4th January 2005: The general premise of this mainly humorous story is true: a female friend of mine claims she can accurately estimate the size of guy’s manhood by looking at him fully clothed.

Sizing Him Up

A friend of mine made a comment to me a few years ago that you’ll probably find as difficult to believe as I did.

We were sitting in the pub one evening after lectures and the two of us were chatting about what was going on the medical faculty: primarily, who was sleeping with who. The rest of our friends were playing doubles at a pool table nearby and Carol and I were catching up on news while we waited our turn.

I told her that I’d noticed that Tara Phillips, a girl we both knew, was starting to be seen around the department with a lanky, greasy guy from veterinary who looked like a weasel.

Carol had smiled and nodded. “Jonathon Thomas. One of my housemates went out with him for a while.”

“But he’s disgusting,” I laughed. “What do they see in him?”

She took a drink from her vodka and tonic. “He has his charms.”

“Well if he has, they need a bloody good wash, whatever they are.”

She smiled. “There’s more to him than… well…”

“Greasy hair and spots?” I suggested.

She chuckled. “Well… yeah…”

I took a swig from my pint. “Well, I’m all for dating people for their personality –”

“Like Helen, you mean?” she asked with a mischievous grin.

“Er… yeah… kind of…” I smirked at her, appreciating the dig at my slightly eccentric current choice of girlfriend. “But that guy seems to have none. I know I’ve only seen him a couple of times, but he seems a bit… well…”

“Drippy?”

I suggested: “Vacant.”

She laughed. “Yeah. I guess he’s pretty hard work on the conversation side. He’s heavily into tanks or trucks or something… he can talk all night about those. And, with him being into veterinary, he can give a pretty good account of what the innards of a sheep look like…”

“Just what you want as an ice-breaker at a party…”

She smiled and took another sip from her drink. “But, like I say, he has his attractions…”

I waited to hear specifics but none came. I shrugged and prompted her: “And they are…?”

She chuckled again. “It’s girlie stuff, Seb. Not the kind of stuff you’d understand…”

I smiled. “I’m extremely liberated, I’ll have you know…”

“Not to the point of discussing what makes guys attractive…”

“I dunno… I’d be interested to hear about that actually… I mean, if Jonathon whatever-his-name is considered attractive by girls as good-looking as Tara Phillips, clearly I’m kind of missing out on some crucial aspect of the female psyche. It might be useful for me know…”

Carol smiled. “I dunno, Seb. I think only a minority of attractive girls would go out with guys like Jonathon… they’d have to be into something very specific to find him interesting…”

“Tanks and trucks?”

She made a face. “Er… not quite…”

I smiled. “What then?”

She hesitated. “I dunno if I should be telling you this, Seb. I’d probably be breaking some unspoken understanding between womankind, or something…”

I waited but again nothing came. “And the thing you shouldn’t be telling me but are going to is…”

“I don’t know how to explain it, exactly. It’s kind of like having built-in radar. Some girls can look at a guy and… well….”

I shrugged, amused and intrigued to hear where this was leading.

She took another drink from her glass. “Some girls like guys who are… how should I put it… generously proportioned in the trousers department…”

“Aah…” I nodded.

She grinned. “And some girls know exactly who… er… fits the bill…”

“And Jonathon is a big lad, then, is he?”

She smiled and nodded. “Extremely…”

“Your flatmate told you?”

“She didn’t have to. I already knew.”

I laughed. “You have this… er… ‘gift’, then, have you?”

Carol chuckled. “Yeah… I guess…”

“So how does it work? What do you look for?”

“To be honest, I don’t exactly know. It’s just a hunch I get when I meet a guy. And judging by those I’ve become more friendly with, it’s seems to be pretty accurate…”

I took another drink from my pint. “Size is important, then?”

“Not for me, no. But for some girls…”

We were interrupted by the losing pair from the pool-game returning to our table. The conversation was dropped and we went to play the next game.

What she’d said had sparked my curiosity, though.

I didn’t for a minute think it was true that some girls have a kind of dick-radar, but it would go some way to explaining why interesting, attractive girls sometimes start dating the most freakish guys.

I figured that some girls, girls for whom size was an issue, must look out for signals to work out what was going on in a guy’s trousers long before they decided whether he was worth undressing.

The problem was working out what those signals might be.

