This column by Paul Speller first appeared in the Manx Advertiser
I recently went to a Chinese take-away with a stripe of green marker pen smeared across my cheek.
Unfortunately, I did not realise this until I had also popped to a corner shop, returned home, eaten the Chinese meal and then finally glanced into a mirror.
A number of people are culpable in not informing me I was doing a poor impression of an early eighties glam metal icon, but I only know two well enough to ask about their silence.
My wife’s reply when I asked her why she had not mentioned my additional facial adornment prior to my departure from the house was: ‘I thought you knew.’
It is reassuring to think that Mrs Speller believes it is not her place to speak out in protest when I’m about to make a bold fashion statement. This information may be useful at a future date.
My four-year-old son was interrogated the next morning. He confirmed he had spotted my face was covered in marker pen – a consequence of colouring in a Christmas tree picture for him, I should add – but he too lacked any sense of contrition over the fact I had been allowed to stride forth oblivious to my unintended make-up.
When I think about it, the lady in the Chinese take-away who served me did seem to smile a little more than usual. I thought it was solely due to the fact that there had been a minor deviation in a food order that has remained so constant over the past year that I suspect she had begun to tip off her colleagues in the kitchen before I came through the door.
Not that it’s the only mildly embarrassing thing to ever happen to me in a Chinese take-away.
I do recall a good few years ago when a passer-by took the trouble to pop his head in to state that he recognised me from my picture in various publications.
This was mildly flattering and I chose to ignore the clear evidence that this fan of my musings was emboldened to approach me with the assistance of alcohol.
However, when he returned a few minutes later to tell me he believed another rather well known columnist of this parish was a lot funnier, I decided he was clearly drunk.
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