This past weekend I dug a hole in my back yard.
On the face of it that doesn't seem like the greatest of events - unless you lead a pretty mundane existence - but this hole, like some of the occurrences surrounding its excavation, was symbolic to say the least.
Let me explain.
I needed a big hole in my back yard to take a bit of overflow drainage. Mrs P wanted to get a bloke in to dig the hole. Worse still she wanted to pay him.
I bristled at the very suggestion and before you could say "tight arse" I had my rugged Man of the Land working gear on, I'd picked up my spade and the first sod had been turned.
Now I should point out here my usual job is office-based. I'm a keen DIY enthusiast like many blokes and here was an opportunity to get stuck into a bit of real man's man work.
Mud on the boots, sweat on the brow, stick the billy on the fire with one hand and roll a smoke with the other and tell a good old yarn round the campfire. That sort of thing.
Naturally it was a role I'd always wanted to play. And here was my opportunity. Except I was in my back garden in the middle of suburbia. Three metres from Mrs P's knickers fluttering innocently on the clothesline.
Anyway. I'm sure you get the point. This was an opportunity for a man to be a real man.
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And so I got stuck in.
I paced myself as the hole grew in size along with the pile of dirt next to it.
An hour or so in I removed my T-shirt, satisfyingly drenched in sweat. Real man sweat. I was living the dream.
Okay, so the look might have been more flab and man boobs than trim, taut and terrific with rippling abs but I didn't care. This was a job for a real man. And right now that was me. I had the sweaty T-shirt, muddy boots and pile of dirt to prove it.
From time to time Mrs P came to check a) how the job was going and b) whether my appearance was offending the neighbours.
Satisfied that it wasn't she offered to make me "lunch".
"Real men don't do lunch," I grunted, trying to sound like a had a smoke permanently lodged in the side of my gob like you see on the movies. "We only stop for smoko."
Obviously impressed with the fine specimen before her, my beloved laughed and offered a variety of sumptuous delights to help refuel her bloke.
"How about some smashed avocado on a toasted bun with a nice bit of salmon and relish?"
Aghast at the fact she hadn't grasped the significance of the occasion - for me - I made a face.
"Us hole diggers prefer pies," I said tossing up a big shovel full of dirt to impress her and almost dislocating my shoulder in the process.
"Mince is best. Even mince and cheese. As long as its your normal cheese. None of that fancy blue stuff," I continued, resisting the urge to go full on chauvinist and call her "love" or something equally inappropriate.
Luckily Mrs P caught on.
This was her man's moment in the sun literally. His time to shed the strictures of office work and do some real physical man's man stuff. So if she could help him live the dream a little longer she would.
We had no pies in the house but she would immediately go down to the bakery and get me one. Or two. If that's what real men ate, she said.
When she returned I sat down on the grass, my dirty, sweaty back against the fence and accepted the warm, brown paper bag Mrs P offered, content in the knowledge this pie (or two) would let my dream continue just a little bit longer.
How wrong can a man be. It seems all the real men had beaten me to the bakery and taken all the pies.
So unwittingly Mrs P had found a substitute which swiftly brought me back to reality and put me back in my place, or my office chair if you like.
She'd bought me a vegetarian quiche instead.
• 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 .