Deborah Ross: Our Woman in Crouch End

Such confusing times! One suitor likes 'big porkie pies', another has cheese on his head
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The Independent Online

We live in difficult and confusing times. Actually, there is every possibility that we don't, and only I find things difficult and confusing, because I am so slow-witted, and there is no use denying it. I once had to take an IQ thingamabob at an American university and did so badly my paper came back with: "Is this a person or an omelette?" scrawled on it.

We live in difficult and confusing times. Actually, there is every possibility that we don't, and only I find things difficult and confusing, because I am so slow-witted, and there is no use denying it. I once had to take an IQ thingamabob at an American university and did so badly my paper came back with: "Is this a person or an omelette?" scrawled on it.

Also, I can not tell my left from my right, think if it's uphill it must be north, recently glued an iron-on patch to the ironing board rather than the item that required patching, and once even voted New Labour. How dumb was that?

I am currently seeking a party that has a place for the thick. Perhaps I should go with the Conservatives. No, I'm not saying that the Conservative Party is stupid, just that there seem to be a lot of stupid people in it. Certainly, they are always amazingly insensitive to the poor who, ironically, never have any money even though they possibly need it the most. Anyone can see that. Doh!

Now, where were we? Oh yes, difficult and confusing times. For example, how come Gary Rhodes, who used to be such a simperingly camp figure with a maddening hair-do - modelled on the tufty bits at the end of spring onions, I believe - has suddenly turned into Freddie Kruger? If the BNP propose to patrol all our borders, does it include the one with Wales? Not that I have anything against the Welsh. That said, and considering they were among the very first Britons, you would think that their national cuisine would have evolved beyond cheese on toast by now. ("Quick, quick, the American ambassador is coming. Turn the grill on!") And lastly, but no less troublesome, which leader of the three main parties would you sleep with if you absolutely had to on pain of death, say, or having to lift Eamonn Holmes single-handedly, which would come down to pretty much the same thing?

Melton Mowbray

When Tony Blair was first elected I was excited, mostly because he was the first PM I could imagine voluntarily going to bed with. But now I'm not so sure. It's not just his habit for "big porkie pies" as Brian Sedgemore puts it, because I love a big porkie pie, a picnic not being the same without one. Also, I cannot complain about Blair's fibs as I am a fiendish liar myself. Sometimes, even, I will go to tell the truth and a lie will just pop out. "How are you?" someone will ask. "I've got Parkinson's," I will say, and there it is, even though I am perfectly fine, but will then have to shake all over the place for the rest of the day.

Of course, I have always lied to my son, largely because it's much less tiresome than having to look things up in a book. Mummy, why is the sky blue? "Because otherwise it would be green and that would be silly, darling." Mummy, are there little people in the television? "Of course, otherwise how would it work, you big dumbo!" Mummy, what is that strong-smelling liquid you drink until you fall over and daddy has to step over you on his way to bed? "Soup."

So it's not the "big porkie pies" that put me off. They never do. I have even been known to say: "Any of that big porkie pie left?" Rather, it's the little things, like top-up fees and privatising hospitals and taking us to war, when I had no wish to be taken there, even though I accept that after enough soup I can be taken anywhere, particularly if a kebab shop is on the agenda.

So it can't be Mr Blair, in which case Charles Kennedy? I think not. I just cannot fancy Mr Kennedy. Indeed, just as Gary Rhodes looks like a face drawn on to a spring onion, Mr Kennedy looks as if he's had a dollop of Double Gloucester melted onto his head, and I do not find men with food for hair attractive. Further, he also looks as if he might be fond of big porkie pies. Perhaps even more so than Mr Blair. Although not as much as Mr Holmes. Obviously.

Not tonight...

Michael Howard, then? OK, while I can see there is something of the night about him, I'm not convinced he is of my night. It would have to take a great deal of soup. On the other hand, he is Jewish, which is something, and my parents would be pleased, not that they have ever objected to my non-Jewish partner. In fact, apart from making him eat in their shed whenever we visit, they treat him as anyone else.

Only joking! They love their shed! He has to sit in the car. That's not as lonely as it sounds, though, because at least he has his foreskin for company, unlike most of the chaps in my parents' neighbourhood. However, Mr Howard's Welshness is something of a worry, as there is every chance he'll keep booting me out of bed to put the grill on. I don't know how Sandra puts up with it.

So, in the end, I think I'll just stick with what I have. My partner isn't much, but nobody else wants him, which is how I got him in the first place. Shortly, though, he will be asking me why the ironing board has been patched. Naturally, I shall lie, and lie stupidly. "Nothing to do with me," I will say, "especially as I can hardly get up because of the lupus."

d.ross@independent.co.uk

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