I thought that my mornings working as a student doctor at the University Hospital might provide me with a few clues. I was only part-qualified by then and so I was limited to performing routine examinations and making elementary diagnoses; most of my time was spent carrying out check-ups on final year students. But while I was working there, I started to notice, I guess as a result of what Carol had told me, the huge variety in the size and shape of the cocks and balls of the men I was examining.

Some guys had cocks like great German sausages, flopping halfway down to their knees; while others were so small that they barely poked out from their owner’s pubic hair. And some men had balls which were so big that they’d swing low like they were too heavy for their scrotums; others had balls like tiny peas which seemed to cower inside tight, wrinkled sacs.

I began to wonder whether girls with Carol’s ‘radar’ were merely looking for tell-tale bulges in the front of guys’ trousers.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t that simple.

A guy who came in to have a medical as part of the recruitment process to get a job at Glaxo proved that to me.

He was a tall, good looking guy, pleasant and chatty, who undressed to reveal a pair of briefs which were as flat against his crotch as a girl’s panties are, and who turned out to have a cock the size of a baby’s little finger dangling over a pair of virtually-non-existent balls.

I was thinking, “You wouldn’t even be registering on the ‘radar’, mate…”

He happened to mention, as I examined him, that he often felt like he needed to take a piss but would find, when he tried to do so, that very little was produced. Before he had time to say, “I’m sure it’s really nothing…”, I had my rubber glove on, my forefinger lubed up as far as the knuckle, and was asking him if he would just mind opening his legs and bending forwards.

I don’t remember finding any problems, nothing a few antibiotics for a urethra infection couldn’t sort out, but when I stood up and moved around to face him, I was pretty stunned to find him sporting an erection that could only be described as… well… magnificent!

In spite of its earlier lack of promise, it was now about seven inches in size, as thick as a cucumber and curving upward like it was proud of itself. His foreskin had partially retracted to expose a head so large and engorged that it looked like a ripened plum.

He’d blushed a deep shade of scarlet, as dark as the head of his cock, and had muttered, “Jesus… I’m sorry…”

I’d laughed and said, “You should be feeling proud of it, not sorry!”

He’d smiled and relaxed a little. “I don’t know why it happened…”

I pulled off my glove and discarded it, and started washing my hands. “It’s a common response, don’t worry about it. It’s purely physiological…”

He pulled up his briefs and had difficulty stuffing his enormous organ back into them.

I realised that, contrary to my earlier presumption, this guy would actually score pretty favourably on the ‘radar’. I’d heard, from sex education lessons when I was in my early teens, that the size of a guy’s limp cock doesn’t give a direct indication of how it will look when it’s fully-aroused, but I hadn’t realised the change could be so dramatic.

I was thinking, “So there must be more to this ‘radar’ thing than just looking out for bulges…”

I next saw Carol a few weeks later, sitting in the refectory having a sandwich one lunchtime. A few tables away, Tara Phillips was sitting eating with the scrawny, weasel-like Jonathon.

I took my own lunch over to join Carol.

“It’s still going strong for love’s young dream, then,” I laughed, glancing over to the couple.

Carol smiled and nodded. “I guess he has everything she looks for in a man…”

I opened the plastic wrapper around my sandwiches. “It must be nice to be like her… to have such a limited view of what makes a good relationship…”

Carol nodded. “It would make finding the right partner a lot more straightforward…

I smiled. “If you’ve got the ‘radar’… if it exists…”

She chuckled. “You’re still sceptical…?”

“It’s just that it’s impossible to judge stuff like that from external appearances…” I told her what had happened with the guy going for the Glaxo job, while obviously keeping his identity a secret.

She grinned. “It doesn’t work like that. I could have told you that from the beginning…”

“It must be at least a part of it…”

She shook her head. “No. I went out with this guy, back at home, who was pretty… er… nicely proportioned when he was limp. I’d figured him to be average, using my ‘radar’ as you put it, and so I thought I must be wrong. It turned out, though, that when he got a hard-on, his willy just… well… it sort of stood up but it didn’t change its size or anything. So my ‘radar’ turned out to be right yet again…”

“So what’s the secret… how can you size a guy up from just looking at him?”

“From his manner, I suppose. His confidence, whether he looks you in the eye… that sort of stuff…”

I laughed, “Bollocks!”

She laughed back. “No, you can’t get any idea of those!”

After a swig of coffee, I smiled and asked, “So what about me? Surely your ‘radar’ works on me?”

She shrugged. “You’re a friend. I don’t think of you on those terms…”

“But it must be coming up with something…”

She finished off the last of her sandwich, flashed me a coy grin and said, “Eight inches.”

