What I really want for Christmas: a man's wishlist

Revealed! What men desperately want ...

by Tom Mitchelson

Plumbing skills
I’d like to go on a course and learn how to plumb. I no longer want to be frightened by the word ballcock. In the past if someone said, ‘there’s a leak,’ I shuffled my feet and hung my head. It was emasculating. With this gift I could just grab a spanner, go under the sink for a bit and emerge with my manliness uncompromised.

A penguin
There’s a mystery to penguins. They’re inscrutable, noble, with a quiet dignity I’ve always admired. Since the age of three, when I carried around a small, stuffed one, bought at a boot sale, I’ve wanted one as a pet. I know he’d prefer more wintry conditions than I can offer but I’d give him regular baths and keep the freezer stocked with ice. I’d take him for walks and we’d have adventures.

An Elvis catsuit
Like the ones Elvis wore in the ‘70s when he was getting a bit fat. I’d want it tailored, white, huge collars, with small diamonds down the side of each leg and gold buttons on the front. I don’t know where I’d wear it. Special occasions, I guess. I looked it up on the internet. It’d cost £3,500.

Charity by proxy
This would work like this: you give me three days of your time, I send you to a charity of my choice to do voluntary work. When your time is up, my gift finished and you leave saying that I sent you. You could also donate through a direct debit in my name.

The Pyramids of Giza
I’ve been to Egypt, stood in the sand and gazed upon the pyramids. The ancient wonder was ruined by the bus-loads of fat Americans, yabbering Italian teenagers and Tommy Cooper hat-wearing salesman who moved ant-like between the structures. I’d like a private viewing. I’d also like the Taj Mahal.

Tom Mitchelson is a writer and broadcaster. His first book, Shut Up and Kiss Me, was published in 2009. He has freelanced as a feature writer for The Times, the Independent, the Guardian, the Sun and contributes regularly to the Daily Mail. He has made documentaries for Al Gore’s TV station Current and written jokes and sketches for TV and radio shows. The second series of Tom’s Radio 4 sitcom, Electric Ink, written with Alistair Beaton, aired this year.


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Editorial assistant on allaboutyou; Music lover, travel bee and food fanatic.

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