Odds and Sods – Dear Colin

This was written at the height of the Cold war – Reagan and Thatcher were determined to rattle the Soviet cage and the threat of nuclear holocaust seemed ridiculously close.  For those of you (I imagine most) who do not remember what that felt like, it felt like this…


I saw a famous Agony Aunt on the TV yesterday and, whilst it was not a particularly edifying experience, it did provide me with one or two interesting tit-bits to mull over.  For instance, did you realise that most letter writers really do claim to be writing on behalf of a friend; that the majority of letters are sent by men and that, in this particular woman’s experience, despite the fast changing nature of our modern world, the character of the problems she is asked to address remains just the same as it has ever been?  Well, it made me wonder…

Dear Colin
Before the nuclear ‘accident’ I was a normal teenager with a pregnant partner, 32 years my senior, who was married to somebody who, quite honestly, is just not coming back.  Since our re-emergence above ground however, I have found myself increasingly disturbed by her tendency to lose limbs at inopportune moments and have, thus, found myself increasingly distant from her.  Especially since she has been requisitioned by the Ministry of defence and deployed as a lighthouse.  I am now in a stable relationship with my neighbour, Geoff, and we are very happy together, despite the obvious disapproval of our neighbours, who have recently become hermaphrodite and will no longer share a bathroom.  My question is this: we both wish to have children.  Will this be possible?

Dear Jeremy
Almost certainly.  Frankly you both have as much chance of conceiving as any female survivor.

Dear Colin
I am a fairly average looking guy: four foot two, one good eye, a nostril that works almost all of the time etc, but I do have problems in attracting members of the opposite sex.  My mother says that it is because of my teenage complexion problems, and that once the zits have cleared up, girls will start to look me in the face again.  Is she right?

Dear Lonely
Spots?  How on earth do you find them amongst the scabs, flaking skin and running ulcers that constitute a healthy complexion?  The only people I know without spots are really no longer bothered by it.  High radiation levels are almost certainly good for the skin.  I suggest that your problems might lay elsewhere.  Cup your hands over your nose and mouth, exhale and then inhale sharply.  Has your nose stayed on?  That is a good sign.  May I suggest that you visit your doctor and ask him to perform a sperm count.  If you have some, and they are not too badly deformed, I suggest you make yourself a placard to that effect; I can almost guarantee good results (unless you are Belgian).  If your sperm count is low, try moving to Brussels.

Dear Colin
I am pregnant and very worried.  Last week I went for a scan and the baby looked like a three-legged dwarf dromedary.  Is this normal?

Dear Worried

Dear Colin
Before the accident my husband and I enjoyed an excellent sex life (often with one another) but as the nuclear winter has dragged on and on, the frequency of our lovemaking has dwindled away to never.  I have tried all I can think of to rekindle his desire, on occasions going completely naked under the lead peignoir, but to no avail.  We are the only two people currently breathing in our bunker, so I am certain he is not having an affair.  Have you any ideas?

Dear Frustrated
First of all, check that he is alive.  A cheap and simple way of doing this is to wave the front page of the Daily Mail in front of him.  If he jumps up and walks away, muttering darkly, he is alive and well.  If he shows interest in what it says, lure him to the door and lock him out, he’s really not worth the bother.  If he keels over to one side, his tongue lolling loosely from his mouth, his body limp and glowing, then I wouldn’t worry about warming his slippers any more.
If all else fails, move to Brussels and keep an eye open for a frustrated man with low sperm count.

Dear Colin
I voted Green at the last election, marched for CND and moved to a Nuclear Free Zone, yet, when the balloon went up, I still had to watch my nylon bathroom curtains melt, the garden shed explode in a ball of flame that scattered my gladioli over the best part of five counties, and my cat fly right across the road, landing on top of next-doors breakfast bar, three feet from his tail.  Who can I sue?

Dear Confused
Quite frankly, I don’t think you stand much of a chance with the government as, technically, they no longer exist.  CND are pretty well beyond reproach and as most of our armed forces have had their molecules evenly distributed across most of what used to be the free world, they will be very hard to track down.  Try the local council, but expect a long wait as it may take quite a while to track down a judge who is sufficiently ‘with it’ to operate in the current situation – but then, it always did…

Dear Colin
Since the conflagration I have met a very nice man.  He is all I have ever wanted: good looking, kind, honest, generous and with almost all of his own nose, but my mother will not let him in the house.  What should I do?

Dear Unhappy
Persuade your mother that she is looking peaky and that she could do with a good lungful of fresh air.  That should do the trick.

Dear Colin
In the months since the holocaust I have had a terrible problem with my ‘thing’ – or, to be more precise, my ‘things’…

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