I had a nice quiet time with my parents and dogs in Lichfield. Came back to IT problems (now solved!). Went for a drink with Anna Chen (see my links) on Friday who lives round the corner from me. Had a bit of an eye opening discussion about the British Left with her! Started reading Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance for the Book Group, which I'm enjoying.
I'm also on Facebook now. if you are, or want to become a Facie, get in touch. I'm still at the developmental stage.
Back at work tonight, so I'll leave you with a piece I saw today in the paper. You will never look at Mr. Bean in the same way again...
Thanks to the Sun and its 'Pecker Checker', now all men can be hung up about being too small: Charlie Brooker, The Guardian, Monday June 4, 2007
It's what you do with it that counts. And, according to the Sun newspaper, what almost half of men "do" is fret about it. "MEN FEAR TOO SMALL PENIS SIZE" bleats the headline, which, like all Sun headlines, sounds a bit like "red injun" dialogue from an old cowboy film (quite a racy one, in this case).
Apparently, Dr Kevan Wylie of the Royal Hallamshire hospital has recently overseen the completion of a 60-year study into penis size, during which 12,000 penises were "analysed" - an average of 200 penises a year. Assuming they took weekends off, that's 0.76 penises a day. At some point you'd drift off and start doodling on them.
The survey ultimately concluded that "the average erect penis was 5.5ins to 6.2ins long and 4.7ins to 5.1ins in girth". And looked hilarious resting on a Petri dish.
If we generously take the average to be six inches, and multiply that by the total number of appendages, it means they examined a total of 72,000 inches of penis, which sounds impressive until you input that figure into a conversion calculator and realise it's a mere 1.136 miles. A frail old lady could cycle that distance in less than five minutes, assuming she could keep her eyes on the road.
Anyway, it wasn't all warm hands and tape measures. The researchers also asked the owners of the penises some probing questions - presumably in a misguided attempt to break the ice, or make the whole scenario feel faintly less awkward. They found that "those with a 'normal-sized' penis often mistakenly thought theirs was too small". Perhaps the researcher had huge hands.
No. It seems pornography is to blame, as "almost 40% blamed their insecurity on watching porn as teens". Presumably they also felt insecure that they weren't a smooth-chested, oily West German pulling a face like a man undergoing an ingrown toenail operation under insufficient local anaesthetic. On the plus side, they'll have learned to pronounce the phrase "Ich komme", witnessed countless body-fluid tributes to Jackson Pollock, and perfected the art of slamming a laptop shut at the sound of approaching footsteps.
The tragedy here is that most of them are anxious for no reason. The Sun reports that "there is no need to worry as 85% of women ARE satisfied with their partner's penis proportions. The study found GIRTH matters more than length to 90% of women." That's how they printed it - GIRTH, in bold capital letters, no messing about. It's a raunchy paper, the Sun.
(Speaking of suns, or rather sons, if I ever have one - a son - I've just decided that I'm going to call him Girth, to give him a subliminal advantage with any would-be suitors. Girth Hammer Lointhump Brooker. He'll thank me for it one day, if only because having a unique Googlewhack-of-a-name is a real boon in our thrilling online age. Finding him on Facebook will be easy, and who wouldn't want someone like that listed among their "friends"?)
To assist worried readers, the Sun thoughtfully accompanied the article with a "Pecker Checker" - a graphic of an actual-size ruler with the "average zone" clearly labelled. In doing so, it is actively encouraging male readers to press their erect penises against the page, which is a cheery way to pass a few minutes on a quiet afternoon - or it would be, if the article weren't surrounded by adverts for MFI kitchens and BT broadband hubs, a column called The Whip topped by an illustration of a gloved hand wielding a lash, a photograph of silver-haired 60-year-old aristocrat Benjamin Slade and, most alarmingly of all, a headshot of Mr Bean hovering perilously close to the ruler's tip, gazing directly into your eyes. Anyone who can maintain even a below-average erection under those circumstances is precisely the kind of psychopath who shouldn't be allowed to own a penis in the first place.
So, then. Penises. Men fret about them too much. The answer, perhaps, is to remain erect at all times, as the moment a penis starts engorging, it drains blood from the brain, leaving the owner incapable of worrying about anything more complex than where he wants to put it. Long or short, fat or thin - they're good for depleting common sense, soiling sheets, terrifying bystanders, creating selfish offspring and precious little else. Plus they look ridiculous. If you've got one, or access to one, take a good look at it this evening and ask yourself: how can this possibly be the work of a sane God?