Snoring is the one talent I can be proud of '“Â Blaise Tapp
There are aren't too many thingsÂ I excel at in life. As a scrawny pre-teen I could not only produce a dolphin-esque screech from the bottom of my throat but I was able to name every European capital city.
These '˜talents' are now a distant memory as, thanks to years of subjecting my larynx to generous helpings of double Scotch, that freaky noise is, these days, more of a breathless wheeze while the collapse of the Soviet Bloc has seen the introduction of too many new nations to remember their capitals.Â
Reaching the age of 41 feeling like you haven't achieved anything truly remarkable in life is a sensation which I imagine afflicts a vast proportion of the population, which is why middle aged men take up golf or trade in the people carrier for a sports car.
ButÂ Mrs Tapp would beg to differ with my view that I am bang average because she tells me I have at least oneÂ remarkable talent '“Â snoring.
I am toldÂ my nocturnal noise-making is on another level, a racket so cacophonous it could wake an entire graveyard. The long-suffering Mrs Tapp has her favoured techniques, including pinching my nose until I wake up, pulling hairs out of my moustache and, when feeling especially strong, she pushes me off my back and onto my side.
And I am not taking only taking her word for it as friendships have been tested by my snore, including one pal who spent my stag do asleep in the hotel bath as it was the only way he could escape the din.
The doctorÂ was unequivocal '“Â it is all down to my weight. He is right.Â
WhenÂ I put my mind to it and shed more than a few pounds Mrs Tapp tends to get a good night's kip. The trouble isÂ I like pork pies and Mars Bars more than I cherish matrimonial harmony.
But a new survey suggestsÂ women aged between 25 and 34 are noisier sleepers than men of the same age.
The findings by the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital are so contrary to public perception they made front page news.
In these days of sexual equality it seems fitting that women are now on a par with men when it comes to annoying their partner.But they still won't be as good as me.