The insomniac sausage

Stroppy was a tired, tired sausage

Let me tell you about a glorious place called ‘the land of sausage-nod’.

It’s beautiful; where all the sleepy-sausages go after a long day to dream their sausage-dreams.

Unfortunately for me, I haven’t spent much time there lately.

I think I’m suffering from a small bout of insomnia.

Being a man, suffering from a ‘small bout’ of anything, instantly qualifies as one of the worst happenings in the history of the world and completely validates my need to moan incessantly about it.

So, today, I’ll begin with a warning:

Crossing me right now wouldn’t be the cleverest thing you’ve ever done.

I’m a very, very tired sausage.

I can’t remember how long it’s been since I last slept properly… A couple of days? A week?

Since time began?

I like to sleep.

It’s probably my favourite thing to do (that I can mention on a PG-rated blog).

When I’m asleep I don’t have to listen to, well, anything – especially that bird-monkey-dog-thing that lives in the trees behind my street and squawks into the early hours of the morning.

Don’t ask me what it is, because I don’t know.

But it sounds like nothing anyone has ever heard before.

For all I know, it could be a new, wondrous, being – sent here to rid the world of all suffering (kind of like Mother Teresa).

I don’t know.

But I DO know it’s keeping me awake.

So I am going to kill it.

(Just for the record – I didn’t kill Mother Teresa, although she did keep me up a few times.)

As much as I would love to blame the Mother Teresa-bird-monkey-dog-thing entirely for my new-found insomnia, I can’t.

You see, bird-monkey-dog-thing only exercises its vocal chords every now and again and, in all fairness to it, it waits until most sausages are in the land of sausage-nod before letting rip with its annoying half-squawk, half-bark at around 3am.

Basically, I don’t know why I can’t get to sleep and, to coin a phrase, it’s ‘doing my head in!’

So, I did some research on how to get to sleep and decided to try a few things.

Nytol Herbal:

A herbal ‘solution’ for sausages like me, who can’t sleep, but don’t want to take actual medication (or are too lazy to go to the doctors).

A ‘solution’? Great! I’m looking for a solution!

And, amazingly, with my first attempt, I found one!

But not for my insomnia…

No, no. The ‘solution’ I found was the solution to making my mouth taste like rabbit droppings.

I can only muster one theory as to how such a ‘solution’ came about:

Somewhere in the world a scientist inexplicably ate a piece of rabbit poo and then fell asleep within 24 hours (as you generally would anyway) and then decided it was the rabbit poo that made him fall asleep – and not the fact that, as a scientist, he has one of the dullest jobs in the world.

Either way, I was still awake…

Next, with my mouth tasting like the wrong end of Peter Rabbit, I decided to try a different herbal option:

Kalms Herbal:

Firstly, they should be renamed ‘Angrys’.

Based on my experience, they’re not the ‘remedy’ they claim to be.

After hours of tossing and turning in bed, the failure to send me to sleep got me riled, although they did taste infinitely better than rabbit poo.

I was still awake…

Having lost faith in ‘herbal remedies’ and rabbit poo ‘solutions’ I decided to try out an age-old classic. Who knows, perhaps it’s underrated and would actually work if applied properly…

Counting Sheep:

Utterly useless.

The sheep were mocking me, so I sent in a sheep-dog.

I was still awake…

Based on my findings, I conclude the following:

1) Herbal remedies don’t work, make me angry, and can sometimes taste like a turd.

2) There are 106460540465406570 sheep.

3) I’m still awake.

So, unless you’ve got an elephant sedative for me, I suggest you get out before I start throwing beans.

(Not nice beans, either. I’m talking about those fat, evil-looking supermarket own-brand beans. You know, the ones that cost about 20p, have almost no sauce on them and aren’t even worthy of going on your toast.

Your toast looks down on these beans.

They want to be beans, they’re trying so hard to be beans… but they’re not beans, they’ll never be beans.

These are the beans that the other beans made fun of when they were baby-beans.

These beans deserve to be thrown at someone.

And I will throw them at you.)

Do you know what makes the whole thing worse?


How unattractive do people look and sound when they yawn, really!?

I’m not sure about you, but in my family, it’s compulsory to… Actually, no, it’s impossible to not… let out a cave-man-like moan at the top of your voice whilst making your mouth-hole wider than your face.

I call this face ‘the yawn face’ – here’s an example:

Obviously, I’m much cuter than the sloth in the video when I yawn.

At the end of it all, when I finally run out of juice and manage to get an hour-or-so shut-eye, I keep having the same dream.

I dream that one of my closest friends buys my house and then kicks me out of it, leaving me homeless. Then I wake up.


I know I shouldn’t be, but the next time I see my friend I’m absolutely furious with them.

It’s not like I can help it.

Let’s not forget, they did make me dream-homeless (by the way, if I ever fall out with you for no reason, this could be why).

If I could, I’d go back to sleep and kick their dream-backside from here to, you know… Somewhere else.

But obviously, I can’t – or at least not without eating angry science rabbit poo.

So, anyway, it’s getting late. I guess I should head off to bed…

Or not.

Note: No bird-monkey-dog-things were harmed in the making of this Stroppy Sausage production – they were harmed afterwards.

