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Regrets, did you say, Mr Sinatra? Oh, a few, I suppose

It’s often said that we never regret what we did, we regret what we didn’t do. That seems to me to be a bit negative, a sure route to melancholia. Instead, at my mature station in life, I’ve been doing some introspective analysis of things I’ve never done and haven’t regretted for one single minute.

I’ve never had all my body hair removed with a hot wax strip

Not only do I not regret this, I’m positively delighted. I’ve never been very hairy anyway, but even if a looked like a sasquatch I’d have cavilled at this. I’m now of an age when it’s all falling out anyway, so I’m fairly sure I can go to my grave with no regrets about never having it done.

I’ve never played a round of golf

Not even nine holes on a pitch’n’putt. I’m surprised that this totally futile ‘game’ was invented by the Scots, normally a very sensible peoples, though by no means humourless. They had a huge sense of humour when they foisted this waste of time on the rest of world and the rest of the world took it seriously.

Incidentally, did you know that the total area of golf courses in the US exceeds that of the entire country of Belgium? If that doesn’t give you pause for thought, I don’t know what will.

Incidentally, I’m owed a bullseye for reaching 60 without playing golf. I made a bet many years ago. I suppose that with inflation I should ask for a oner.

I’ve never owned or ridden a motorbike

Just never has appealed to me. My wife was a real biker chick and would happily climb on the pillion of any dentist killer that came along.

I’ve never worn a dinner jacket

Not once, and I really don’t lose sleep over this. When I was growing up the insidious spread from the US of Prom Night had not even been thought of. As I got older, I somehow managed by a lot of nifty footwork to get out of any occasions where I’d have to dress up like that. By corollary:

I’ve never had to tie a bow tie, either, nor wear a wing-collar shirt


I did once wear a tailcoat and stripy trousers to act as an usher at my brother in law’s wedding. The deal was the coat and trousers were a requirement, but after that it was our personal choice. I wore a rather priceless velvet waistcoat in turquoise, orange, and black swirls; it was my wife’s strictly speaking, but nobody appeared to notice the blingy buttons fastened the wrong way. I teamed this with a white shirt, a turquoise tie, silk of course, hand printed with orange sunbursts, and under my black patent leather shoes, turquoise socks hand-embroidered with small black diamonds with orange centres. Snappy, or what?

I did try on a top hat, but looked ridiculous and vaguely frightening, like Jiminy Cricket appearing to a clubber under the influence of ketamine.

I’ve never been skiing

No doubt the avid schussers amongst you will besiege me with comments about how great this pastime is. I’ll ignore you. I wouldn’t have minded a go at snowboarding, but this sport developed at a point where I was clocking on a bit, and I’d have looked stupid in baggies and a hat with tentacles.

I’ve never had an affair with a married woman

This is more of an achievement than it might sound. When I was rising rapidly through the ranks of my chosen career, the higher I got the more attractive I became to certain predatory females. I became a babe magnet, or at least a cougar magnet. I always said no, for the simple reason that I needed to be able to put my hand on my heart and say:

I was never unfaithful to my wife

If I need to explain to you why I’ve not regretted that, then you haven’t been paying attention.

The annoying thing was that, as I’ve described to you in a previous post, everybody and his brother thought I was having an affair with a woman 16 years my junior. Lackaday.