Arenât sheds great? I was at a (rather posh) garden party â like a barbecue but with more people wearing Laura Ashley and talking about horses â at Cheltenham over the weekend. Due to a recent âOmaâ Porn incident I was flying solo as my lass has requested a time out for a while, presumably so she can get double teamed by the two simian-intellect twits she works with, Mike and Gary. Anyway, I donned my best dockers and ironed my favourite pink shirt and drove up the M5 to the Land of the Chinless. My mate had requested my attendance as quote âMindy (his wife â Mindy ffs!!) is throwing a party and if I donât have someone normal to get p1ssed with Iâm going to shoot someone.â Heâs a nice bloke but he got married young and left the army because Mindy (a looker, granted, but as thick as Red Setter humping a chair leg) wanted him to settle down and spend more quality time with his family (she wantâs kids but theyâre having trouble â even God knows when a jokeâs gone too far). The quality time she speaks of involves her spending 6 nights of the week doing pilates (the dozy bint probably misread the add and thought sheâd get to do pirates) and riding one of her 6 horses. All the while my mate sits at home watching his life circle the drain at the age of 28. I digress, he greets me warmly (even maniacally) as I arrive an hour into proceedings and we execute the standard SOP between married and single male friends â he quickly runs me through the int on the attendant single females and I pretend, for the sake of his feelings, that Iâve not been getting any for a while and hint at the fathomless emptiness that is the legacy of singledom. Letâs face it, it wonât do his shattered ego any good to know that not only does my lass willingly take it up the wrong âun, but she also faints occasionally out of the sheer joy of it. Regardless, within 30 seconds of a slickly executed drill, I have a mental range card of the location of all the available females at the party, which ones are impressionable and exactly how much more Pimms each needs to become compliant. With no further ado, he introduces me to the nearest moneyed beauty â Sara without the h â I make a crap joke about my name not having an h in it and she laughs like a runaway gpmg. Itâs going to be a long day. Even this stage of proceedings is subject to unspoken SOPs and actions-on between my married friend and I. Heâs introduced me to Sarawithoutanh because he knows I wonât like her, allowing him to flirt with her and freeing me up to keep an eye out for Mindywithoutabrain. After about two hours weâve circumnavigated the party and reaffirmed my belief that all my married friends have been coerced forcibly into ditching ALL the decent single females they know by their wives, a sort of gender reversed take on the way alpha-male lions scare off the other males when they take over a pride. What is more, within a year of tying the knot, the wives themselves âlose contactâ with those friends they deem prettier than themselves. In their early twenties, women have best friends who are their aesthetic opposite â ie. pretty girls have ugly bezzers and vice versa (it makes the pretty ones seem less superficial and the ugly ones more likely to get picked up by a âwingmanâ). By the time theyâre married, however, there is one rule â all single friends of the wife MUST be uglier than her. As a result I have banned my mates from marrying mingers, it makes their parties reminiscent of a thalidomide support group or a âDawn of the Deadâ re-enactment. So, 6 pints in, no totty (well not until Iâve had a few more lagers and Lisa Tarbuck becomes Lisa Snowdon), and some left wing berk who thinks that contributing to society means buying organic yoghurt has just asked âSo is this what my taxpayerâs money is going on eh? Paying for you to drink Pimms in the sun? Why arenât you in Iraq?â I suggest politely that he and his wife may want to get in their Land Rover and fcuk off back to mediocrity and Iâm fairly sure that I introduced the phrase âinsignificant, morally bankrupt cnutâ to them both for the first time. My friend, god love him, decides that maybe we need a swift exit-stage-left, he grabs a slab and we head towards his shed. As I said earlier, sheds rock. His has a sofa and TV in it, and a playstation. I quickly search through his tools because thatâs the manly thing to do, he has a tool box inherited from his dad (lagers in hand, we declare that dads rock too), one of those small hand held trident things that gardeners use (this one hasnât been used) and a flymo that has had itâs plug cut off in order to power the TV. Even better, he has one of those gas canister fuelled hand blow torches that Iâve only ever seen used for burning down parade boots and crÃ¨me-brulees. His, rather worrying, reason for having it is so he can burn stuff. We decide that we are far too sober to play with it yet and play a karate game on the console instead. Taking one of the only opportunities a man has to compliment another man, I say âNice shed mateâ âThanksâ The words convey it all: youâre married to a breeze-block that will drag you into an abyss of boredom until you reach 45, buy a fireblade and sh*g your secretary, but at least in the meantime you have a place of your own where you can kick the shât out of electronic people and burn stuff. In the words of The Verveâs Richard Ashcroft: Happiness, More or Less. Suitably lubricated, we reach for the burner. In our defence, we knew it was going to go t1ts up all along. Weâre not stupid. We burn stuff good. Those woodlice now know whoâs the daddy, thatâs for sure. And beer cans sadly donât explode catastrophically when you heat them, rather the aluminium disintegrates causing a pressured stream of beer â we actually invented an extreme form of shotgunning lager, extreme because the metal is so hot that your lips stick to it at first. Mindy, to whom I now refer as GWB because sheâs thick as mince but still calls all the shots, becomes suspicious when she sees me snaffling raw steaks from her fridge and ferreting them back to the shed (I thought I was being so sly that I expected a recruiting phone call from 14 int at any moment). She walked in to see her husband, beer in one hand while using the blow torch in the other to cook the fillet steak balanced precariously on his right foot. In true wifey style, when confronted with this health and safety nightmare scenario, all she can scream is âStop that, youâll ruin your brogues!â Now I may have been very drunk, but I will remember what happens next for the rest of my life. My good olâ drinking buddy looks confused and declares, âdonât worry itâs not that hotâ and to illustrate that flawed theory, he runs the flame quickly over the back of his beer hand. His yelp of pain suggested that the flame WAS that hot and he dropped his beer down his front. His bemused wife took him to A&E with beer down his crotch, steak blood in his shoe and a nasty burn on his hand. And I thought my mates would become boring when they got married!