The deaf sausage

Looks like stroppy hadn't cleaned his ears out again


Excuse me?

You’ll have to speak up!



Forget it.

Ever heard the saying “If a tree falls in the woods and there’s nobody around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

I could be there and swear it doesn’t.

I could be sitting in the damn tree – I still wouldn’t hear it.

So, I’m pretty sure I’m going deaf.

Either that or everyone else is losing their voice.

Most people assure me their voice is OK, though, meaning the problem lies in my ears.

I mean, it’s not actually lying in my ears.

I hope you understand I don’t have things lying in my ears!?

I just have a problem… with my ears.

By the way, when you were younger, did your parents ever tell you that if you didn’t wash your ears you’d get cauliflower ears?

My parents did.

Naturally, for a child, the thought of cauliflower growing out of my ears mortified me. And so my ears remained clean.

Needless to say, I spent most of my childhood being generally impressed at people’s ear hygiene – based on the fact that nobody had a vegetable sticking out the side of their head.

So to sum up so far:

-I can’t hear properly.

-I wash my ears.

-I was subjected to some questionable parenting techniques as a child.

Moving on.

It’s been pointed out that I don’t always understand what people are saying to me.

In fact, not only do I not understand what people are saying to me, half the time I swear people aren’t even speaking. It’s almost like the world has decided to turn the volume down just to play a mean prank on me and my ears.

I have friendly ears.

They don’t deserve it.

I ‘EAR (GET IT..? EAR, instead of HEAR!? No? Ah forget it) that ears have feelings too, you know.

If you don’t believe me poke yourself in the ear.

Told you.

We’ve all been in that awkward situation – when someone’s talking to you but you can’t hear a thing they’re saying, no matter how hard you stare at them.

(why do we squint when we’re trying to hear what someone’s saying? I’m pretty sure squinting does nothing for your earholes… And if you could squint your earholes you probably wouldn’t be able to hear as much, because your earholes would be smaller.)

Not a sausage.

So what do you do?

You basically have four options:

1. Just stare and hope the moment passes – this can get awkward (especially if they’ve actually asked you a question – try to avoid using this option during marriage proposals).

2. Let the other person know you didn’t hear them.

Be polite; say “excuse me, I didn’t quite catch that” or “sorry could you say that again?” Or, if you’re not feeling particularly polite, a sharp “WHAT” or “EH?” – Or any other grunting noise, accompanied by a wrinkling of the face, would usually do the trick.

3. The scowl and shake / The smile and nod.

As before, you still haven’t heard anything the other person has said, but now you’ve let them ramble on for so long that you can’t tell them you didn’t hear them.

No. That would be rude.

So, instead, you take a look at their face.

If they’re not smiling, or seem sad or generally displeased to be telling you… whatever it is they’re telling you – you frown, maybe make a “tut” sound, and shake your head to show that you share their disgust with, you know, whatever.

If they are smiling, or seem happy or generally pleased to be telling you… whatever it is they’re telling you – you give a half smile, maybe even a little chuckle, and nod your head in agreement (and then hope to god you haven’t just laughed at poor old Mrs Smith’s detailed account of how she lost her arms).

4. The stab in the dark.

Again, you don’t have a clue what the other person is talking about. But (you think) you’ve picked up on a few key words.

So you try to answer them – usually with a simple “yes” or “no”, but if you’re feeling confident you might decide to answer in more detail.

Beware, this is dangerous, especially if you haven’t heard the other person as well as you thought you had.

For example, a friend is asking you about the current financial crisis in the Eurozone, going into some detail about it (not that I’d understand that even if I could hear) and you take your ‘stab in the dark’ by saying…


How much of a tit do you look now!?

Imagine being in my position; having to choose one of those options every day.

Stupid ears.

Amazingly, though, when it comes to any sound that could be classed as ‘morbidly annoying’ – I can hear perfectly.

Take, for example, the scrap-iron man.

Do you know him?

He’s everywhere, like Jesus.

Unlike Jesus (who knows better than to mess with Stroppy Sausage) he drives up the street every morning, dinnertime, afternoon and teatime, blowing some sort of trumpet and screaming at the top of his lungs:


Funnily enough, screaming and blowing a horn at me doesn’t make me want to give you my fridge.

AND, later, when you come back, I, unsurprisingly, won’t have been on a magical adventure to the land of scrap iron, therefore, will still have no scrap iron to give you.

But rest assured, if I do ever have any, I plan to make it into a trumpet…

Wait for you to drive past…

Take a deep, deep breath…

And throw it at you.

The (not) superstitious sausage

Looks like Stroppy had put his foot in it again, poor Banana


If you’re reading this you’re still alive.

The way people spout on about Friday 13th being unlucky, I imagine some of you were half expecting to be pushing up the daisies by now – or at least be sporting the odd horrific injury.

But you’re not.

Shocking, I know.

Maybe the universe is on your side and, this time, you’ve escaped the curse of Friday 13th and all the bad luck that comes with it (but beware, Friday 13th will come back for you some day)…


Maybe it’s all just a bunch of bananas

I like bananas.

I don’t like anything that makes me feel the need to refer to bananas in a way which could upset said bananas, banana fanatics, or general supporters of bananas.