My eyes widened. “Have you been talking to Helen? Or Kaz?”

She chuckled, “It wouldn’t really be the sort of thing I’d have asked either of them, would it? And it’s hardly likely to, if you pardon the expression, come up in conversation…”

I took another drink of my coffee.

She smiled at me. “So I’m right. Yet again.”

I felt my cheeks flush slightly at her knowing something about me we wouldn’t ordinarily have mentioned. “You might be.”

She said, “So that can’t have been the reason Kaz dumped you, then.”

“No… that kind of thing wasn’t important to her. Anyway, she didn’t dump me… it was a… er… mutual thing… democratic, you know…”

“Yeah right.”

I tried to recognise the signs Carol had mentioned using the guys who came into the University Hospital for check-ups. Although few developed erections in my presence, I started spotting other clues to help me work out their potential. Like, for example, some guys with pretty insubstantial limp cocks would be wearing briefs which had stretched and baggy fronts: something must have been going on down there, at certain times of the day, to stretch the material like that. Or occasionally there’d be traces of dried precum or semen on their boxer shorts (some of these guys weren’t exactly meticulous as far as hygiene was concerned!) such a long way from their cocks it was almost level with their hips.

I wasn’t as obsessed by all this as you might be thinking – apart from anything else, I identify as being straight – it was just interesting to work out whether there were any grounds to accept what Carol had said. Scientific curiosity, you know.

And in any case, doing medical examinations on predominantly fit and healthy students day-in day-out was piss-boring; not really the sort of ground-breaking stuff I’d hoped for when I’d started my medical degree. The cock size thing was something to pass the time, I guess.

A guy would come in, full of himself and making snide comments about junior doctors not looking as overworked as the press were reporting or some such crap, and I’d think, “Four inches, tops. His arrogance is a front to hide his sexual insecurities.”

But then he’d pull of his briefs and out would flop something that looked like it belonged on a donkey.

And I’d think, “Well there’s another theory that turns out to be a load of crap, Wallace…”

Or someone would come in, confident and polite. Eyes fixed on mine, strong handshake, all the right signs. And I’d be thinking, “This must be a good one… seven or eight inches… maybe more…”

He’d gradually develop a hard-on while I examined him, apologising profusely for his cock’s misbehaviour, and it would hardly be able to find its way out of his bush. A needle in a haystack.

And I’d be wondering if Carol had just been winding me up all along; that there simply was no way to estimate something like that from a guy’s manner.

One evening I made the mistake of mentioning something about it to my girlfriend, Helen. After a half-hour interrogation about why I’d been “talking dirty”, as she put it, with Carol, she eventually declared that she thought the whole thing was ridiculous.

A conclusion I was rapidly reaching myself.

“Anyway,” she’d said, “you’ve always claimed you think size is irrelevant…”

“I do. I’m not saying I think bigger dicks are more or less attractive than smaller ones… I was just interested by the idea that some girls are able to judge.”

“Sounds like the usual crap from Carol, if you ask me…”

“So you can’t judge, then…”

She snorted in irritation. “Like you say, Seb, to any reasonable person it’s not important. If all this is some convoluted way of getting me to compliment you just because you had the hormones to develop a bigger-than-average knob, you’d better try a different tactic…”

I’d shrugged. “I don’t need compliments about something that I had no control over…”

“And I think you need to spend less time with that daft cow…”

I’d had to suppress a smile when I thought of the number of times people had given me the same advice about Helen…

Her mention of hormones got me thinking, though. It was true that testosterone was important in the growth of a guys’ cock during his teens; might not other things controlled by testosterone, like the depth of his voice or the growth of hair on his body, give a clue as to his cock size?

A nicely-dressed, well-groomed guy came in for a medical; clean-shaven, short-back-and-sides, tailored suit. He was a law graduate, applying to become a junior partner somewhere important-sounding. Contract to be signed pending a satisfactory medical examination; the usual story.

When he undressed down to his boxer shorts, I was surprised at how hairy his arms, chest and legs were: his rugged, masculine appearance, as he stood there in his underwear, was such a contrast to how refined and polished he’d looked in his pinstriped suit.

He’d said, as I pressed the end of my stethoscope through the thick, coarse hair on his chest, “You must get sick of the sight of naked men…”

His voice was deep and rich.

I muttered, “Yeah… I suppose… could you try and breathe normally for a few seconds?”

