Tough Men

Here’s 3 short stories about tough men…


After pruning our pear tree and some hedges, I took the garden waste to our “Household Waste Recycling Centre” AKA “the tip”.

As I opened my car’s boot, two Centre employees frowned at the greenery.

“We can’t touch that, mate,” one of them kindly informed me. I panicked slightly – I thought he meant I wouldn’t be able to dispose of these branches and leaves here… was this another stupid new rule the council had brought in?

“It should be bagged up. And if there are thorns and they go into our skin…” He didn’t finish his sentence, as if the consequences were obviously dire.

“What exactly would happen?” I thought to myself, “You’re pretty unlikely to die.”

And then I noticed that both men were covered head to toe in full safety gear, including thick gloves.

“Well, there aren’t any thorns, and anyway it’ll only take me a couple of minutes,” I said pointedly, making it clear I didn’t need their help.

I then proceeded to empty the garden waste from my car’s boot into the compacting machine… using my bare hands.

Health and Safety gone mad.


In the last few months, I’ve noticed a young lad in our village. I think his family have recently started renting a house a few doors down from us. He’s probably in his late teens and he seems to spend half his time waiting for busses at the end of the village.

Being a friendly sort, and also living in a community of less than 20 houses, I like to say hello to my neighbours, or wave at them as I drive past.

When I wave hello, this lad has a habit of looking at the floor and slowly shaking his head. It’s as if my cheeriness offends him.

So of course I now make it a point to always say hello, smile and wave. It amuses me that he does his best to ignore me.

Yesterday, he walked past me outside our house. “Hello!” I called with my usual enthusiasm. He totally blanked me, which I found very amusing.

To be fair, maybe this guy has severe depression or a very hard life. Somehow I suspect neither of things is true. I think he thinks he’s just too cool to say hello to me.

So I will keep saying hello. Maybe one day he’ll respond positively.


I am dying of man flu today. Yes, I have a cold. Yes, I feel sorry for myself. Yes, I am allowing myself to take on fewer responsibilities merely because I have a headache, a sore throat and some slight sniffles.

I might die. This could be my last ever blog post.

RIP me.

(By the way, don’t do a Google image search for “Tough Men”. You may see more than you bargained for. NSFW.)

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