Therefore, I do not like Friday 13th.

Sometimes the world needs a kick up its proverbial backside, honestly.

Do we really believe that Friday 13th is unlucky? Really?

OK, granted, bad things happen on Friday 13th – and when they do they’re blown out of proportion… for no reason other than the fact that it’s Friday 13th.

But wait, let me just check my calendar…

Well bend me over and call me Julian;

It turns out there are actually 365 days in a year (365.242199 days if you want to be anal about it). And guess what!? Bad things happen on every single one of them.

Every day is an unlucky day, believe me.


Let me tell you about one of the ‘wheels’ on my bed.

I hate this ‘wheel’.

It’s attached to the edge of my bed, just out of plain sight – but close enough to be able to kick it with my pinky-toe.
So what do I do almost every single morning?

I kick it with my sodding pinky-toe, obviously.

Forget childbirth and getting kicked in the Netherlands, there is no pain greater than that of a stumped pinky-toe. Those first seconds, you know what I’m talking about, when your pinky-toe informs your brain that you’ve just stumped it.

Goodness gracious.

Such pain should be saved for your death-bed, or never.

I wouldn’t mind so much, but this ‘wheel’ doesn’t even do anything. It doesn’t hold the bed up and it sure as hell doesn’t roll, which is pretty much the only thing you would expect of a wheel.

That’s like a singer without a voice…

Or a supermodel – with no head.

Anyway, this year Friday 13th graces our calendar three times – today, April and July – and I’m pretty much positive that, on at least one of those days, I will stump my toe.

In fact, I’m sure there will be thousands of stumped toes all over the world, just like there will be tomorrow and the day after that.

Anyone stumping their toes today, and blaming it on Friday 13th, needs to stop and have a little think.

Is it Friday 13th’s fault that you have no control over where you’re flopping your big boat feet?


Spanish-speaking countries, and Greece, actually think TUESDAY 13th is unlucky;

Some cultures believe that every single Friday is unlucky;

Some cultures eat the inside of a sheep’s head.

OK, that last one was off-track slightly (although I would consider myself unlucky to get sheep head for dinner but whatever). My point is that if you looked into it, you could probably find a reason why every single day of the year is unlucky (you could probably find some other interesting dinner choices, too – it doesn’t end with sheep brain).

Actually, I’m throwing Tuesday 3rd into the hat for being unlucky.

For it was Tuesday 3rd January 2012 when ‘Franco’, a friendly but seemingly clueless ‘delivery driver’, ‘delivered’ my new iPhone.

Of course, where he delivered it to remains a mystery.

But it takes someone with a borderline spectacular level of incompetence to take a parcel to the wrong address, THEN allow someone with the WRONG SURNAME to sign for it, THEN forget where they had actually delivered it to.

Either way, some stranger with the surname of ‘Buckley’ managed to sign for a phone intended for ‘Harris’ and then had the nerve to try to activate it using my contract!?

Cheeky monkey.

So, as with all superstitions, I’m not buying into this Friday 13th malarkey.

The person who has my phone should, though.

They’re on ‘THE LIST’.

NOTE: It has been brought to my attention that The Stroppy Sausage has published some material that may be deemed offensive (to bananas). At no time does The Stroppy Sausage intend to offend (bananas). The Stroppy Sausage condemns such behaviour (towards bananas). The Stroppy Sausage would like to whole-heartedly apologise for any offence caused (to bananas).

The Christmas sausage

Stroppy didn't like taking the bus at Christmas




What? That’s all I’ve heard for the last few months, why should my blog be any different?

So this is the festive season.

It’s the time of year when wide-eyed children wait for Santa to come down the chimney with a sack full of toys; maybe they will hear the jangle of Rudolph’s bells as he flies away.

If they’re lucky maybe Santa will drink the glass of brandy left for him on the fireplace.

A time of joy and happiness around the world.

A time of… zzzzzzzzzz

Sorry, I fell asleep.

It’s all so very boring, don’t you think?

This apparent ‘magic’ created by the legend of Santa Claus lost its effect on me when I was around five years old and realised that we don’t have a chimney. My parents tried remove the look of horror from my face by assuring me that Santa had a magic key to come in through the front door.

But, come on, that’s not very ‘Santa Claus’ now is it?

What next? Santa Claus didn’t have his reindeer with him when he visited the local shopping centre because he actually travels the world on the magic megabus!?


Good grief.

Let’s just stop and think logically for a second here.

What would you actually do if a fat old man managed to get into your house on Christmas Eve? Kick two festive bells out of him? I thought as much…

Santa is a burglar.

What would you do if you found nine reindeer, just hanging out on top of your house? More importantly – how exactly does one get reindeer poo off the roof!?

There are an estimated SEVEN BILLION people in the world. Let’s assume Santa has a glass of brandy/whiskey/tequila at every house he visits – sorry Santa, but in most of the world drink-driving is illegal.

So, I guess next Christmas is cancelled – you’re looking at a minimum year-long driving ban (assuming you need a license to drive nine flying-moose, sorry, sorry, I mean ‘reindeer’).