As I listened to his heartbeat, I noticed how thick his arms were. He didn’t look like he worked out much – his waistline wasn’t fat, but it was a little more flabby than it should ideally be – and yet here were muscles that made him look like a bricklayer.

He said, “Any problems?” Again that deep, silky voice.

I shook my head. “All pretty normal so far…”

It looked like this guy was pumped to the gunnels with testosterone. He had hair almost smothering his chest, arms and legs; had a voice that sounded about an octave lower than mine; and had a set of muscles that would look respectable on a weightlifter. The hormone was almost oozing from his pores!

I walked round to stand in front of him again. “Could you take off your shorts, please?”

He smiled. “The moment you’ve all been waiting for…!”

I felt myself blush a little; I was feeling rather eager to see what lay inside them.

He pulled down his shorts and, while he was bending to pull them over his feet, looked up at me sheepishly. “I’m sorry about this… medicals have always had this affect on me… ever since I was a kid, I dunno why…”

He stood up and smiled apologetically.

It took me a moment to realise what he was talking about.

Then I saw that his cock was erect.

It was difficult to make it out, though, among the dense bush of his pubic hair: it must have been little more than three inches long from base to tip. The mushroom head of it took up about half of its length; the stem of it was about the size of a cork.

I muttered, as I pulled on a rubber glove, “Don’t worry about it… it happens to a lot of men…” Then: “I’m going to check your scrotum for hernias or tumours… could you stand with your feet about a foot apart?”

He adjusted position and, when I moved to stand in front of him, I realised that, in contrast with his cock, his balls were enormous. They hadn’t been obvious until then: the thick growth of hair on his scrotum, coupled with that on the insides of his thighs, had almost completely concealed them.

I reached out to hold them and they felt like a couple of eggs rolling around inside the wrinkled sac of his scrotum.

His cock started throbbing and swelled to its full size; maybe three-and-a-half inches long. A small bead of precum grew like an inflating balloon on its reddened slit. I could see that his cock urgently needed some attention: I wondered if he would nipping straight into the gents after his examination for a quick wank.

I was thinking, “Jeez… fancy a stuffy-looking guy like this, a lawyer, having a fetish for medicals…”

I said, flatly, “Cough…”

After the examination was finished and he was getting dressed, I figured that big balls must produce bucket-loads of testosterone, making a guy muscular and hairy and the rest of it, but that cock size obviously wasn’t determined by that.

“Another theory bites the dust”, I mused.

It was a week or so later that I made something of a discovery.

A guy came in for a check-up and during the routine ‘Are you having any medical problems you’d like to discuss?’ session, he’d nodded and muttered the time-honoured chestnut, “But it’s a little embarrassing…”

He was an athletic-looking guy, slim and well-built, with an angular but handsome face. His hair was a dark auburn and he wore small, silver framed specs.

He described that his foreskin wouldn’t retract fully over the head of his cock when he had an erection without it feeling extremely uncomfortable.

“I sort of try to pull it back,” he said, demonstrating the movement with his hand on an invisible cock in front of him, “but it gets about a centimetre or so over the head and it’s like… well… it’s like it’s too tight or something…”

I nodded, not so much interested by what he was saying, which sounded like a fairly common condition called phimosis, but more by what his hand was doing in the air. The invisible cock he was handling looked like it was huge.

He went on, “You know how when you wank… you sort of do this…?” His hand made a masturbatory motion, his fingers and curled around an invisible stem as it swept up and down. Again the imagined cock seemed especially large.

I didn’t want this to turn into an exchange of techniques between us, so I stuck to a neutral: “I understand that’s how most men do it…”

“Well, I have to do this… kind of…” Now his fingers gripped the stem without moving, and his thumb rubbed against what I assumed was the tip of the invisible cock’s head. Like before, the size was quite remarkable. “The other way’s impossible…”

I realised that if I was gesturing something about my cock to someone, I would, without thinking, curl my hand into a shape that approximately fitted my normal size. This guy, if his hand was betraying the dimensions of his cock, was extremely well built.

He rested his hand on his thigh and went on, “It’s never been a problem, having to wank like that. But it’s almost impossible to have sex. It hurts too much…”

I noticed his hand would occasionally move to follow what he was saying, as most people’s do, but that it kept returning to the shape it had made when he’d described how he masturbated.

And I suddenly realised that mine, resting on my own thigh, was curled into the shape it makes around my own cock when I wank.

