Mr Messy? You can put your shirt on it!
THE shirt was a favourite of mine. Blue and white striped and, like its owner, rather casual in style. It was a bargain, too. Bought on the cheap in a Debenhams sale, in some strange way, made it even more appealing.
Now it is no more. Its days of adorning my lithe torso are over. Even though, as I write, it is hanging in seemingly pristine and neatly creased condition in my wardrobe.
It will probably never emerge again, unless I am looking for something to do a spot of decorating in.
If I could, I would kick myself, as its demise is all down to me. Well, me and the remnants of a Saturday night lamb jalfrezi at a local Indian restaurant.
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Because, with one careless wave of the hand, I managed to spatter and splatter my shirt front with a few too many blobs of the delicious sauce which accompanies such a dish.
In that instant I knew the shirt was ruined.
My wife, sitting opposite, raised her eyes skyward and muttered something about me "always doing something like that".
And she's right, I can't deny it, I am a Mr Messy.
I do not set out to be but I seem to always fall victim to food fouling.
I'm the guy who is holding the one piece of toast that actually drips butter or marmalade on to your trousers. Or the bloke who, while chatting, carelessly deposits flecks of gravy on his tie. And, more often than not, ruins a shirt.
I am conscious of these dining room failings but, try as I might, it seems as if food seeks me out, to fall, haplessly, into my lap.
The solution, or course, would be to wear a bib, mimicking my youngest grandchild, or adopt a cavalier attitude and seize the restaurant's linen napkin and tie it round my neck.
Neither appeals and I tell myself to pay more due care and attention while consuming.
Anyway, back in the Indian restaurant, I spent the final phase of our dining with my arms crossed trying to look nonchalant whilst concealing the fact I actually looked as if I'd just returned from a paint-ball adventure park.
Further avoiding embarrassment I then attempted to slip my jacket on without any surrounding diners noticing. It was, hanging over the back of the chair, which was difficult and involved me manoeuvring in my seat like Houdini in one of his escapology acts.
Back home and shirtless it was rammed into the washing machine with every sort of stain remover applied.
But it was not enough to save it. If anyone out there has a jalfrezi sauce stain removing solution please let me know.