So, billions of counts of burglary, billions of counts of failing to clean up reindeer poo (Santa, come on, surely Mrs Claus could get you a poop-a-scoop for Christmas!?) and one massive count of drink-reindeer-driving.

You, sir, are going to jail.

Let’s also not forget that Santa is SUPPOSED TO BE GREEN. But was Santa happy with a green coat, like all the other elves?


I will never forgive Coca-Cola for making Santa a sell-out.

So, back to reality, Christmas is just another excuse for us to empty our pockets (I’m not talking about pocket-fluff, by the way, I’m talking about money).

The fact that CHRISTmas is actually a CHRISTian celebration of the birth of Jesus CHRIST, is almost completely irrelevant in this day-and-age.

Don’t worry, I’m not about to lift the lid on the can of worms that is religion.

But I will say that, as a society, we’re almost in a position where we are comfortable mocking the religious aspect of Christmas.


Although, ITV’s decision to cut Tim Minchin’s song, ‘Woody Allen-Jesus’, from the end of the Christmas edition of The Jonathan Ross Show, suggests otherwise.

Personally, I love it!

Another problem with Christmas is never knowing who to get a Christmas card for or what presents to buy people. Both problems almost always lead to levels of awkwardness that I have only ever associated with Christmas (and Nick Clegg).

Scenario One:

You exchange presents with friends/family and decide to open them together (any regular visitors to this blog will already know how much I hate opening presents in front of people).

You open their gift to you first.

And die a little inside.

Because they have, quite clearly, put so much more thought, effort or money, into getting your gift than you did for theirs.

So now you’re torn between the fact that you are delighted with what they have got you, and the fact that you know that you’re just such a very bad person…

Either way, you still have to sit there and watch them open your gift and pretend they like it.

Scenario Two:

You meet up with some friends to hand out Christmas cards, but someone you know has unexpectedly tagged along. So you hand out everyone’s cards, turn to the unexpected guest and say, “Oh, sorry. I must have forgotten yours, it’s at home, I’ll give it to you next time I see you.”

Shut up.

You didn’t ‘forget’ their card at all – and it’s not at home, because you didn’t write it. You didn’t even ‘forget’ to write it. You had no intention of sending this person a card at all.

The odds are that you don’t even like this person and they probably don’t like you either!

Of course, this scenario is made so much more awkward when this person presents you with a Christmas card – now, not only do you still hate each other, but they have the moral high-ground.

That’s it from the Stroppy Sausage for 2011. Have a wonderful New Year’s Eve!


In memory of my Uncle, John Heyworth.
Who unexpectedly passed away on Christmas day, aged 44.
Rock on, John.
20/06/1967 – 25/12/2011

The soggy sausage

Stroppy didn't want to go swimming

What do you like to do at 2am?


Me too.

What would you NOT like to be doing at 2am?

For me, there are many things, including: chasing a spider with a pint glass; talking to the cat; falling down the stairs.

Other than the above mentioned activities, which should usually be saved for, you know, never – there is something that I find even less appealing:


OK, I might be exaggerating slightly, I didn’t (and never plan to) go swimming at 2am. Other than the fact that it would be the dumbest thing anyone could ever do, I’m just not particularly big on swimming (although I did earn my 10-metre badge when I was 9).

So, no. 2am swimming did not occur.

I also didn’t fall down the stairs.

Although, I would much rather jump down the stairs head first in pursuit of a spider whilst shouting back up to the cat about my progress, than have to do deal with this problem again…

A burst pipe, at 2am.

Water everywhere.

Can you believe it?

I suppose we should have seen it coming really; the pipe in the downstairs bathroom had been a little bit leaky for a couple of days, like a slow drip that you could hear everywhere in the house. But the landlady promised to send a plumber at some point ‘over the next few days’ so I wasn’t alarmed.

I should have been alarmed.

There should have been alarm bells and flashing lights and warning signs. Instead there was just a dripping pipe – that wasn’t dripping anymore!

Wait… why is the pipe not dripping anymore?

Why can’t I hear the drip?

Actually, what is that I can hear? That almost sounds like running water…

I should have probably realised that there is only one thing that sounds like running water – and that would be running water.

Not to worry, though. I’m no DIY expert but turning off the house’s water supply seemed like the next logical step. It would have been a brilliant idea, too. In fact that’s probably the first thing a plumber would have done.

However, in trying to do this I came across our next problem – the stop-tap didn’t work.

So, to clarify, the STOP-tap didn’t STOP the water from coming in and, seeing as that was its only job, I now call it the ‘DOES NOTHING-tap’ (although sometimes I call it the ‘far too close to my bare buttocks when I’m trying to go to the toilet-tap’).

Next, in an absolute moment of genius, I decided to turn all of the taps and the shower on, in the hope that this would reduce the water, which was now gushing out of the pipe. The only thing I achieved in doing this was an increase in the water bill.

So not only was our house flooding, but we were paying for the privilege.

By this point the water was getting pretty bad. Actually, take a look for yourselves.

So, to cut a long-story short, we opened the front door, reached for the brooms (and the beer) and called a 24-hour plumber.

Who couldn’t make it.


The only other 24-hour plumber that we could find in the area demanded £120 payment over the phone before he came and a further £120 per half-hour – money that we just didn’t have.

