Gathan Beaga

birthday presents I am absurdly pleased with (1)

<img align=“right” hspace=“5” vspace =“5” src=“” width=“180” height=“240” alt=“birthday present” />So this very phallic object is one of the things I am very pleased to have entered the roster of my possessions on the recent occasion of my 40th.

For some months now I have been disturbed by an odd crunching noise as I’ve put on my iPod headphones.

It turns out that one of the signs of the onset of male senescence is the appearance of excess hair. And there it was, tufting away out of my ears and getting in the way of the music. If it wasn’t bad enough at puberty, apparently it starts all over again in new places, like ears and noses.

So I asked the girls to get me a trimmer for my birthday. At least that would stop B₂ from grabbing an ear tuft and tugging on it while laughing uproariously at her father’s decrepitude.

The trimmer does eyebrows too. But my eyebrows will remain strictly off limits. One of my fondly held, although somewhat quixotic, ambitions is to grow eyebrows rivaling those of Hamish MacEwan’s.

Thirty-six years ago Mr Henaghan, my mother’s dentist and possessor of an impressive yet not quite MacEwanite pair (and dispenser of liquid mercury which I lost when I put it in my pocket to take home), told me the secret to bushy eyebrows is “lots of gravy”.

I’ve been working on it ever since.