Spiders, it seems, are the secret to machismo. Women, asked by pollsters what vital ingredient marks out a real man, were in broad agreement: real men are unfazed by wildlife in the bathtub. They also support their local football team, drive their own car and earn more than their wives. So finds the stain removal firm, Dr Beckmann which commissioned the survey on household heroes. Quite why a stain removal firm wishes to plumb machismo is a mystery to me, but I could have saved them the trouble, for there is nothing I don't know about manliness. Why, I even possess many of the essential attributes myself.
A real man, ladies, is someone who:
fearlessly, when a menacing midnight sound wakes the household, plunges through the darkness and, without thought for his own wellbeing, swabs the pool of childish vomit on the landing.
grabs a knife in an emergency and, with a skilfully improvised stew, succours his defeated wife and little ones.
with muscled vigour that brooks no dissent, grabs at his woman and thrusts a Champneys voucher into her nappy bag.
hurtles resolutely through the witching hours to save his mother-in-law from a station taxi fare.
armed only with a biro and his own quick wit, stands shoulder to shoulder with his youngest in face of the eight times table.
What would you say makes a real man?