Belfast Telegraph

Rab's Week: It seems this 'lumbersexual' is at the cutting edge - but I don't want to be

Welcome to the sideways world of our star columnist

I'm concerned about the children of Men in Black actor Will Smith.

Jaden and Willow - great names - claim they can make time speed up and slow down and that babies remember being in the womb.

Worried observers say there's a reason for the teenagers' controversial beliefs: they were educated at home.

Hmm, could be. Certainly, their mother Jada Pinkett-Smith starred in a couple of Matrix films, where time is indeed slowed down.

As for the womb, I remember being reluctant to leave and have regretted it ever since. I'm concerned about these kids. Concerned they could be on to something.

Wednesday: Colander creates a holy row

I regret to announce I won't be wearing a colander on my head for my driving licence photograph. But I sympathise with those who wear the holey, and indeed, holy bowl.

The pasta strainer is worn in the United States by followers of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a satirical protest against teaching creationism in schools.

Pastafarians, as they're known, believe a supernatural being made of pasta and meatballs created the universe after drinking heavily.

Sounds reasonable. US authorities say a colander on the cranium is legal on driving licence photos.

But remember to take the pasta out first.

Friday: The rise of the lumbersexual

Once more, to put it bluntly, I find myself at the cutting edge. And I don't want to be anywhere near it.

Following the advent of the metrosexual - chaps who spent a lot on moisturiser and so forth - a new category has been declared: the lumbersexual.

And get this: he has a beard and wears checked shirts. Hell on wheels. That's me. It's bad enough that beards have become fashionable. Now they're coming for our shirts. I suppose that, if you've a beard, a checked "lumberjack" shirt is the next logical move.

Fair enough, it's a fashion thing. But what has, you know, the s-word that ends in x got to do with it?

The lumbersexual is supposedly a reaction to the allegedly feminine metrosexual and, to let myself off the hook a little (since my face-fuzz is kinda groomed and trimmed), its exponents tend to grow big, bushy beards which give the impression that the wearer lives in the woods and throttles his dinner.

Well, what goes around comes around, I suppose. Not that the metrosexual - said to include footballers David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo - has gone away.

Indeed, men's grooming firm Braun has identified four different categories of metrosexual: Mr Mandrogynous, Mr Mainstream Moustache, Metro-Dude and the Remantic.

Mr Mandrogynous is a narcissist who goes in for spray tans and admires his buff figure in the gym. Seen plenty of these. Real eye-opener.

Mr Mainstream Moustache does what it says on the tin, reclaiming the old soup-strainer from the fascistic, Seventies police types and second-hand car salesmen who gave it a bad name.

Metro-Dude is driving the digital revolution. And The Remantic is a "suave, sophisticated and high-powered" romantic with a fat city salary, which he spends on fancy cars and bespoke suits.

Hand on heart, I can't say any of these apply to me. However, I've just had a terrible thought. I wonder if I ought to confess it to you. Oh, to hell, it's only a newspaper column: last week, I bought something billed as a beard elixir. There, my secret is out.

Saturday: Pound shop or Harrods?

A Poundworld shop in Nottingham sold all its Disney Frozen merchandise in 10 minutes, as barking bargain-hunters embraced the dog-eat-dog spirit of Christmas shopping.

Loved this quote from a Poundworld manager: "We like to think we're the Harrods of pound shops."

Worth a pound for that brass-effect neck.

Sunday: Hammond buys some peace

How the other half lives, part 194. As social beings, we all dream of a life without neighbours. But imagine if we could make that come true. Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond did. His neighbour in Herefordshire was getting on his wick. So he bought his mansion for £1.2 million.

Compare the case of Sergeant Paul Duke, a Barnsley policeman who stole his neighbour's £16.99 wind chimes - believing these had been nicked from him in the first place.

The case went to court, costing £3,000, and involved two barristers, eight witnesses and a district judge.

Sgt Duke, caught on CCTV with his chimes in his hands, was ordered to pay £620 costs … and £16.99 compensation. He also faces a misconduct investigation at work.

If he'd had Richard's riches, he could have offered his neighbour, say, £17.99 for the wind chimes. And everyone might have lived happily next door ever after.

Tuesday: A right Barney over local accents

Subtitles mania continues to sweep the dominant parts of the world, whose denizens are clearly far too busy to spend time attuning their earlobes.

Readers will recall that Girls Aloud kazoo player Nadine Coyle had her Londonderry accent subtitled on America's Next Top Model.

The cheek of it! Now the BBC has gone and subtitled Bellaghy blacksmith Barney Devlin on an edition of controversial comedy Countryfile.

Barney himself has taken it all in good heart, but the lieges online have thrown their keyboards around the room in justified rage. And one MLA has spoken of a "lack of respect for Irish people and culture".

It can take several minutes to tune into American (initially I thought The Wire was in Serbo-Croat) and even English accents on screen. But it can be done.

Would that they'd scrape the wax from their ears and make the same effort with others.

Belfast Telegraph


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