Rhodri Marsden: Hot weather demands skills of me that I simply don't possess

Men scrub up far worse than women, and summer makes this more stark

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I don't cope particularly well with this kind of weather. I should add that I'm writing this when it's still hot and sunny, so if by Tuesday we're back to extended periods of light drizzle, please disregard the rest of this column and skip to the arts section. But at the moment I'm all about hiding in dark corners, wincing when I move more than 3cm in any direction, plotting a sequence of night-time pillow temperatures on a bar chart (two days ago it was the hottest pillow since records began) and wailing things like, "When will this relentless, searing heat of around 23C ever end?"

Summer demands skills of me that I simply don't possess. I'm baffled as to how anyone can walk around in flip-flops. When I put a pair on and exceed a speed of about 1.5mph I either fall over or lose a flip-flop, and if it starts to rain I immediately aquaplane into the path of an oncoming juggernaut. You could make safer footwear out of ball bearings and razor blades. And obviously I look terrible; when I leave the house wearing shorts I tend to glance around nervously as if I'm going to be picked off by a sniper.

I'm not alone in this regard, of course. I mean, men generally scrub up far worse than women, but summer makes this contrast even more stark. Women don wispy dresses that make them look as if they've effortlessly sailed through the audition for a Flake advert; men dress like freakishly outsized toddlers while hugging a 24-pack of lager.

Summer is – at least in theory – a time when love blossoms, and yet this mismatch between female elegance and male hideousness condemns love to be postponed until at least September, possibly October. In the supermarket the other day I saw a group of high-spirited men in garish summer outfits attempting to impress passing female shoppers with the use of sheer, unadulterated volume. Forced laughter is pretty unattractive at the best of times, but when it's a screechingly loud response to the observation that a cucumber looks like a willy, it's fearsomely repellent. No mobile numbers were exchanged in the supermarket; the men presumably went into a huddle in the car park to ponder how their strategy could possibly have failed. They should take my advice: go home, lie on the sofa and wait until autumn.

twitter.com/rhodri

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