There aren’t too many things that 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 so many new nations that even an Egghead would struggle to recall their capitals.
While I did once consume 18 slices of pizza in the newsroom for my lunch, that’s an accomplishment I have omitted from my CV.
Reaching 41 and feeling like you haven’t achieved anything truly remarkable in life is a sensation that 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. I know I’m being hard on myself – aren’t we all? – and Mrs Tapp would beg to differ with my view that I’m average because she tells me that I have at least one special talent – snoring.
I am told that my nocturnal noise making is on another level, a racket so cacophonous that it could wake an entire graveyard. Mrs Tapp has techniques to shut me up, including pinching my nose until I wake up, pulling hairs out of my moustache and, when she is feeling strong, pushing me off my back and onto my side, which helps apparently. I’ve lost count of the number of times that I have been shaken awake before being dismissed to the spare bed or the ‘snoring room’. And I am not 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 to escape the din.
Under duress, I have been to see the doctor about it and he was unequivocal about the solution – that it is all down to my weight. He is right you know. Whenever I shed more than a few pounds Mrs Tapp tends to get a good night’s kip. The trouble is that I like pork pies and Mars Bars more than I cherish matrimonial harmony.
But now there is evidence to suggest that it isn’t just rotund 40-somethings who snore like a pig with a head cold as a new survey suggests that women aged 25-34 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 that they made front page news in one quality newspaper.
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.
Mrs Tapp took the liberty of recording me while I slept and tells me that this is nowhere near my ‘best’. You can listen to it here if that sort of thing floats your boat. Does your partner make more of a racket?