This week saw the 40th anniversary of the 'Mr Men' books, written by Roger Hargreaves and an almost default inhabitant of bookshelves for generations of children. There was Mr Tickle, firstly, in 1971; then followed Greedy, Happy, Nosey, right through to the rather depressing Mr Nobody, published in 1985 and re-released in March 2010.
Ten years after responding to his son's query regarding what a tickle looked like, and thus spawning one of the most instantly recognisable book series in the world, Hargreaves began work on the 'Little Miss' series, beginning with Bossy and generating 33 other titles, including Naughty, Fickle and Stubborn, in what so happened to be an alarmingly accurate insight into the female psyche.
Nowadays, we live in a completely different society to the one Roger grew up in. A different century, in fact. And - despite a revamping of some Mr Men characters by Roger's son Adam to commemorate this year's anniversary - they are still slightly off the mark, not wholly reflective of the cross-section of today's Britain. So here are a few suggestions.
An intimidating fellow, Mr Hoody trudges around shopping centres with his hood pulled over his head and the drawstrings pulled so tight that he's effectively created his own niqab, only an Adidas version. He loiters menacingly outside Costa, unnerving elderly women who eye him suspiciously from the rim of their Earl Grey.
Never without a strobing contraption glued to his ear, Mr Bluetooth swaggers through city streets talking very loudly into thin air, causing passers-by to wonder whether he is slightly insane until they notice said contraption and conclude that he's simply a moron. You may also see Mr Bluetooth in the driving seat of his Audi, fnahing at a colleague on his hands-free kit to 'Get me the reports by Monday, then meet me for a game of squash'.
Little Miss Pregnant
Little Miss Pregnant is both pregnant, and a little miss: underage, in fact. She hangs around Claire's Accessories, chewing gum like a camel whilst rubbing her protruding baby bump with one hand and nursing a cigarette with the other. She will look at you beneath garishly eyeshadowed eyes before squawking 'Whatchoo lookin' at? Perv.' Then she'll continue to thumb her bright pink mobile phone as her light blue tracksuit bottoms flutter slightly in the breeze.
Little Miss Fraught Mother
Quite the opposite to Little Miss Pregnant, Little Miss Fraught Mother is most often seen in supermarket aisles, pushing a shrieking baby in a shopping trolley whilst tugging a reined infant behind her. Characterised by dark shadows, ashen skin, and a sense of utter despair.
You can spot Mr Student from a mile away: tall, skinny, thick-rimmed retro glasses, long coiffed hair, checked long-sleeved shirt over white t-shirt, slightly torn jeans. Oh, and an immense hatred for government, bureaucracy, and washing.
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