I said, “I think I’d better see it. Do you want to get undressed?”

He nodded and stood up. “You’ll want to see it hard…?”

“I think so.”

When he pulled down his trousers, I could see immediately, from the large mound in the front of his white briefs, that he possessed a bit of a monster.

I thought, “Hard already… that didn’t take long…”

But when he pulled his briefs down, it turned out that, despite its already impressive size, it was completely floppy. It hung down over his average-sized balls, looking about seven inches long and quite substantially thicker than mine gets even when it’s fully hard. His foreskin completely covered it, making a puckered mouth at the tip of its large, bulbous head.

He said, smiling slightly, “I’ll play with it to make it hard…”

“Yeah…”

He took it in his hand – it slapped into his palm like a piece of meat – and began working his bell-end through the foreskin with his thumb, in the same way he’d just gestured. He didn’t seem especially embarrassed: I think I’d have turned a shade of beetroot if I’d had to stand naked in front of a guy I didn’t know, masturbating myself to full erection.

As I pulled on a pair of gloves, I saw that it was developing slowly. It had lengthened an inch or so and was – as impossibly as it seemed – thickening further.

It seemed his hand really had been telling the truth about its size.

I asked him, “Does your foreskin still retract at this stage?”

He stopped playing with it and it hung downward at a steep angle, rising an inch or so from his balls.

He peeled back his foreskin a little, exposing the tip of his cock’s red-looking head. He said, “It does, yeah, but if I pull it any further back, it gets stuck behind the ridge of my bell-end. I can’t get it back again until it goes soft…”

“Is that a problem?”

He began masturbating it again, using his unusual, but clearly effective, technique. He replied, “Well, when it gets to full size, it starts to really hurt. It feels like the head’s being strangled by the foreskin… it hurts like hell, actually…”

I continued watching it increase in size, fascinated by how large it would become. It was up to nine inches by now, becoming as thick as his wrist, and still looking only half-erect.

I said, “And you say sex is painful without it retracted?”

“Yeah, it’s impossible.”

“Have you tried using lubricant on your girlfriend’s vagina?”

He looked up at me, continuing to knead it larger and larger by rubbing his thumb against its head. “Actually, I’m gay. That could be the problem… arses are a bit tighter than… er… vaginas, aren’t they?”

“Er… yeah… but it shouldn’t make that much difference…”

He kept playing with it, watching me watching it reach epic proportions. He went on, “I sort of get it an inch or so in, and then the foreskin starts to chafe against my bell-end, and it’s impossible to keep going…”

“Does using a condom help? It might hold the foreskin in place and stop it trying to retract…?”

He shrugged. “I always use a condom.”

His cock was, by now, easily over ten inches long and as thick and round as a good-sized branch. It must have been the biggest organ I’d ever seen by quite a long margin.

I asked him, “Is anal sex important to you?”

He laughed. “I dunno yet… I’ve never managed to do it… but I’d at least like to try… I mean, I like to receive, but it’d be nice to return the compliment occasionally…”

I smiled back. “Yeah… I guess… but what about your… er… size? Won’t it put guys off?”

Now he laughed so loudly that I almost jumped. “Show’s how much you know about gay guys, mate! They’d be queuing up for it!”

He let go of his cock and it stood out at a ninety-degree angle from his body, well over ten inches long and looking like it could be an additional limb.

I said, “Well… to me it looks like it’d be kind of… er… painful…”

He flashed me a broad grin and, with a wink, muttered, “There’s always a way and a means… you’d soon be loving it…”

His comment acted like a splash of cold water over my face: sharply reminded me that I was in a professional position and shouldn’t be allowing patients to flirt with me. This was a no-go area; there was absolutely no room for sexual provocation here.

I coughed and said, deliberately primly, “Anyway. Am I to take it that you’re fully erect now, Mr Smith?”

I recommended that he should apply a gel containing a mild steroid to his foreskin when he masturbated, as often as he could, and try to gradually ease his foreskin backwards over the head of his cock over a six-month period.

He’d laughed, “Wow! A prescription to wank as often as I can! You’re my kind of doctor!”

After he’d dressed and as I was printing out his prescription for a few tubes of the appropriate gel, I saw that his right hand, once again, was curled into the same position it had been in when it was rubbing at his cock.