So we swept for another hour before deciding that it was time to make the ultimate sacrifice. It was time to call the landlady.

Our landlady isn’t a scary lady. In fact, she’s actually quite nice. But still, it was 2am, nobody likes to be woken at 2am – especially to the sound of the Niagara Falls.

Besides, what could she do? We had already tried the only two 24-hour plumbers in the area.

I’ll tell you what she did.

She sent an electrician.

At last someone’s coming to help…

Wait a minute. An electrician..?

So the house is flooding and we’re all knackered from sweeping water out of the front door, but it’s OK. There’s an electrician on the way – to do some plumbing.

Luckily for us, Mr Electrician knew a few things about stopping water, and so the gushing water stopped. I could have kissed the man (although I didn’t – as far as plumber-electricians go, his breath was rancid).

One trip to Tesco later, looking for something to fix flood damage at a cost of no more than four of the Queen’s English pounds – in our pyjamas – we returned home (with a multipack of tea-towels) and went to bed.

Drama over.

Oh, and as for pyjamas – they’re manly and you know it.

I’ve always said that, one day, I’d like to have a family. You know, beautiful wife that doesn’t like to get her hands dirty, maybe a couple of kids. Just picture the stereotypical family from any Disney Christmas film and that’s pretty much what I’ve been aiming for (except I’m hoping none of them turn out to be cartoons).

I may have to reassess this now.

I definitely need to marry a plumber.

Or an electrician, apparently.

The birthday sausage

He didn't look it, but Stroppy was a grateful sausage

Everyone looks forward to their birthday.

It’s the one day of the year when your friends and family stop, just for a second, to realise just how utterly brilliant you are – and the day comes complete with perks:

You’re older; you’re turning into a wise old sausage now.

There are presents; everyone likes presents.

You get lots of attention; it’s always nice to be in the limelight, right?

Cake; you’re never too far from an iced-strawberry sponge on your birthday.

So with all that said, it’s fair to say that I absolutely…



Do not look forward to my birthday. Ever.
(Although I do laugh whenever I hear the word ‘sponge’)

Firstly, I’m older; I’m one year closer to being dead.

How do I know this? Wisdom.

There are presents; brilliant – but there’s also the awkwardness of having to give ‘the reaction’ once you’ve opened them. You know which one I mean; when you make a point of showing just how grateful you are, maybe with an over-the-top “WOW THANKS” for something as simple as a Walnut Whip.

I’m not saying I don’t like a Walnut Whip every now and again, but I’m yet to come across one that makes me act like I’ve just laid a golden egg.

I would love to lay an egg.

What if people, who see my bodged reaction, start thinking I like Walnut Whip SO much that, for the rest of my life, all anyone ever gets me for my birthday is some chocolate-nut thing? No thank you.

I’m not the most animated of people, either. I could be jubilant that you’ve just bought me a white chocolate Toblerone and a box of Lego, but whenever I try to give ‘the reaction’ I try so hard that I either end up sounding sarcastic or, even worse, looking like I’m trying to hide the fact that I’m disappointed (although, seriously, I would be genuinely devastated if someone actually got me a Walnut Whip for my birthday – don’t you love me?).

For this reason, as grateful as I am to receive them, I like to open my presents in private – preferably in my room.

Or in a cave.

Onto another birthday perk; you get lots of attention.

Justin Bieber gets lots of attention.

I am not Justin Bieber.

Am I shy? No I’m not, but just the thought of being the center of attention makes me cringe. It’s not for me.

Last year, on my birthday, I walked into a lecture at my university – only for most of the class to break into a chorus of ‘happy birthday’ – easily the most cringe-worthy moment of the entire year. It was bad enough that I was standing in front of around 25 people all singing to me, but the cringe meter hit the danger mark around 30 seconds in, when people were getting bored of singing it, so it started trailing off (like when old people sing at Christmas but fall asleep half-way through). Then, of course, came the compulsory “HIP HIP HOORAY.” By this point most people were either asleep or had left the room, leaving one person to shout “HIP HIP” – followed by complete silence.

A tumbleweed may have bobbled past, I forget.

A similar thing happened this year at the local Chinese restaurant: Imagine lots of Chinese people (don’t worry, I’m going somewhere with this); now imagine lots of Chinese people staring directly at you as your friends sing happy birthday.

Does anyone know the Chinese for CRINGE?

If you’d like to wish me happy birthday, great thank you! But put it in a card, or say it on my Twitter or Facebook page, don’t put me in a situation where I feel like I’m having that ‘turning up for class with no clothes on’ dream, please.

Finally, there’s cake;

I like cake.

So there it is. In case anyone was curious, I’m now 24. Next year I’ll be a quarter century old – like a tree. I can see that strop being a big one. I’m giving you a whole year to brace yourselves.

All moaning aside, I actually had a brilliant birthday this year.

To everyone who bought me presents or cards, said happy birthday or even embarrassed me in the presence of our Chinese brethren – BIG THANK YOU!

What? I’m not being sarcastic!

See what I mean?

The frozen sausage

Stroppy was a cold, cold sausage

I would like to think I’m a pretty simple man.

There aren’t too many luxuries that I couldn’t live without.

