An unsettling scourge has landed on the Pickwick house. Normal service has been disrupted following the delivery of a M&S Menswear catalogue largely made up of undergarments modelled by the British model David Gandy. This has led to the Pickwick females moving from their normal state of kick-ass 21st Century women of substance to flighty and distracted girls willing to offer their child bearing potential (or indeed anything that they have power to give) to the chiselled featured Adonis pictured on numerous pages. In these, he is wearing sparkling white, figure hugging pants which would not have been out of place on his grandfather.
I have nothing against Mr Gandy although I do find the sight of him in his smalls a little too much for my gentle disposition. Fortunately too, this is also the view of Mrs Pickwick although it has not stopped her from keeping a copy of Mr Gandy's catalogue by her bed. I have awoken frequently wondering whether Mrs Pickwick has reached for David during the night, instead of drawing towards me in search of warmth which she had done before David arrived. I remain concerned though that should there be bare knuckle fight between Mr Gandy and I (with him in his granddad pants and me in my "where's Wally" pants), Mrs Pickwick would side with Mr Gandy.
The whole experience has exposed examples of inequality in how things are packaged. There is no doubt Mr Gandy has a well-defined body. His "six pack" provides evidence of hours in the gym. His "pecs" too show careful attention. I cannot compete with his "six pack" - where there is careful compartmentalisation of his stomach muscles creating the washboard effect, in my case, my washboard has disappeared like a finally cut diamond into the ripples of a lake only to re-emerge should the lake be drained. Adjacent to the rippling expanse of my stomach stand two well defined mounds which in the wrong light could be referred to as man boobs or "moobs". But the same is true of Mr Gandy. Working out has developed them for him but eating out has developed them for me. Impressive pecs thus can only be easily recognised when accompanied with a washboard stomach. The difference between Mr Gandy's and mine can be represented by success in cooking soufflé - if you do it right, it rises with a well sculpted peak; if you do it wrong, it wobbles around the plate trying to find another recipe to become part of.
In a bid to damage David and re-assert my authority on the Pickwick household, I have commenced a programme of disinformation against him. My opening position that David is the errant great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, a man known for making fashion statements in white cotton and being photographed topless was accepted suspiciously. I blew it when I took this to the extreme explaining that David was a vegetarian, applied a doctrine of non-violence and was shortly to be played by Sir Ben Kingsley in a biopic of his life.
Fortunately, Mahatma Gandy has an Achilles heel. He is from Billericay, a leafy Essex town standing on a green hill a dignified distance above the cultural Hades of the region of Essex which reaches out to Southend before ending its days in the muddy shores like a swarm of demented lemmings advancing very slowly toward their demise. While I am pleased that Mahatma has escaped from the seven circles of Hull in search of a better life, I have not heard any evidence of his ability to speak. I can therefore draw the inevitable conclusion that his accent displays the gloopy-ness of the Essex dialogue bereft of consonants and prepositions and his topics of conversation are more Top Gear than Top notch.
In the interests of balance, there is a shade of hypocrisy in the position I am taking. If I was presented with Scarlet Johansson in any form (including sculpted out of Lego), I would be stopped in my tracks rendered speechless. And to make matters even better, she has a voice so mellifluous and warm that it was used in its own right as the voice of a futuristic computer operating system whose owner fell in love with in the recent film "Her", an experience which caused the external hard drives of every geek in the land who watched it to reach full capacity within a nanosecond.
In contrast, the womanhood of the World remain sorely disappointed that they will never experience the same as the rumour that Mahatma's voice was used to sponsor the announcement "unexpected item in the bagging area" at the start of Tesco's check outs was a cruel joke.
I remain jealous of Mahatma's power over women even in a two dimensional form. Mrs Pickwick has complemented me on parts of my body but neglected to comment on the rest. While it is nice to accept compliments, it's a bit like explaining why Michelangelo's "Statue of David" is without arms because Mr Angelo could not do them. In Mahatma's case, his bits are all perfectly formed and capable of starting wars. In my case, my bits in three dimensional form are passable with a bit of work but too close attention lead adoring women's minds to drift off to adding lard to their shopping lists or remembering that they have to dig out the compost heap
I have no hard feelings towards Mr Gandy despite being assaulted by images of him in white pants. If we met in a pub, I would not consider turning as genetic make-up has hard-wired me towards the fragrant, skirted ones (by which I do not mean Grayson Perry or Scottish men). We would talk awkwardly and I would wish him well. If I met Scarlett in a pub, that would be a different matter particularly if she drinks pints. The likelihood of either event occurring is thankfully remote. In our search for joy, Mrs Pickwick and I will continue to admire Mahatma and Scarlett remotely. But our flaws, flab and lack of finesse mean that Cupid hit the bullseye when Mrs Pickwick and I were visited. I do not have to reach for Mahatma's undergarments for continued marital bliss as the continuing search for Wally on my own will always be a force for positive momentum in my relationship with Mrs Pickwick.