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Sunday 30th June 2013

I am, as you are probably aware, a fairly impractical man. I am a functioning man, don't get me wrong - everything works (though increasingly less well) - I just can't do practical stuff, like mend things or drill holes in walls or create beautiful and exquisite art. I try, but I usually fail.
Sadly this cack-handedness extends as far as cleaning. Surely there's no skill to that beyond knowing how to hold a cloth or a mop. But I still prove incapable (and not as an excuse to get out of work). I rarely attempted to wash my old car, either leaving it dirty, or running it through a car wash or paying a man to do it for me (usually leaving it dirty if I am honest). But I've decided to make some kind of effort to keep the new car clean myself and spent lots of money on buckets and cloths and shampoos and polish. I even bought a hose and a sprinker attachment. And then when I realised that wouldn't really fit on my kitchen tap (and that my outside tap didn't have enough pressure) I even bought an adapter that should have made that work.
Surely now it was just a matter of elbow grease and aiming my hose pipe in the right direction so the water went on the car and not on my face.
But of course it wasn't.
First I had to put the hosepipe together - it was one of those ones that winds up into a plastic container - but my brain told me that the water would come out of the long bit of hose-pipe and not the short one. Apparently handyman logic says different (or I've just put this thing together very badly) because no water came out and the connector kept flying off the tap, shooting water all over the kitchen. Then I tried it the illogical way round, which did result in water coming out of the sprinkler, but the connector still flew off a couple more times. Eventually I had screwed it on tight enough and tried to unwind the hose up the hallway to outside. It certainly seemed wrong that when I came to spray the car I had to lug the big plastic container around as the hosepipe was too short to reach very far. But I wasn't going back to the start. This was working.
I had disobeyed the instructions on a leaflet I had as I was cleaning the car in direct and hot sunlight. I didn't have much choice. This was my car-cleaning window of opportunity and it happened to be sunny and my car had to be near my house so I couldn't move it. I also used fairly hot water to clean the car, which I later read was wrong too.
I found it very hard to wash the car without leaving streaks and smears. It was certainly cleaner than it had been before, but still looked pretty crappy.
But I cut my loses and decided to polish it too, which I did a bit better than last time (when due to the white streaks that remained my car looked like it might have recently been the focus of some quite intense dogging). But man it was hard work. From a distance the car looked shiny, but close up it was not that impressive.
This isn't about building something, just removing dirt and I still can't do that.
Then I had to mop the water up off the kitchen floor and that was left similarly smeared and splattered.
Is it possible that someone doesn't have the gene for cleaning things? I am scruffy and dirty and not very good at hanging or folding clothes. Do I have some kind of hygiene dyslexia? Is this a condition? Or am I just too lazy?
I sort of enjoyed the pantomime of being a man, cleaning his car on a Sunday afternoon. And two of my neighbours joked that I could do their car for them if I liked (though I think they might have been disappointed if I had). But I am not a proper man, nor even a stereotypical woman. I can neither car wash or mop, but sit in some kind of strange pre-sexual revolution asexual hinterland.
I think if I added up all the money I have spent on equipment I could probably have paid someone else to wash my car fortnightly for well over a year.
But I will persevere and overcome my car washing disability and win the world car cleaning championships. I am like the Oscar Pistorius of shammy leathers.

The audio of the Mark Thomas RHLSTP is now up at the British Comedy Guide and on iTunes.
All the gigs so far confirmed for the tour and the Leicester Square Theatre are now listed in the gig guide, though you'll have to google the 2014 tour dates if you want tickets as I haven't had time to put the links in yet. A few more dates might be added, but I am doing a much shorter tour this time and I am mainly only going to places that I've been before, where I know I will get an audience. But as always it's the theatres that book me, rather than the other way round, so if you want me to come to your town then let your local venue know.

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