Don’t get me wrong, the day someone tells me I can’t have cheese grated onto my beans on toast will be a sad day;

The day the world runs out of tea bags… No, I can’t even finish that sentence.

But there is one luxury, if you can call it that, I absolutely cannot live without; I demand it; I would be more than prepared to throw all of my proverbial toys out of any given proverbial pram to get it.

I can’t stress this enough.

I have to be warm.

My bed, for example, has four layers of thick blankets and a duvet. It is the bed to end all beds. Actually, I challenge anyone who thinks their bed could be warmer than mine to get in touch (so I can tell you how wrong you are).

When it’s remotely chilly, I won’t go outside unless I’m wearing a jumper, a coat, gloves and scarf – minimum. To me November has been chilly so far this year. So, true to form, I have looked good this month.

It’s pretty safe to say that fashion goes out of the window when I want to be warm; the warmest thing I own is a hideous orange and brown-striped hoody. So, needless to say, I wear that a lot. Come to think of it, people probably think I’m a tramp.

I do own other clothes.

So, yes, I like to be warm. I dislike anything that causes me to feel chilly (I’m probably going to be one of those old people who constantly complains about the draft – when there isn’t a draft).

This leads me nicely into the point of this post.

I am chilly. I’m absolutely freezing.

You know that thing that happens to your nipples when you’re cold? Well my nipples have been like this continuously for an entire week. I’m tired. My nipples are tired.

One of the worst things that could ever happen to me is the death of the boiler during winter. But the boiler is dead, or it’s dying. Whichever way you look at it, our boiler is on its backside right now and it’s my nipples that are paying the price.

When we first moved into this house the boiler didn’t work. A man came to fix it, his name was Rod. It turns out his name wasn’t actually Rod but he answered to it for a good few hours so how were we supposed to know any better?

No-name-Rod supposedly fixed the boiler and everything seemed to be going well… Until we decided we wanted to use the central heating.

They (women) say men can’t multitask (apparently simultaneously scratching and burping doesn’t count) and if you believe this then you will agree that my boiler is a man-boiler. It will heat the water, but not the house.

When we ask it to do both it gets confused, makes some interesting banging sounds, and then goes to sleep – refusing to heat anything at all.

We called another repairman, whose name I didn’t actually get (probably Rod) and he ‘fixed’ the boiler. His last words before he left were, “see how you get on with that.” Hours later the boiler broke again – leading me to believe that Rod number two spent an hour replacing, what I can only assume, were perfectly functional parts of the boiler.

So now we’re waiting on another Rod, one who knows how to fix a boiler hopefully.

In the meantime, I’m finding it almost impossible to get out of my ridiculously warm bed in the mornings because we live in a fridge. I’m pretty sure it’s warmer outside. As for the shower, have you ever been naked in a fridge? That’s pretty much what it feels like when I get out of the shower right now.

I might just stop showering, especially if people think I’m a tramp anyway.

So maybe I’ve had problems with the boiler; at the end of the day, I might have to wait a little longer (although I hope not) but it will get sorted and I’ll be cosy and warm again, finding other things to strop over.

It won’t be a cosy winter for those living in fuel poverty.

Most of these people probably have perfectly functional boilers, but won’t be using them.

The latest fuel poverty statistics report suggests that there were 4million UK households living in fuel poverty in 2009. Back in 2001 it affected 1.7million homes. That’s an increase of 2.3million; Quite a cock-up, considering 2001 was the year the government launched its fuel poverty strategy.

On one hand this increase in fuel poverty shouldn’t come as a surprise, after all, there’s been no hiding from the well-publicised increase in energy prices. But on the other hand, as part of the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000, the government not only has a moral obligation to eradicate fuel poverty, but it has a legal duty to do so.

If I acted against government legislature I would expect to be punished by the long arm of the law. Who will be punished for this legal obligation not being met? I could hazard a guess. Nobody. This sausage thinks that the words ‘government’ and ‘accountability’ need to be associated with each other far more frequently.

Or shall we just ignore fuel poverty and the deepening crisis that numerous governments have failed to fully address?

There are campaigns to end fuel poverty – but in the meantime anyone finding themselves struggling with the bills this winter, or ever, should check out the plug the debt initiative – a joint venture between Consumer Focus and Citizens Advice.

For me, I guess it’s plenty of tea (assuming the world hasn’t ran out) and a hot water bottle to keep me warm until the boiler gets fixed, assuming Rod number three knows how to fix a boiler.

I’m sure a few of you will be thinking that I’m overreacting slightly, but we’ve already established that I’m a skinny sausage – I’m not well insulated!

I need warmth.

How many days until summer?

The skinny sausage

Stroppy was noticeably thinner than the other sausages

I’m pretty thin.

OK, I’m smaller than most.

Who am I kidding? I’m probably the skinniest man I’ve ever met – maybe.

Of course, being so thin, I’ve been on the receiving end of many skinny-themed remarks over the years.

I thought I’d heard them all…

I constantly find myself jumping over cracks in the pavement for fear of disappearing.

I wear armbands when I’m on the toilet so I don’t fall in and drown.

On a windy day, if you can’t find me, try looking up. I’m probably floating away.

