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Thursday, April 12, 2007
I Heart Mrs Mills.

Mrs Mills is an advice columnist for the Sunday Times Style Magazine. Some say she is Martha Stewart's doppelganger, other's say she is really A.A.Gill, I know her only as my dream woman. Every Sunday, I'll snatch up the Style magazine first and go straight to the last page where I'll cackle over Mrs Mills' advice - toast in hand - loving the way Mrs Mills efficiently solves the problems of three lucky readers with wit, and occasional bitchiness. She is my hero.

My wife and I have been invited to a friend’s 40th-birthday party. It’s fancy dress, and the theme is fetish. I am slightly shocked that such a theme would be considered acceptable in our quiet, rural village. Should I ignore the theme and go as a policeman to keep my dignity, or throw caution to the wind and go as a gagged, rubber-clad bondage slave? If you advise the latter, where can I acquire a suitable outfit?
AZ, Swindon
All these sexually themed parties are very tiresome. Far more original would be to construct an armour-like outfit out of blocks of polystyrene and maintain that you misheard and have come as a lump of feta.

I recently travelled in a plane that had two seats between three armrests. The oversized man in the aisle seat said two rests were his and one mine, as I had the window view. Is that right?
JK, Durham
No, it’s not right. You have been a victim of the arrogance of fat people. This is the attitude that makes them always take the larger helping and demand seconds. Of course, they regard themselves as victims of a cruel world that insists on manufacturing clothes in unusually small sizes and shrinking aeroplane seats to narrow dimensions. Your consolation is that you don’t break out in a sweat every time you stand up from a chair.

I am a 24-year-old secretary. On an almost weekly basis, I drop hairgrips into the office photocopier so I can call out the repair guy, who happens to be very fit and appears to enjoy flirting with me. The problem is, when he bends over to work on the photocopier, it is quite obvious that he has a hairy back. How can I persuade him to remove his unsightly fur before I ask him out on a date?
KW, by e-mail
Rather than a hairgrip, jam the copier with a clump of hair. You can then bring up the subject of hairiness and innocently reveal your aversion to hirsute rears. Then again, given your reckless disregard for other people’s property, you might consider just swooping on him with a razor the next time he bends down.

I work in the fickle world of international finance. After I had been in the office until 1am one night, my boss asked me to hastily compose a presentation the next day. I put a chocolate penguin (from a top Bond Street chocolatier) on his desk with the documents. After he left, I found the penguin, still in its transparent box, forcibly thrown into the bin. There was no doubt that he knew who it was from. Should I tell him I know what he did (by the way, I have now eaten the evidence), or should I say nothing and let it pass?
LT, London

There could be far more to this than meets the eye. After all, if I read my Dan Brown correctly, the penguin is the ancient symbol of the Brotherhood of Knights Rampanter, a sinister order devoted to the restoration of the Plantagenet line to the throne, the forcible removal of Scotland from the Union and the promotion of Norwich as one of the world’s financial capitals (which, of course, is what would have unnerved your boss). Then again, perhaps he’s just watching his waistline.

My girlfriend and I have been invited to a glamorous weekend house party. However, it looks as if we will have to turn it down because we can’t take my girlfriend’s shih tzu, as the hosts have various cats and large dogs that they will insist are incompatible with our little chap. Everyone says to put him in kennels, but he was traumatised almost to death when we did that in the summer. As we have only recently moved house, we don’t feel we know the neighbours well enough to ask them to take him in. Is there anything you’d suggest?
MK, Leamington Spa

Shih tzus aren’t really expensive, and they all look pretty much the same. So have him put down and buy a new one when you get back.

My ex-husband will be attending a funeral to which I am also invited. He dumped me and ran off with my best friend, then married her, leaving me brokenhearted. Since then, my life has got better and better, and their marriage is apparently rocky, as she soon discovered what a meanie he is. She will be at the funeral too. My question is, what is the etiquette for wearing diamonds to a funeral? Would it be acceptable to wear all of mine, or just the seven-carat solitaire ring and maybe a small tiara, to set off my black Versace gown?
GP, Islington

Funeral etiquette gives way to encountering-second-wife etiquette, which means: get the diamonds out, fling on the Versace, arrive in a Bentley Arnage (borrow one, if necessary) and check whether Pierce Brosnan (or something similar) is available to prop you up at the graveside. (I’d leave the tiara, though — there are limits.)

I am thinking about giving my boyfriend oral sex. I’ve never done it before, and wonder what is the best way to go about it.
LC, Weymouth

Practise. Take a medium-sized banana and push it into your mouth until you gag, while breathing in an increasingly panic-stricken fashion through your nose. Isn’t it fun?