Thursday, April 03, 2008


I've attended a number of smart dinner parties in recent times where the subject of "fisting" has cropped up. Unfortunately, due mainly to advancing years, I've become much harder of hearing of late and though I've tried my best to listen in on the relevant conversations, the gist of them has so far eluded me. As a result I have no idea what fisting actually is, although I have noted that those engaged in discussing it usually have an excited look in their eyes, while the female conversationalists in particular often appear flushed, not to say agitated, during the discourse.

As a consequence of my ignorance you can imagine how delighted I was when I came across this frank, not to say clinical, definition of the practice in a book written by John Seymour. In this instance I should explain that Mr Seymour is actually fisting a sheep. He writes: "Fisting is the forcing of your fist in between skin and the dead sheep."

The book in question is called "The New Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency" and Mr Seymour is revered as the father of self-sufficiency and is a hero of conservationists everywhere. I was initially attracted to the book by the sub-title: "The classic guide for realists and dreamers". You can guess which category I fall into. The book is basically about living off the land. Planting your own crops, rearing (and butchering as above) your own animals, reducing to zero your carbon footprint.

I'm half way through the book and already I'm determined to live my life in a greener way. Equally importantly, I now feel confident that I can safely introduce the topic of fisting next time I'm dining out with my poshest friends, without any danger of being made to appear foolish. I'm sure they'll be excited and impressed with my authoritative grasp of the subject.

Furthermore, I am confident that the benefits to be derived from the book won't end there. I can't wait to get to the bit about sexual self-sufficiency (on which I already consider myself something of an expert). Hopefully there'll be some sound advice in the book that will tide me over when my wife is next away on one of her many conference trips abroad.

I only hope that the suggested techniques for satisfaction when one is solitary don't also include the excessive use of root vegetables. That really would be taking living off the land a mite too far.