C.S. Lewis once wrote “When I became a man, I put away childish things”.
And while his Narnia books were written for children, old C.S. knew what he was talking about.
As soon as my voice started to break and I realised that I could have more fun with girls than pulling their hair and pinching them on the odd occasion, I swapped my short trousers for long trousers.
Actually, to be truthful, because I didn’t know any better, for the first three months I wore my long trousers over my short trousers. I was such an idiot at 19.
I really was an idiot, because I was still in the Fourth Form. The Head was unhappy with me and refused to let me leave school without a single exam pass. So I decided to put a smile on the Heads face. Not his actual face. I used a marker pen to draw a big toothy grin on his portrait hanging in the entrance hall.
He was more than happy to let me leave then. I swore never to wear short trousers again and immediately got told off for swearing by the Head because I was still standing in the entrance hall.
I don’t even wear shorts when holidaying in warmer climes. Walking to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in seventy degree heat is definitely one of the world’s warmer climes…
So, last week I was enjoying a large flat white and a small squashed muffin in a well-known coffee shop and in walked a man old enough to know better, wearing shorts and sandals.
It was pouring with rain outside…a cold wind was whipping leaves around…and I was wearing my waterproof coat , thick cords, boots and a baffled expression. Why would this man walk around, unselfconsciously, wearing shorts in November?
I’ll tell you why. Because he’s not alone!
It’s crept in during the last few years. Grown men who insist on wearing shorts in all weathers. Their pale, bony knees pointing at us from beneath short shorts. Long shorts. Baggy shorts. Saggy shorts. Khaki shorts. Larky shorts.
Put them away, you idiots. They’ll still be wearing shorts when it’s so cold, Jack Frost might start nipping at something more painful than their nose…
So what convinces a man that it’s okay to walk out of his front door, in the middle of winter, wearing shorts? Assuming that he’s not on heavy medication.
It’s not a fashion statement because their shiny football tops reveal they think being co-ordinated means being able to walk and talk at the same time. Which, to be fair, many of them can do.
Perhaps they think “I’m hard, me!
Whether I’m cold, wet or in intensive care, these shorts are staying on ‘til April!”, so on their behalf I looked up ‘Macho’ in the newspaper writers secret dictionary and here’s the definition.
MACHO: A MAN WHO THINKS WEARING SHORTS IN WINTER IS A GOOD LOOK.
HE’S SADLY MISTAKEN…
Until the next time….