Back in the 80s, Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones had a sketch show where they created, amongst a host of others, a character called ‘The Incredible Bullshitting Man.’ We all know them. We’ve all met them. We all get annoyed by them. We all know they’re talking bullshit.

They don’t talk bollocks. Talking bollocks is fine, we adapt to that. We enjoy it mainly. Bullshit artists don’t talk bollocks. They talk bullshit.

There’s a series of rather irritating adverts on the television at the moment. Can’t tell you what they’re for, but feature a bearded Ozzie chancer talking obvious bullshit to a variety of hapless people. I can tell you he’s a complete tyro compared with somebody I know.

He’s a sous chef, and claims he used to do 1000 covers a night. Think about that. 1000 covers in, say, a ten hour shift. One hundred an hour. That’s nearly two a minute. Unless he was working in Maccy D’s, he’s talking bullshit.

My mate Stuart is shortly joining the Navy, and TIBM told a huge whopper about his grandfather, who was also a mariner. Allegedly, he and five mates were in a chopper that ran out of fuel. So the six of them lifted it onto a pickup truck by hand, took it down to the nearest petrol station, filled it up, and flew back to base.

There are so many holes in that one I can’t even be bothered to detail them. I asked Stuart why he hadn’t called TIBM on this, because I would have. He nodded sagely, and pointed out I don’t have to work with him on a daily basis.

When I lived in Stansted, there was a bloke who used my local. For many years I was under the impression he was called Dave Dunnett. I later found this was a nickname for him that had been awarded by Jan, the fearsome and very straight-talking and landlady.

The penny dropped. Dave was one of those people who, if you mentioned something you’d done, he’s already done it. More than simply doing it before you did, he’d done it more often, and better, and was hence more accomplished than you. If he hadn’t done something, there was a very sound medical or other reason why he hadn’t.

I can tell stretchers with the best of them, but there’s a world of difference between telling stretchers and being a complete nobhead.