Like many of us I'm sure, I have a favourite "go-to garment". In my case it's a big, thick, woollen jersey. Sort of like a good mattress, a nice warm bath and a gin
and tonic all rolled into one. You know what I mean.
It's the item of clothing I grab in those important times of need.
Like when your other half demands a Sunday cuppa in bed and the heat pump hasn't taken the chill out of the morning yet. Or when you are wandering round inside, topless after your shower, and the courier knocks on the door demanding an urgent signature. Sound familiar?
That's me wandering around topless by the way. Not Mrs P.
Anyway. As I say I have such an emergency garment.
According to the woman in our house, who obviously must hold multiple university degrees in fashion and shopping, it is a decidedly ugly item of clothing and should not, in any circumstances, be worn anywhere but within the confines of our own humble abode.
Naturally, because I would never wish to embarrass my beloved, I adhere to that rigid rule. Except when there's an emergency. Like the other day.
Let me explain.
She's got an appointment in town and I, as the presently unemployed Sonny to her Cher, have to go and pick her up.
Obviously, because I'm a bloke and I've left it to the last minute, I'm running late. Outside the chill is threatening to make a grown man cry so I grab the go-to jersey by the door, pull it on over my head and race for the car.
Ten minutes later I'm at the pick-up spot. But Mrs P isn't.
A text message informs me she'll be another 20 minutes so, warm and cosy in my attire, I decide to take a little stroll down the street to fill in the time.
Now ordinarily this would not, I assume, cause much of a stir.
But this time I'm wearing my big, ugly blue jersey, a thick beanie pulled down over my ears and a pair of those fleecy trackpants that you have in the closet for the odd cold day in the garden. The entire mismatched ensemble is completed by the pair of huge tramping boots I've been sticking on lately in a bid to wear in before summer just in case I decide to walk further than the BP Wild Bean down the road for a coffee.
It doesn't help that without a daily job to get up and go to facial hair is once again prevalent.
So all in all it would be fair to say I look a little, er, rough.
Having said that I was blissfully unaware of my appearance as I wandered along a street in a nice part of town, taking a keen interest in the houses as I ambled along, picking up ideas and colour schemes for the DIY projects I know Mrs P will have on her radar.
At least that's what I knew I was doing.
It seems some of the residents may have thought otherwise and not 10 minutes into my stroll I was confronted by a rather large guy and his equally large dog.
"Can I help you?," he asked, with a firmness of accusatory tone that left me wondering if he was some sort of Government agent and I had actually stolen the Crown Jewels or conducted some other heinous crime.
As I began a faltering explanation of what I was doing on the street, which I'm sure made me look even more guilty, another bloke appeared.
"Is that you Pagey?," he asked.
Beneath my beanie and shabby appearance I searched hard for recognition in his features and an old football mate began to take shape. Thank goodness.
He vouched for my character and Dog Man wandered back to his HQ.
"It's a good neighbourhood," said Old Mate proudly. "We all watch out for each other. One of the ladies down the road rang up and said they'd seen a rough-looking guy in a big blue jersey walking about so we thought we should check.
"And she was right. You do look rough," he laughed.
Naturally, I congratulated him on the success of the operation and filled him in on my circumstances. Later, back at the waiting point, I took off the jersey which had identified me as a possible villain and threw it in the back seat, preferring the cold to any further possible complications.
And a short while later, Mrs P turned up and inquired how I'd been filling in my time.
Before I'd had a chance to get the full story out though she had a tip for me.
It was cold, she said. I should put a jersey on.
• Kevin Page is a teller of tall tales with a firm belief too much serious news gives you frown lines. Feel free to share stories to firstname.lastname@example.org .