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?

No?

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

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The beardless sausage

Stroppy Sausage can't grow a beard this Movember

So I’ll be starting with a confession; I am, in all honesty, not an actual sausage. Congratulations if you figured this out beforehand!

There is, however, one trait that I share with the sausage – the inability to grow facial hair. There, I said it. Not only does the sausage not have the ability to grow hair, but it also doesn’t have a face.

I have a face.

I also have a penis. So I’m a man, right? Right. Except I can’t grow facial hair and, while younger men sport some pretty impressive face-bushes, I can’t help but feel less manly (despite the giveaway penis).

Strangely, a hairy face is almost like a badge of honour for some, “look how manly I am”. If we’re measuring manliness by the amount of hair on a man’s face, my current affiliation to the male gender could be under threat.

When I was younger I always thought that when I grew up I’d have a beard, just because beards are what grownups have right? But I’m 23 now; I’ve been an adult for almost SEVEN years. I don’t have a beard.

Usually this is a complex that I push to the back of my mind and only surfaces when I have to look one of those younger, hairy, man-children in the face. But not this month…

This month is ‘No Shave November’ or ‘Movember‘. According to The Urban Dictionary, this is when men all over the world down razors for a month and get hairy. This is a definite no-win situation for me. Do I participate and become the laughing-stock of The Society of Bearded Gentlemen because I can’t grow facial hair? Or do I not participate and be seen as the Scrooge who didn’t take part?

What is a sausage to do!?

Whoever came up with this idea is not on my Christmas card list and has ruined my life for an entire month! For thirty days and thirty nights everything will be about facial hair and my lack thereof.

I can just see it now:

I’ll be in the pub waiting to get a drink and BOOM – the barman has a beard!

I’ll be at KFC. I’ll be tucking into a boneless banquet for one when I will glance upwards – and drop my chicken fillet in horror as I realise Colonel Sanders was a hairy-faced man.

The doorbell will ring. Mr Postman has a parcel for me? Thanks Mr Postman! I wonder if Mr Postman knows that his mammoth beard has its own post code. I wonder if Mr Postman knows that I hate him.

I could go on. I won’t, but on a side note you should probably take a good look at Colonel Sanders and try to convince me that he isn’t Rolf Harris.

That is definitely Rolf Harris.

Jokes aside, let’s be fair for a second. There is actually a serious side to ‘Movember’ that needs to be acknowledged; a lot of people are taking part in ‘Movember’ to help raise money for wonderful causes such as The Multiple Sclerosis Trust, Macmillan Cancer Support, Mind and Everyman. ‘Movember’ was initially set up to raise money specifically for testicular cancer, but since this has spread to charities all over the world. I can’t help but break briefly from my strop to tip my cap to society for taking such a mass act of absolute stupidity and using it as a method to help raise money for charity. For this the human race is amazing.

So Movember could be a stroke of genius, but that doesn’t change the fact that I still don’t have my beard.

Actually, should I be moaning about the fact that I can’t grow facial hair? Is facial hair even that great? I predict (based on nothing) that with a reasonably bushy beard, the face is at least 75% more flammable.

Apparently women aren’t particularly fond of facial hair either. Many women are supposedly refusing to get under the covers with their partners this month, causing many to rebrand ‘No Shave November’ as ‘No SEX November’, which funnily enough I will be participating in.

Therefore beards repel women and set fire to your face.

So why do I still want one!?

Good luck to everyone raising money for charity this Movember!