Sunday, November 28, 2010

Northern Man: an endangered species!

We are knee deep in snow and ice but we are in the North of England where Real Men roam - in T-shirts or vests. As a refugee from the South it has often struck me - as I wear my overcoat, gloves, scarf and hat - that men are made from a different mold here: or so they would have us believe.

For a while I believed it was a simple reaction to less frequent sunlight. "I need more vitamin D. I know, I'll get my kit off." I don't think that now.

I went out last night -wrapped up to the nines - and encountered a number of men in various stages of hypothermia.

"No, no. These aren't goose bumps. It's a manifestation of my testosterone."

Ah, righty-ho then.

In addition to the usual northern male are the wannabes: a city with two universities and numerous colleges, is the natural habitat of the male student. With the locals a hard act of alpha-manliness to follow, (you know sleeveless vest, cigarette in mouth, multiple tattoos and a can of beer), are those who have to lay down a gauntlet, a challenge. Having A Levels is, it seems, no guarantee of common sense. I have long wondered at what stage during the undergraduate three years students are taught to walk on the pavement on a Friday or Saturday night - but I digress. Headingley is a perpetual fancy dress party at weekends. Last night I encountered a number of shivering young men in vests and tutus.

"Don't confuse this as shivering. This is the effect of my male pheromones."

Fair enough.

One absolute big girl's blouse was actually wearing a thin hoody but in the way of these things the pack had turned on him and he was an outcast, reduced to wandering in the wake of the rest and vulnerable to being picked off by circling packs of Romans in togas.

Those blue tights are fetching ... O sorry, that's your current skin tone.

"Cold? What cold? I can handle it."

And then, of course, we add alcohol to the heady mixture and the lads pass out in the snow.

"It's O.K. nurse. This is what a real man looks like."

Frostbite is the new black.