Manlier than a manly man

Grrrr... Can't you just smell the testosterone? For I am Captain Manly Man, Chief Manly Man of the Manly Men. Like unto an bearded sex god. A slightly chubby one, but bearded nonetheless.

And what is the occasion for this bare-chested demonstration of all things masculine? I emptied the outbuilding at the bottom of our garden yesterday. Which should sound a lot more impressive, but doesn't. It's basically a little grey box-like thing with a Tardis like capacity for containing a hell of a lot of junk bequeathed to us by the DIY-disaster-areas who owned the house before us.

This -- let's be polite and call it 'crap' -- has been lurking out there in the garden, hidden from view for over four years, and yesterday I dragged it all out of there and into the garage. Manly. Then I kicked the rotting floor units they'd half-heartedly screwed to the wall into their component pieces, shouting, "You're nicked, you slag!" Like being in a very low-budget episode of the Sweeny, where Carter and Regan clear out an old shed.

After that I ripped the wall units apart with my bare hands! Grrrrrr! (that's actually a lie, I was wearing gloves, and there was a crowbar involved) Then I did tear down the ceiling exposing a huge mouse nest. No sign of the mice though, I'm guessing they've probably already put in an appearance as 'Contestants A to G' in the dismemberment game show that Grendel puts on in the porch every day.

And not content with this display of maleness, I then went and chapped in a couple of noggins in the porch (it's a joinery term that I throw in here to make the ladies swoon, because we all know how they like a spot of precision woodworking), did some manly stuff up a ladder with a screwdriver, then boned out a leg of lamb and cooked it on the barbecue for tea.

Cooking meat with fire -- what could be more manly than that? And this time I managed to retain ALL of my eyebrows. Which is always a bonus.

Then, secure in my masculinity, She Who Must Buy These Dreadful Women's Magazines Every Now And Then To Keep In Touch With What's 'In Fashion' read me some snippets out of her copy of Elle. Which isn't exactly the most exciting of tomes. We were hoping for some sort of filthy survey to giggle at, but the whole damn thing seems to be about shoes.

Anyway, whilst fighting our way through the morass of adverts that litter the magazine in much the same way that spots litter a teenager's face, we came upon this snippet under the title, 'ellehotlist':

death message
Mark Billingham (Little Brown, £14.99)
The DI Thorne series continues with Thorne being texted images of what he quickly realises are murder victims. He then finds himself led back to a prisoner he sent down years ago. As pacy as ever, this confirms Billingham's status as the only crime writer capable of snapping at Rankin's heels.

Right there, next to a big advert for handbags.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to email Mr Billingham and take the piss. It's what manly men do.