I have an eating disorder.

I… Wait… What was that last one again?

I can’t decide what’s worse, the fact that someone would instinctively think I have an eating disorder from looking at me, or that this diagnosis has come from a builder-cum-lorry driver who clearly fancies his chances as a doctor-cum-physician.

You, sir, should stick to your day job.

For anyone who knows me, this will probably be hard to believe, but between 14-16 years old I was actually one of the tallest in my year group. Of course, there were always the few proverbial ‘bean poles’ that towered over the rest of us like, well, bean poles, obviously.

Still, I was still pretty tall for my age.

At 16 I weighed around nine stone (126lbs/57kg) and looked down on most at just under six-feet-tall. The point I’m trying to make is that I was happy with my height and general build.

As far as I was concerned I was growing into a man sausage (sounds well).

But I wasn’t; I wasn’t growing at all.

Now, at 24, I weigh around nine stone (126lbs/57kg) and still find myself looking down on most (children, midgets and people with no legs) at just under six-feet-tall. I am a man-child.

This confuses me. It’s not like I don’t eat. Actually, I eat regularly. I love my food.

What I don’t love is the pregnant sticky-out belly that I get when I’ve had one too many Nutri-Grain bars. I also don’t love how my parents buy me Nutri-Grain bars faster than I can eat them. I don’t even like Nutri-Grain bars. Buy me something useful – like armbands, for when I’m on the toilet.

So at 57kg, admittedly I’m underweight (and by some way according NHS guidance). Perhaps I haven’t managed my diet properly. Perhaps the NHS guidance was put together by a team of builder-cum-lorry drivers? Maybe not, but all I know is I’m fine. I feel fine. I feel healthy.

I do not suffer from an eating disorder.

However, eating disorder charity Beat predicts that over 1.6million people in the UK are affected by an eating disorder.

Naturally, I hear ‘eating disorder’ and immediately my mind skips to anorexia and bulimia. I’m sure I’m not on my own here – and rightly so, they are serious conditions after all. It is, however, also worth noting that there are other forms of eating disorder, such as binge eating disorder and EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified). All just as serious as bulimia and anorexia.

In 2008 former deputy prime minister John Prescott revealed he had been living with bulimia, a revelation that engaged the media and raised awareness for eating disorders in men.

Fantastic. The media jump on the bandwagon; everyone’s excited about raised awareness for male eating disorders. But is anyone going to mention that it’s probably the media’s fault that many people believed only women were susceptible in the first place?

Do we not recall the relentless push for everyone to be size zero, and thus, about as attractive as the prospect of putting a toenail up your nose?


I guess I’m just a skinny sausage with a fat chip on my shoulder…

The sick, sick sausage

Stroppy's liver was less than happy with him

I hate to alarm you – but last weekend I was so sick my friend called an ambulance.

Don’t worry, I’m fine.

If you had asked me at the time – I was going to die.

But I wasn’t.

Actually, I was feeling the effects of the night before. You might call this a hangover. I don’t. I call it THE END OF THE WORLD!

We’ve all been there, the morning after.

The initial realisation that, yes, you are actually conscious and, yes, your face hurts (and you’re going to die, obviously).

This is usually followed by attempting the arduous hangover tasks of opening your eyes and then, you know, moving. I’m not saying that the execution of these tasks is always perfect, but it’s the taking part that counts, right?


When there’s a race between your legs and your belly – your legs wanting to get to the bathroom and your belly wanting to throw up before you get there – it’s definitely the winning that counts. Unfortunately for me belly was slightly faster, causing me to have one of those moments where you realise: “uh-oh, I’m not going to make it.” So for me the fun and games all started at the kitchen sink.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not much of a drinker, so a hangover isn’t remotely new to me; many a morning have I woken up and wished that I hadn’t drank the night before. But this time I couldn’t even remember the night before.

This was no ordinary hangover.

If Hitler was a hangover, this was Hitler.

I found myself unable to carry out some of the basics. Standing up is pretty basic – I just couldn’t do it! I had no balance whatsoever (Maybe my drink was spiked, who knows?).

Then there was the throwing up – good grief the throwing up. I won’t go into too much detail on this, but let’s just say it was messy and frequent. We’ll leave that there.

Luckily for me, I live with one of my best friends, who looked after me and did whatever it is that people can do for you in this situation – which was basically just watch me throw up. But still, I appreciated it.

The nice lady from NHS direct decided that the ‘symptoms’ that I was showing weren’t normal and an ambulance was sent.

The paramedics checked me over and were happy enough that I would be fine. As far as I was concerned I was dying and we may as-well skip the ambulance and take me straight to the morgue.

As it turns out, after nine hours of hell, I physically couldn’t be sick anymore. I fell asleep and woke up several hours later with that ‘THANK GOD’ feeling that we all get after a hangover nap (in my case it was more a coma than a nap but I’ll let that slide).

It took a few days to get back to normality, but everything was fine.

But this isn’t the case for everyone – brace yourself, this is about to get depressing.

