

The problem is, I want a headboard. Obviously, not enough to just go ahead and buy one and bully my other half into installing it for me. It’s one of those ‘nice to haves’ that I’ll occasionally wheel out whenever we’re vaguely discussing home improvements. With a sturdy headboard at my back, I could have a tray on my lap laden with delicious breakfast delicacies (of the egg and meat variety rather than leaning into the world of pastries) and a book on the go.

I’m sure I have higher ambitions in life but right now there are certain allurements to this picture. Of course, for breakfast in bed to work it means that one of the couple has to descend into the bowels of the cold house to actually make the food. All the while knowing that their partner is still gorgeously squiggled up in the duvet, just a head as far as the outside world is concerned.

And then there are the concerns about spillages and crumbs. So the trays have to get increasingly sophisticated, growing legs and who knows what else? Will the bacon still be sizzling if it’s had to make a trip up the stairs rather than being served straight from the pan. You know, I’m not sure this lark in reality will end up as good as it’s cracked up to be. Of course, there are alternatives: bed in the kitchen or install a working hob in the bedroom. Modern landlords seem to be on board with this plan.

Breakfast in Bed – UB40

How To… Make Me Your Queen

I think this is the only real way to get me on board with the monarchy in general. If you give me the power to end it once and for all, I might somehow not be quite as in favour of the abolition of the institution. Go on, try me, I dare you. Just think how utterly excellent I’d look with a crown atop my tangled hair and with an ermine cloak wrapped around me. They’re very slimming, apparently.

So, clearly quite a lot would need to happen in order to secure this particular outcome but, if you’re with me, I think we can do it. It’s going to be something of a waiting game though, no one’s going to do anything at all while old Liz is still in place. I am in no way advocating any variety of violence: she’s in her nineties, I’m in my twenties, I’ve got nothing but time (I’m already tempted to abandon this idea altogether given how sinister this is sounding).

No one’s going to get too upset if Charles doesn’t get the crown at long last. I’m sure he’ll have a bit of a tantrum but he’ll get over it once I’ve shut down all of the biscuit factories of his competitors. The trickier bit of the puzzle is going to be Wills and Kate and their herd of ridiculously photogenic tiny tots.

It’s going to have to be either trickery or force. Either we can collectively unearth a claim to the throne on my behalf that is somehow unquestionably stronger than the Windsors’ or Cambridges’ or have a public ballot on the topic. If Brexit has taught me anything whatsoever (and we can’t prove this either way) it’s that the tiniest of margins in your favour can allow you to accomplish changes that pretty much no one wants. We can do this, bring in the Martini (Martian?) era.

Make me your queen – Decalan McKenna

How To… Ruin the Friendship

Sadly, there are people out there (until I’ve accrued enough cash to have them conveniently bumped off that is) who can attest to the fact that I definitely know at least one way to wreck a friendship. Then again, I’ve been on the other other of one or two bewildering friendship dealings so no one’s blameless. If you are, then I just don’t think we’ll get on so you can make yourself scarce.

I’m not sure why you’d want to ruin the friendship in the first place. Perhaps you’re just too popular for your own good and are having a difficult time just keeping up with the various goings on of your nearest and dearest. Terrible as it is, you’ve come to realise that you simply have to cut the fat. Or maybe the lovely person you once knew has come out as a supporter of an opposing political party or to harbour some other simply heinous view.

Don’t worry, there are plenty of perfectly justifiable reasons no one is going to make you divulge right now – they might come out on your deathbed or in your memoirs though. Anyway, I’ve come up with a few ideas: stop replying to messages, dip back in for one message to say how sorry you are and then cut them off again, blank them in person, pretend you can’t hear a word they say.

Are these proving just a little bit too cold for you? I admit, they’re more suited to those scared stiff of confrontation (doesn’t remind me of anyone I know). How about stripping at their birthday party and doing a little dance? Or smashing some part of their anatomy with a power tool of your choice? I didn’t say that any of these were going to be legal options. Fine, admit that you’ve always had feelings for them/their mother/father/sibling/deranged cousin/pet*. That should ruin things nicely.

*Delete as appropriate. Go for all of them and see if they’ll section you for it.

