So picture this; you're in a smoke-filled outbuilding that smells of stale beer right out back towards the edge of the garden , a stompie (the last bit of a cigarette) balancing delicately between two shaky fingers - it's the tail-end of a boozy male-bonding session, nobody can find a single wing for the darts,the carum board sits upside-down and the lining of the pool table has turned grey, whoever is passed out has done so right there where they'd sat five hours ago, a few sleepy-heads soldier on driven by nothing but booze and machismo.
You choose this minute to confide (in those still awake) something you hadn't told a soul before, you order the sound to be turned down, happy that a suitable ghostly hush has descended over the place, you then dolefully tell your touching tale cerrtain that it would move even the most stoical amongst us. After you've uttered the final word it becomes so silent you can hear each others breathing, until Clifford (his real name) takes a slow, long pull of his cigarette, clears the phlegm from his throat and says, "You need help my brother, you were abused but you know that right?" You'd believe it to be a most direct, penetrating and relevant reply until you realize that it's Clifford's standard reply to everything said to him.
You wake up the next morning with a chain big and clunky enought to secure a factory gate hanging around your neck and are told that you'd won the chain from Patrick in a game of darts, it's his swag chain that makes him look like the rapper Jay Z. Why is Patrick wearing your denim jacket? 'Oh ja', says another, "You must have felt bad about the chain so you gave Patrick your denim jacket, said you hardly wear it anyway". That brings to an end a real male-bonding session which (unlike in movies) does not involve jetting off to Las Vegas or some exotic location, a wise woman is your madam for insisting you keep it no furher than your back yard - a wiser woman is she who will not authorise more than two of these sessions per calender year (non-accumulative), but authorise one every few years one simply Must - a person has to be very delicate when relating to the female species, it can take away your instincts, make you too soft - male bonding sessions loosen you up, you don't have to mind your language, after a few beers there's nobody leaning over your shoulders whispering tersely "don't you think you've had enough?"
Earlier that same night something close to a miracle happened, we agreed on what a single chap heading out on the hunt for a partner should look out for, helpful hints if I say it myself - but then our knowledge has been culled from Facebook quotes, Motivational seminars, books and life itself over many years so it shouldn't come as a surprise but shamefully we graded the female species much like they do with cattle at the market, sexist I know, I'm ashamed to admit - A-Type, B-Type and C-Type.
Type-A is the woman who, despite not living her ideal dream, is practical and makes things work, she understands that every relationship has it's ups and downs.
Type-B is the woman who hates men, says all men are dogs, she's been let down. Type-C is the woman who has been let down and disappointed too yet says things like "I've moved on, I'll not taint my current relationship because of my past experiences" -
Type-A you won't get, they're always already taken and never single -
Type-C seems the obvious choice but beware, she could be dripping with pent-up anger, a bomb waiting to explode with unresolved issues aplenty which she has avoided facing- it was then agreed with a show of hands that, while it could prove a challenge, the single man is best advised to persue Type-B on condition that she is prepared to give someone a chance to prover her perceptions wrong.
And there you were sitting thinking we learn nothing from male-bonding sessions, think again.