JOE Agony Uncle Matt Berry solves your problems...
This week, our Agony Uncle Matt Berry takes on drugs, dating and what to do if your missus doesn't approve of your wardrobe...
If you have an issue you'd like Matt to help you with - email [email protected].
Dear Uncle Matt,
Being a bit of a lanky piece, I struggle to gain any meaningful attention from the opposite sex. Without having to improve my physique or any of that crap, do you have any tips for getting me noticed? I feel like a 'Berry Beard' would suffice, no?
If you are, as you describe yourself, a 'lanky piece' who isn't getting attention from the opposite number, then I would simply suggest you become a mod.
The fashions associated with mods are aimed at thin (lanky) men. The top end mod suits are narrow cut and I reckon can transform any non-description skinny fella into someone noticeable. You could have the ability to develop yourself from Rodney Trotter to Paul Weller with the aid of quality clobber.
I will stress though that this look cannot be treated as a hobby. The mod look is no weekend Sunday driver deal. Once you're in, you're in. You will have to be a mod 24/7.
The music, obviously, is as equally important as the look, so if you know your arse from your elbow and have a shred of decency you'll already be into The Who, The Kinks and The Jam, which will be a massive bonus to your new look. Plus, you'll discover mod bands like Secret Affair and other lesser-known acts.
So, in a nutshell, if you are a lanky no-mark, two-bit, stick of f**k all, going nowhere, with nowhere to go, become a mod.
Dear Uncle Matt,
I've been told I have a 'lively' collection of shoes, which I guess I do. I have stripy Vans, leopard print boots, snakeskin shoes, you name it. The thing is my wife says they're horrendous and doesn't like me to wear them around her family. I always pack them but I feel torn between pleasing my wife or standing up for my fashion sense (or lack of it). What should I do?
Mr J Fox, London
Ok Mr J Fox, or whatever your real name is...
It sounds to me like you've got yourself into a weird situation. You say your wife doesn't like you wearing them around her family. Who are her family? The Corleones? Do they hold counsel about what their son-in-law is wearing on his feet? If this is the case, I can't help you.
It strikes me as odd you would even be worried about what your wife's family think of your shoes. My simple reaction to this would be - who gives a f**k what your wife's family think of your shoes? Because you shouldn't.
I can however understand you not wanting to embarrass your wife. I also have to be honest here, if you are, like you say, wearing leopard skin boots and snakeskin shoes to cause attention, and not because you genuinely think they look good, then there is a chance you could be wacky, which is another word for a prat.
If this is the case, I quietly hope your wife's family leave a horse's head in your bed.
Dear Uncle Matt,
I've just come back from Glastonbury and as Jarvis Cocker said, 'I think I've left part of my brain in a field'. He said something along those lines anyway. But how much is too much? Can you give me some advice whether drugs are for mugs, or when is it time to knock it on the head?
Ed (mind in Somerset)
I have to be very careful here to not drop myself in it, so let me just say that when it comes to the artificial mind scew, I have a bit of form (not literally).
My first Glastonbury was in 1995 and I went every year, pretty much, up until I got my first proper job in 2003 at the age of 29. I haven't been since. Which is a shame. Oasis played and Noel Gallagher shook my and other young oiks' hands after the gig. He didn't have to that and I've always remembered it.
Anyway this is not about me, it's about you Ed. So, if you are sending me this letter as a guy in his fifties, then I would question why it's taken you so long to consider your question in the first place.
If however, you are a young buck then I would consider a couple of things. Firstly, do you have an addictive personality and a fair amount in your in-tray? If the answer is yes, then I'd be careful and consider other vices like love-making, or buying guitars.
If you don't have an addictive personality with unresolved issues and can handle it, and don't crave them when you're not doing them, then just go easy and don't make a pig of yourself.
The science of highs and lows were explained to me when I was at university by the campus medic fella. He explained it by telling me that the brain has its natural high and low chemicals in place and ready for release when the natural situation requires.
Now, to fuck with that means that the imbalance you artificially created needs to be rebalanced, i.e. too much high being released requires a large dose of low to set the balance right again, hence the comedown.
I'm sure you all know this anyway and I'm just teaching grandmother to suck eggs, but I didn't when I wore a younger man's tunic. People are going to do what they want anyway and I'm no expert, judge, or doctor so I suppose just speaking as a 40-year-old I'd only say that if you going to do anything, do what reckon you can handle.