A woman bored at her shop. | wikipedia

What is the worst insult you can hurl at a man of a certain age? Come on think about it - might it be that you are perhaps selfish, maybe ugly - what about in the modern idiom i.e. that you lack a certain amount of ‘empathy’? This word is often thrown at me when I refuse to smile indulgently at someone who is getting on my nerves or making a complete prat of themselves. However, it seems that being certifiably boring is about as bad as it can get if you wish to insult a chap who is not in the first flush of youth. Look, I like to think that I can keep-my-end-up in most conversations without my interlocutors actually falling asleep. Hey, I’ve wanted to use that word in a Bulletin piece for almost two decades, which alas, must be a sure sign of me becoming an ocean-going bore.

Anyway, what is so wrong about being slightly tedious on occasions? The trouble with that liberal interpretation of someone being continually boring is that they never, ever, know - do we? Furthermore, when did tediousness become a side effect of the ageing process? Part of this is perhaps because of not being particularly boring per-se - but just the mind-set of those of a certain age; this being the curse of relentlessly repeating ones-self on any given subject, in any given company - at any given time. For instance, I may on occasions have mentioned to my new UK based friends that I lived and worked in Mallorca for twenty-one years, one month, three days and seventeen hours, but surely that statement shouldn’t lead to an air-raid siren like clearance of the local pub lounge bar - now should it? Nevertheless, I like to think that I am not the only person in the world who operates on the very edge of tedium - for I suspect that there are a lot of us about. One of my new acquaintances is a pleasant, recently retired, middle ranking police officer, who in all honesty makes my own verbal tedium sound a bit like Stephen Fry on particularly sparkling form. As with people everywhere, certain subjects will get ‘Mr Middle Aged-Bloke’ drivelling on in overdrive.

All this is desperately unfair of course, because it wasn’t that long ago when attractive women in particular would practically beg me to repeat my wonderful story regarding Mick Hucknall (aka Simply Red - please keep up!) thinking that I was a waiter and ordering a drink from me, instead of the interview the Bulletin had arranged for me to undertake with him after a gig at Palma’s Plaza de Toros - how they all laughed. Anyway there are certain familiar signs regarding the onset of boringness; for instance, you might notice that halfway through a particularly fascinating yarn people start walking away from you with mobile phones clamped to their ears pretending that someone has called them. Then alas, there was the time when I first started as a presenter (No, not a proper DJ!) on Radio One Mallorca and would like to give a time-check and weather report approximately every other minute until told to stop or be fired by my rather rude boss. However, did I ever tell you the time that I……cont’d on page 94.