You'll all (if you're American, that's y'all) be utterly pleased to know that my forthcoming book, entitled Ponies, pheasants and mud: the ultimate guide to falling over, is now almost finished.
My book, which is short-listed for the coveted The Must-Have Book 2006 award, will be available everywhere* from the 1st April, 2006. It’ll be priced at £9.99 and represent terrific value-for-money.
As a sign of my kindness, I have decided to give you, fellow A.netters, a snippet of my book, namely Chapter 1, which will undoubtedly bring you more pleasure and enjoyment than... umm... umm... muscles, oven-chips, homemade mayonnaise and beer. Enjoy.
Chapter 1: how to fall perfectly in 18 ½ easy steps
Step 1: while walking casually, with your hands in your pockets and your warm winter hat sitting snugly on your head, survey the area to find a path which meets the stringent path requirements
Step 2: the said stringent requirements mean that a path must: have a gradient of 1/10; curl snake-like; be 1 ½-foot wide; have a 100-foot sheer drop to the left-hand side; be totally devoid of grass, in place of which being thick, slurry-like orangey-brown mud; have a field to the right-hand side with two shaggy but extremely cute Shetland Ponies, one of which being hazelnut-brown, the other snow-white; have a National Trust ‘Beware: Landsides Possible’ sign; and, last but not least, have innumerable dumb pheasants, of the Pheasant Air Force (PAF), patrolling aimlessly, all of which moving slower than a 90-year-old granddad with a hernia
Step 3: proceed to the start of the path
Step 4: take a big, inward breath, and place your right-hand boot onto the path
Step 5: ensure your mind is free of all thoughts, except one: why do I always post random rubbish?
Step 6: GO, GO, GO!
Step 7: slide from side-to-side, unable to control yourself, like an amateur ice-skater
Step 8: grab onto a near-by branch for support (too convenient – it must be chopped down)
Step 9: steady yourself. Ahhh, it’s OK
. Phew. That was a close one. Wipe sweat from your forehead. No worries now, mate
Step 10: AND
YOU’RE OFF AGAIN! The clock’s ticking. Tick, tock
Step 11: you stumble, like walking about a strange house in darkness, and…
Step 12: you FALL - crash, bang, wallop – into the boot-deep mud. Yuck!
Step 13: you curse yourself, the path, the mud
Step 14: you hear the Shetland Ponies snigger to themselves – they won’t be getting any grass from you, that’s for sure – while the PAF departs quicker than fighter planes
Step 15: you stand, frustrated, and examine the mud, which is now everywhere
Step 16: you begin to laugh at the adventure and the fall – it’s not so bad after all. You give yourself a tap-on-the-back – with your mud-covered hand
Step 17: you think you could do it even better, purely for the amusement of the ponies
Step 18: you repeat steps 1-18 until the fall is perfected
Step 18 ½: you move on, satisfied with your achievement.
Now you’re obviously full of excitement, I’ll tell you the titles of two of my other chapters:
Chapter 2: the fall after the fall before
Chapter 3: let’s all fall together (in perfect harmony)
Would I have fallen once or twice (or three or four) times today into the mud? Surely not! And they were all accidental, too. Honest.
Whoever said laughing at yourself was good was totally wrong.
* In Tajikistan.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."