Across the UK people have developed all sorts of alcohol-related illnesses thanks to their drinking habits or drinking problems. Liver problems are the most common and can even lead to people needing new livers. The problem with this is that there aren’t enough organ donors compared to the amount of people actually looking for new organs. This doesn’t surprise me even a little bit, I’m sure that I’m not on my own in saying that I have no plans to register as an organ donor. However selfish this may seem, these body parts are mine, they are meant to be inside me. Not you.

Anyway, due to the shortage of donors, criteria has been put in place to help the ‘best-matched’ candidates receive the organs that are available. Patient details are loaded into a computer and matched up with the criteria.

Brilliant. But what about the people who aren’t considered as a ‘best match’ by the NHS Super Nintendo? What about the people who drink themselves silly through negligence or even through a genuine drinking problem? The harsh truth is that, in many cases, they die.

This is why it’s so important for us to look after ourselves. The attitude that the NHS seems to have adopted is one of ‘if you don’t look after yourself, we won’t look after you either.’ Whether or not this attitude is justified is up for debate but it highlights the responsibility we have to look after ourselves. There is only so much that charities, like Drinkaware and Alcohol Concern, can do – although both websites are handy if you do think you have a drinking problem.

So, it’s pretty safe to say that, although I don’t have a drinking problem, I’m off the alcohol for the foreseeable future (just the thought of drinking makes my stomach curl).

I’ve had a chat with my liver and we’re friends again.

Secretly, though, I think it’s considering leaving me for another digestive system.

Oh and for anyone who’s still waiting for me to say it; yes, an ambulance came because I had a hangover…

The balding sausage

Coffee and caffeine shampoo are the same to Stroppy Sausage

Hair loss is something that men don’t like to talk about.

Strangely it’s up there on the ‘taboo conversations’ list with love songs, our feelings and problems with our danglers…

Thankfully, I have no ‘dangler problems’ to report, touch wood (pun intended).

As for hair loss, I wish I could say the same.
But I can’t.

At the risk of causing a collective cringe amongst men everywhere, I will be talking about it!

For my entire adult life I have had fairly long hair – I’m talking shoulder length at its longest. Basically, I’ve had a mop on my head for the past seven years. But now I, like so many others, have been struck by the early signs of the curse of hereditary hair loss.

Hereditary; the term scientists invented to allow the blaming of our parents for pretty much everything that is wrong with us.

Personally I’m not sure which is worse – the fact that I’m losing my hair because of my dad, or the fact that I’m going to look like him once I have! That’s not a swipe at my dad, by the way – I’m just saying that I don’t think I’m ready to look like a 63-year-old just yet!

My hair is only thinning right now so I’m still a few years away from this being too much of an issue – but I know what’s coming and I don’t like it.

It’s not even like I’m one of those guys who looks good with no hair. You just can’t pull it off when your face is as long, and your head is as bumpy, as mine (yet another thing that father has to answer for).

Now I’m at the stage where I mourn the loss of every single hair that falls out when I’m in the shower.

I’m staring at other men’s foreheads as they walk past just to compare our receding hairlines. If mine is worse, that man goes on the list (of people whose heads are getting shaved while they sleep).

Quite clearly hair loss isn’t my only problem; I’m obviously losing my marbles because of this.

So what can I do? Moan? Obviously.

But wait, there are other answers?

Many look to tackle hair loss by rubbing things into their head.

Regaine foam and Alpecin shampoo are two of the most popular choices and both claim to have success in the fight against hair loss.

Apparently ‘It has been proven that the activating caffeine ingredient in Alpecin shampoo can increase hair growth by slowing down the effects of hereditary hair loss.’

Right, OK. That’s what the bottle says. But, based on my continued use of this product, I believe I would have seen similar results from rubbing the leftovers of my morning coffee directly onto my head. My head would still receive caffeine, but I wouldn’t have to pay an extra £4.95 for the privilege (and my hair still wouldn’t be any thicker).

Granted, some people may be willing to pay £4.95 every few months in order to not smell like coffee. But I am not. Plus I like the smell of coffee. 1-0 to coffee.

Oh and you can’t drink shampoo. 2-0 to coffee.

Another option against hair loss is to have a hair transplant; a procedure that involves a lot of pain and a lot of money.

For anyone who doesn’t know, the procedure involves hair being taken from one side of the head and stuck into the other side (not the most eloquent way of putting it, I know).

Manchester United footballer Wayne Rooney recently had this done, reportedly spending over £32,000 in the process. That’s around the same as 6,500 bottles of Alpecin – or 16,000 cups of coffee.

3-0 to coffee.

On the off-chance that I did have £32,000 down the back of my settee (which I don’t) I’m pretty sure I still wouldn’t have a hair transplant – mainly because my pain threshold is just too low. Growing hair shouldn’t hurt, it hasn’t hurt for 23 years and I’m not about to let it!

By the way, if you think this procedure doesn’t sound painful, take a look at this video of Wayne Rooney during his hair transplant…

Luckily for Wayne Rooney, he hasn’t quite made it onto ‘the list’. Maybe after another £32,000.

As I wind my strop down, I’ll say it through gritted teeth; it seems there is literally no way of preventing hair loss without going to almost unreachable extremes.

Does anyone want their hair to fall out? No.

Should we accept that one way or another it’s going to happen? Probably.

Should people, with better hair than me, still be sleeping with one eye open?