The nation’s first professor of men’s health, Alan White of Leeds Metropolitan University, has announced that sheds are the answer to men’s ailments. Apparently, pottering around doing odd jobs is therapeutic. “There’s a sense of achievement that men get from starting a task and seeing it through to completion. It’s good for self-esteem.” Unlike women, of course, who thrive on going at things half-arsedly and looking around with satisfaction at the end of a day at all the things they didn’t manage to finish. But perhaps we’ll come back to that. You know, if I can be bothered.
White’s discovery is being adduced as evidence in support of the “men’s sheds” charitable scheme to bring communal sheds to the shedless, where they can meet, potter – maybe pootle, why not? – and be gently encouraged to visit the doctor when they get a twinge or headache instead of hoping that mending the lawnmower will do. Obviously I’m not sure what form this encouragement takes, as my gender forbids my entry to these hallowed sanctums – maybe some cheerful posters, maybe an undercover health official, or maybe a communal shed is like the Secret Seven’s gang hut but with prostate exams instead of a password. Who knows?