You may recall that about nine months ago I told you about the obsession that my mate Sean and I share about the presentation of a fry-up breakfast. I admitted then it was odd, but things got odder yesterday.

I was talking amiable bollocks with an acquaintance yesterday, and he thought I was a bit strange to obsess about something so trivial. Then he admitted that he had to have even numbers, since he hates odd numbers. Two eggs, two sausages, two rashers of bacon*.


He’d have a fit here, apart from the two sausages.

I said, ‘Yeah, but they have to be laid out right. You can’t have the beans touching the egg, for example.’

He looked discomfited.

‘Beans. Never thought of them. I might have to give them up. I don’t know how many there are. Nor the fried mushrooms. How many slices are there?’

‘You must struggle a bit with peas and sweetcorn then.’ I realise this may not have been the most helpful thing to say.


Later, when I got to thinking about things in more depth, I realised that an aversion to odd numbers brings with it a whole host of practical difficulties in everyday life. Reading a newspaper must be a bit of a sod. The first page is, by definition, page 1. In an ideal world I suppose my acquaintance would turn to page 2, but to achieve this he’d have to turn only one page. He could turn two pages, but then he’d end up on page 4 and miss the page 3 stunna.

Driving must be problematic too. Most manual cars (stickshifts for the transatlanteans) have five forward gears. If he takes things to the illogical extreme, he can only use second and fourth. That is going to a/ cane the crap out of his clutch, because he’ll be setting off in second gear, and b/ do hideous things to his fuel economy. He can’t have a slushbox either, since most are three speeds. Maybe he just closes his mind here. I hope so. Driving on our potholed and congested roads takes all your concentration.

How does he cope with lifts? How does he go to an odd-numbered floor? He could go to the nearest even-numbered floor and use the stairs, but that would mean walking up or down only one floor.

And talking of stairs, he’s gonna freak when I tell him that in any flight he uses there are likely to be thirteen steps. It’s a building regulations thing.

*In the pub he orders two pints, then if he wants another he orders two halves. True story.