“Are you feeling okay Thackeray” my chum Spike Righteous politely asked me as he saw me sneezing on my way to the bar. “I’m quite alright Spike thank you” I answered, beckoning Tracey man-barmaid to give me a hot toddy “ it’s just a dose of handsomeness….I’ve suffered from it all my life I’m afraid”. “I don’t think I’ve ever got that I’m glad to say” Spike said touching the marble counter with his head “and touch wood I never will”. “I’m pretty sure you’re safe Spike” I smiled “as for Biffo here…I think his family are genetically immune from ever contracting it”. Biffo who was playing hopscotch on his own at the other end of the bar, reacted in his usual manner when hearing his name taken in vain “Me…what….no…definitely not me”. “I rest my case….so Spike anything interesting in the propaganda newspapers?” I asked throwing back my whiskey with a flourish. “Well of course there are the usual ramblings from the politicians about the budget” Spike answered, leafing through his favourite daily newspaper “The Biased Independent”. “More for them and less for us” I mused ordering two more rounds on Biffo’s tab after I had seen him collapse whilst endeavouring a tricky manoeuvre in hopscotch that involved standing on one foot. “That pretty much sums it up Thackeray” Spike nodded “oh look here…scientists at Oxford have proven that… kissing… is a means of accessing compatibility between men and women”. “Only a scientist would come up with that…locked away with their lab rats for friends….proving what everyone else knows from when they were born” I scoffed. “That’s certainly true” said Tracey man-barmaid who was listening to our conversation “I’ve certainly kissed a few frogs in my life….you escaped though Thackeray…..there’s only so low I could go”. “Paid them did you” I retorted crossly “I’m sure they’re receiving counselling after that experience….now be off with you”. “It says here that the more attractive the person is…..the more picky they are about which partner they’ll settle down with” Spike read, shaking his head in awe. “Geniuses those chaps at Oxford are….that’s exactly why I haven’t been able to settle down with the right kind of woman” I said smacking my lips “I’m simply too attractive….and therefore too picky”. “My wife was the first person I ever kissed” Spike said, with a faraway gaze, fondly remembering the moment. “Need I say more Righteous….need I say more” I guffawed. The art of kissing….still it seemed like a good idea at the time….