Since starting up a business three years ago, the contents of my pockets has changed radically. Until 2015, those selfsame pockets contained just two or three keys plus a few bank notes and a smattering of coins. That was it. No mobile phone and certainly no wallet.
I've always had a strange aversion to wallets for some reason, maybe because they're so cumbersome or maybe because I associate them with those people who will stand in a supermarket queue for ten long minutes but only begin to look for their wallet or purse when the cashier tells them how much the bill is. Then they'll rummage meticulously through a labyrinth of compartments trying to find just the right change before giving up seven weeks later and limply proffering a fifty euro note. This is the same fifty euro note they should have had ready in their hand in the queue.
Anyway, wallets are clearly rubbish but now I need one to carry the credit cards I never use just in case some unexpected expense arises during the day. Oddly, a bloke in Vancouver gave me that wallet in 1994 when I lost a twenty dollar bill in a bar.
“You need one of these,” he said kindly. I couldn't see his logic to tell the truth but was very grateful and accepted his offer graciously. Then I went outside and tried to sell it for twenty dollars. Only kidding.
So, these days I carry a Canadian wallet and more keys than Mr Mackay from Porridge, giving my right thigh a vague air of the Atlas mountain range. I'm afraid, that's not the worst of it, though.
Sometimes I have to carry a mobile phone, which fact gnaws at my very soul like the devil with a rusty saw. Things are getting better, however, and now I'm able to leave the pesky blighter in the house much more frequently with the answerphone thingy switched on to collect any urgent messages about soft drink delivery delays or suchlike.
My aim over the next six months is to increase phone-left-in-house time gradually, so that half a year from now, it'll just provide an evening answerphone service which, of course, is when mobiles are at their best - completely immobile.
They say you can judge a man by the company he keeps. If you want to save time, though, it's also possible simply to ask him to empty his pockets.
Should you discover he's carrying just two or three keys, a few banknotes, a smattering of coins, no wallet and no mobile phone, rest assured he's a good 'un and you can go ahead and let him marry your daughter.