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A Man of Yet a Few More Words - by Swan Morrison

Bend It Like Beckham

‘You can’t go out looking like that,’ said Mavis.

‘Why not?’ said George, ‘we’re only going to the shops.’

‘You look like a tramp who’s been sleeping in the park all night,’ Mavis replied. ‘You haven’t shaved; your hair is untidy; your jacket doesn’t go with those trousers and, anyway, those are your gardening trousers – there’s a rip in them where you caught them on that nail.’

George decided not to argue. It seemed important to his wife that he met a certain sartorial standard when they went out together, so he went off to change into something more in keeping with her concept of modern fashion.

An hour later, George and Mavis were walking through the shopping mall.

Suddenly, George stopped in his tracks and stared upwards at an enormous poster of David Beckham that dominated the window of one of the shops. The football star was sporting the very latest clothes to encourage the fashion-conscious to buy.

‘What are you looking at?’ asked Mavis.

George pointed to the picture of the celebrity. George was twenty years older than David Beckham and no one would have mistaken the facial features of one for the other. However, the scruffy appearance of the hair; the day or two of stubble on his chin; the jacket and the torn trousers were exactly the same as those that George had earlier modelled.

Mavis had to admit that the coincidental similarity was remarkable.

It was a week later when George came in from the garden to join Mavis for another expedition to the mall. He was, once again, but this time proudly, exhibiting a dishevelled hair style; designer stubble and his Beckhamesque jacket and trousers. He was even contemplating buying a bottle of Eau de Beckham in the mall to add a final olfactory touch to the ensemble.

‘You can’t go out looking like that,’ said Mavis.

‘Why not?’ George replied. ‘We’ll pass through the mall again, and I want to make sure that I’m right up-to-date on the fashion front.’

‘Dressing like David Beckham doesn’t suit a man of your age,’ said Mavis. ‘It’s like me dressing like Jessie J.’

George glanced at himself in the mirror and sighed. ‘That’s a good point,’ he said. ‘And once I start dressing at the cutting edge of fashion, there’ll be constant pressure to always be trend-setting. This month it’s my gardening clothes. Next month it might be my oily overalls. The month after that it could be all that stuff that doesn’t fit me that I haven’t worn since the 1980s. Where would it all end?’ George shook his head. ‘Soon, the paparazzi would follow me everywhere I went, trying to get photographs. I couldn’t stand the stress.’

George winked at Mavis and smiled. He then went off to shave and change into something less in keeping with her concept of modern fashion.