A couple of days ago I was talking to my friend Sean. You may recall him as the man who is OCD about, among a host of other things, how his breakfast is arranged on a plate. Anyway, he was regaling me with a tale of some tomfoolery that he prefixed with the words, ‘My mate Dave…’

I can’t recall the details of the story, but something occurred to me.

‘Sean, why does every bloke have a mate called Dave? I know it’s not an unusual name, but just about everybody I know has a mate called Dave.’

‘Yeah, you’re right. And they’re always the ones who get themselves and the rest of us into trouble.’

I thought ‘He’s not wrong there.’ Remember the fiasco when a mate of mine woke up on the gaming floor at Caesar’s Palace? Wearing just his underpants? That was a Dave. He was also implicated in the unfortunate episode when Carrie Fisher got knocked off her chair in the VIP enclosure at a boxing match. The same Dave who told George Foreman, ‘Hey George! Love the grill.’

The same Dave who inadvertently ended up in Compton in LA, attracting attention from gangbangers in lowriders since, for reasons known only to himself, he’d insisted on wearing an afro and fake meth-head hillbilly teeth, then got them lost. In Compton, of all places. They don’t take kindly to strangers in those parts.

The thing is that every MatecalledDave is a good bloke, but you can also have acquaintances called Dave who are a royal pain in the arse. Sean has an acquaintance Dave who simply doesn’t understand that blokes sometimes just have to blather on for a bit. The sort of amiable bollocks (qv) like this.

‘Saw a great film the other night.’

‘Yeah? What was it called?’

‘Can’t remember, but it had thingy in it. You know, he was in that film with whatsisface, set in the south of France. Or was it Italy’s Adriatic coast? Anyway, you’d know him.’

Google Dave, for it is he, will whip out his phone and find out before the conversation has had time to gain momentum. Spoilsport. Then there was my acquaintance Dave Dunnett. He wasn’t really called that, something I didn’t find out for a good while, but if you did something he’d already done it, more often, and better than you had. If he hadn’t there were sound medical reasons why he hadn’t.

Funnily enough, Sean was going to be called Dave, but his dad got a bit pissed and decided to go down the Irish route. As I said, though, if he had been a Dave we’d just refer to him as Irish Dave, and all would be well.

By the way, if you didn’t mark it, February 8th was International Call Everybody Dave Day.