When I was little and we lived in the 'old house' we had a really cool neighbour.
His name was Barry and he was probably in his mid-twenties at the time. He lived with his wife and son who was about three years old.
I was around six when I decided that I wanted Barry to be my Dad.
It wasn't that I didn't love my Dad - I did. But Barry had a beautiful hairy chest and he used to play out in the sun with us kids with his shirt off. Hairy chests are a novelty in my - very anglo-saxon - family. Anyway, I wanted Barry and his hairy chest to be my Dad, and I obviously never told anyone this.
This was around the same time that I used to get a cheap six-year-old's thrill from looking at the men's underwear pages of my Mom's Grattans catalogue. So you can see that there were tell-tale signs of where this was all heading from an early age.
Anyway, back at my Mom's house on Thursday evening, she asks me if I'll drop her off at her friends house. She keeps in touch with the woman who used to live across the road from the 'old house' and who looks a lot like Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie. She has the tight perm and the glasses and the big nose and everything.
I'm dropping Mom off and Tootsie asks me to come in and 'have some cake'. Not an offer I'm likely to refuse.
Well who should be there, but Barry himself. I haven't seen him for the best part of thirty years. He must be nearly sixty now.
I've never been so put off my cake. I didn't know where to look as he shook my hand, shirt open three buttons and both formidable chest and chest hair still very much in evidence.
He gave me this killer smile, said 'I remember when you used to sit on my knee', laughed, and walked off.
I dropped my slice of lemon drizzle, made my excuses and left.
'What was all that about last night?' asked my Mom the next day, 'why did you rush off?'.
Well, I told her all about my boyhood crush, whilst inside I was dying of shame that he had, once again, made my knees quiver.
'It's a shame you didn't stick around then' she said, 'you could have met his new boyfriend'.
Ye gods. I mean, I know we have the nicest bus, but is everyone getting on board it these days?