Ruin the friendship – Demi Lovato

How To… Feel This Way

Feel what way? Well, any way you want, my little petal. Just don’t think that you have to go ahead and tell anyone about it. By all means, if there’s a consensual relationship at play, either a long established partner or a paid professional, I’m sure you can offload your emotional baggage onto them. Do stop when they begin to cry themselves or beg you to do so. There are limits to this sort of thing. Especially when what you’re feeling is something less than welcome in their direction.

Essentially, within the confines of your own head, you are entitled to feel pretty much anything you want. Even if it would be considered utterly awful by the outside world, jealousy of a co-worker who’s getting all the praise or outright hatred towards a beloved public figure (I’m really not drawing from my real world experiences because I’m afraid of the judgement I’d get if I went on at length about my actual taboo feelings).

It’s when you introduce these feelings into the outside world that problems can occur. This is why it’s important to have an emotional vent with few to no knock on consequences. Even if it’s just screaming at the idiots around you from behind a handily installed sheet of soundproof glass. It’s a better way to go about things than to send anonymous rape threats across the internet.

On the other hand, it’s unhealthy to keep too much stuff bottled up inside. By not allowing your feelings proper access to the world outside they might fester and ferment into something even unhealthier. That’s where the therapist comes back into play, you can set yourself the goal of becoming their wackiest client. Or you could write everything down in a little book to be discovered by folk after you’ve died to irrevocably alter their general opinion of you.

Feel this way – Phillip George

How To… Panic in Detroit

I’ve realised that I didn’t really have all that much of a clue where Detroit was in the contiguous (a word I only recently figured out wasn’t just continuous) United States. I’m not going to let on where I thought I was for fear of looking foolish (heaven forfend). I suppose the mistake was really just on a par with my general understand of American geography (we don’t even want to get down to where I used to think Oxford was. I think it’s just something of a mental roadblock for me, we all have faults).

So, it would seem that for one to panic in Detroit it would be really rather helpful for it to be a place that you actually know how to get to. Or at least to be able to recognise that you’re in the middle of thanks to the power of modern transport methods. But I’m sure we can get around this.

There is of course what a strong imagination is capable of. And for those who can’t quite get those synapses firing, one can always resort to various forms of technological trickery. If you plug in wherever you want to be into Google maps you’ll see it in full technicolour. Or, for a fuller experience, you can always bribe someone to strap a phone to their face and execute a very expensive call.

I figure that the Detroit part is the trickier portion of the equation. Once you’re slap bang in the middle of the settlement, whether literally or figuratively, I can’t imagine that panic will be all that far away. All you can do is think about where you’re at in your life, the fact that you felt the need to shlep out to Detroit and wonder how it happened. There’s also climate change to consider and how this stunt definitely hasn’t helped it.

Panic in Detroit – David Bowie

How To… Blink

You know, when you start thinking about autonomous functions, really consider them, they become so much more difficult. Like right now, if you were to focus on your breathing, the rise and fall of your own chest, it’ll be next to impossible for it to happen without your input. Go on, actually try your level best to breathe independently of your own thought processes. And stop because I don’t want you turning blue and blaming the whole mess on me.

Apparently, the average human blinks anywhere between one and a hundred and eighty six times a minute. That is definitely true but could stand to be a lot more accurate if only I lifted my total embargo on any and all research. So it would seem to be that this is another function that you’ve been executing perfectly well until now without my help.

But now I’ve gone ahead and got all up into your head and it’s gone funny on you. How do eyelids actually work? It’s actually getting ever so slightly painful now how dry your eyes have become. There are tiny Saharas in your face and you’ve completely forgotten how to remedy this most regrettable of situations. Isn’t there supposed to be some kind of shutter mechanism? Or is it more like a rain cover sort of a thing? There’s just no way to know.

Perhaps I’ve got the wrong end of the stick. It’s been known to happen once or twice over the course of my life. You might just have landed yourself in the highest stakes staring competition of your life. And then you went ahead and tried to secure my services to get your opponent to flutter their eyelashes at you. Or just to distract them while you brush away the tears flooding out of your face. Well, good luck with that.

Blink – Ed Drewett