I’ve been into Leeds city centre this morning, a wingman for my wife during her assignment to retrieve her newly altered camel coat. Admittedly not a scenario I envisage that’ll ever be incorporated into the screenplay of a Mission Impossible movie production. However, I’ll endeavour to make this yarn as interesting as a tale about re-tailored camel coats can be.

I don’t know a great deal about the clothing business, other than not to venture out and about in the ‘new clothes’ adorned by the emperor in the Hans Christian Anderson tale of that name. Particularly on a cold winters day when you risk becoming an empress.

I’m particularly cautious when it comes to the outdoor clothing I don. A consequence of a topless stroll along the promenade during a vacation in Salou, Spain in 1998, when my excessive back hair was mistaken by animal rights activists as me wearing furs. This leading to a frank discussion with an activist called Ernest……… Or was that an earnest discussion with an activist called Frank?!…… My memory grows ever worse as middle-age encompasses me.

Anyhow, during a heated exchange the activists, thinking I was adorning animal fur, attempted to remove my own natural pelt. I don’t know which was worse, the pain of a back wax without wax, or being inadvertently turned inside out for the first time in my life.

My assailants were thankfully eventually brought to justice when DNA from the fur balls they coughed up placed them at the scene. I eventually put this trauma to the back of my mind, but to this day whenever I hear Diana Ross sing ‘Upside Down, Inside Out’ I develop a rash!

Anyhow, during this morning’s bus journey into town I inquired what alteration Karen had requested on her expensive dromedary pelted windbreaker.

“What the heck is a dromedary pelted windbreaker?” questioned my confused looking betrothed.

“It’s a camel coat!” I informed my spouse with an unnecessarily patronising tone.

“Why the hell did you not just say camel coat, instead of those confounding locutions of pretension?!” Karen spouted disapprovingly at my off hand response.

“What the hell does confounding locutions of pretension mean?!” I inquired, highlighting my missus’ equally over grandiose grammar.

“It means the gratuitous use of over-confusing words when there’s simpler, less baffling, options available.” Mrs S sought to clarify.

“I didn’t realise you were such a wordsmith, Karen.” I derided sarcastically

“I’m a woman of hidden depths……… A veritable lexilogical goddess cut from the same erudite cloth as that Welsh woman in Hi-De-Hi….. The one who used to talk over the tannoy.” my beloved proudly, but confusingly, informed me

“Gladys Pugh?!” I queried in confirmation.

“Was she not called Peggy?” Karen countered.

“No, Peggy was the gormless chalet maid with gigs who’d aspirations of becoming a Maplin’s yellowcoat……. The one played by Su Pollard.” I affirmed.

“Well I’m definitely not as thick as her!” my trouble and strife opined forcefully.

“To be honest, Karen, I don’t recall Gladys Pugh being the sharpest tool in the box either….. Certainly not as a comparison to make if you’re attempting to convey your erudition.” yours truly opined.

“Ok then, clever clogs….. Who is a suitable woman to compare myself to if I wanted to paint myself as an articulate lady with an impressive vocabulary?!” Karen blustered.

“Oh, I don’t know! There’s loads of intelligent women around” I responded irritably. Prior to adding “But if memory serves me correct Gladys Pugh wasn’t one of them!”

“What about Justin Timberland?” the missus queried.

“Well, as he’s a man and really called Justin Timberlake, I’d definitely avoid utilising that comparison if you want to sell yourself as a women of intellect!!” I thoughtfully advised my wife.

“Gladys Pugh it is then!” Karen decided. Prior to exclaiming loudly to bemused bus passengers “Morning campers!….. Hi-de-Hi!!

After a short silence from the assembled passengers I succumbed to Karen’s glare,, consequently muttering a begrudged “Ho-de-Ho!”