And after that, I began to see it everywhere! Wherever I looked, I noticed that guys’ hands, when they were relaxed and not holding anything, tended to rest with the fingers and thumb curved inwards, making anything from an open ‘C’ shape to a closed ‘O’ shape and sometimes right around so that the thumb covered the top of the finger, making something like a ‘6’.

Here, surely, was the key to the secret.

Girls like Tara Phillips and Carol, with their so-called ‘radar’, must be picking up on this, even if they didn’t know they were doing it.

I wondered if guys might curl their hands up like this because, without being aware of it, they were forming the same position that they used when they masturbated. Kind of like they were subconsciously wishing they could have a quick wank, or something.

If only Sigmund Freud was still around…

It seemed to fit. Or, at least, it fitted a lot better than my idea about bulges and hairiness, or Carol’s theories about self-confidence.

Take this as an example.

A rugby player was wheeled in with a pretty bad groin strain and for some reason was referred to me. While he was telling me what happened, I noticed his right hand coiled up quite tightly. If my idea was true, it looked like the lad’s cock should be pretty small, and yet the large bulge in his shorts told me otherwise.

When I examined him, though, and he pulled down his shorts, I realised he was wearing a cup to protect his crotch. Once he’d pulled it off, the front of his briefs didn’t look so impressive at all.

And then, as if to prove my idea right, in response to my massaging between the top of his thigh and his balls, he sprouted an erection. I made my usual joke that I wouldn’t be getting embarrassed if I had one like his, but the thing was looked like it was just three or four inches in length. A nice cock I’m sure – don’t get me wrong, I bet he could do some great stuff with it – but the poor lad turned a shade of maroon that suggested he wasn’t really that proud of it.

Here’s another one.

When I met up with my brother one weekend, I noticed that his hand, like mine, tends to rest with a slight gap between the finger and thumb, forming an almost-closed ‘C’ shape. His ‘C’ was, perhaps, a little more open than mine, suggesting that his hand has something slightly bigger to fill it when he masturbates. Now, I’ve seen Gareth with erections loads of time, and I know that, while we’re both built pretty generously, his cock is about an inch longer than mine.

So, again, my theory looked like it might be holding up.

I was, by now, almost tempted to write it up as a paper for The Lancet…!

The next time I saw Carol was a couple of months later in the library at the Medical School. We found an empty corner and whispered our news and gossip.

She was the one who brought up the topic of the ‘radar’, grinning and asking me if I was any more convinced about it than I had been the last time we’d spoken.

“I think there’s a method to it… if you know what the clues are,” I smiled.

“You mean you believe me about it?”

“Yeah, I believe some girls know what to look for, probably without even knowing what they’re looking for…”

She looked interested. “And what are they looking for?”

I smiled coyly, “Ooh many things… it’s impossible to pin it down, really…”

She looked sceptical. “Hmm… how big is… ah… I dunno… who should I pick?”

I laughed, “I’m not going to start reeling off the statistics about different guys’ dicks!” I feigned a camp voice: “I’m not that sort of boy…”

She smiled. “Go on – just one! Just to prove there really is something in it…”

I chuckled. “Okay… if it’s someone we both know but neither of us could possibly have seen naked…”

“That’s not really fair. I don’t know who you’ve examined and you don’t know who I have…”

I shrugged. “Just because we’ve examined a guy doesn’t mean we’ve seen him with a hard-on…”

Carol nodded and then had an idea. “I know someone!”

“Who?”

“Damien Richards…”

I shook my head. “That’s not really fair…”

Carol shrugged. “Why? Because he’s dating Kaz now?” And then, half-jokingly, “You’d give him a two-inch prick, would you?”

I wasn’t amused. “I told you before: size isn’t an issue. I couldn’t care whether he’s hung like a mule or like a mouse… it’s just that I don’t want to think about what he’s doing with it…”

She went silent, a little taken aback by my discomfort.

“Anyway,” I added, trying to lighten the mood I’d unintentionally darkened. “I saw him in the refectory the other day, having a coffee with a friend. I’d say seven inches, maybe seven and a half on a good day with a strong tail wind…”

Carol smiled. “I’d have said six and a half, but you’re close enough…”

We chuckled together knowingly, like a couple of school kids who’ve just worked out together that Santa doesn’t exist.

She said, “Well, Seb… I’m afraid now you know the secret, I’m just going to have to hypnotise you for the sake of womankind so you forget everything you’ve learned…”

I smiled. “I’ll save you the trouble… it’s not exactly a useful skill for me to have. And, in any case, the secret’s pretty safe with me…”

 

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