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    Sunday, 6 July 2008

    I don't know how to tell you this but...

    Your fly is open.

    Well, probably not YOURS. Although it's possible. You might want to check it out anyway, just in case.

    Yesterday, I met one of the builders who is going to be working on a small job for me. He was a great guy, very friendly, chatty and most importantly, he liked the dog. You HAVE to like the dog, or you don't get the job.

    A few minutes into the visit, the builder leaned up against a wall nonchalantly and my eyes suddenly felt tugged, compelled downwards, towards the crotch region. The gaping maw of the open fly welcomed me with smiling, steely teeth. I wrenched my eyes away as soon as possible, profusely praising the inventor of underpants as I did so.

    So now I find myself in the strange position I'm sure everyone has been in at some time or another - (deep breath) I know something you don't know and I'm sure that you'd want to know but I'm not so sure that you'd want me to know.

    Is there an agreed rule of social etiquette in this kind of situation? Because some people do want to know, and they're glad you let them know you know, so that they know now. But some others say no, no thanks, I'm not happy you know and now I wish I'd known earlier.

    I think I'm in the "want to know" category. Tell me my fly is undone, please. Thank you for informing me that I have a giant glowing red zit in the centre of my forehead. I welcome the fact that you've been brave enough to inform me of the sushi roll stuck between my teeth. If you tell me, we can be a bit embarrassed but then share a hearty laugh. If you don't, it could potentially lead to embarrassment on a much larger scale, involving many more people laughing at me.

    However, I'm not so sure that I'm in the "want to tell you" category. What if you don't take it well? What if you shoot the messenger? What if you're doing this intentionally to spark a new fashion trend and I'm being so passe not knowing what you're doing? And the biggest 'What If?' of all - what happens if you do know about it but either can't do anything to fix it OR don't see it as a problem?

    I don't believe in stereotypes buuuut ... we all know builders are a notoriously angry breed of people. Bearing that in mind, I chose not to choose life. I chose not to tell my builder his fly was undone. I thought about it, I really did. Unfortunately, when I was playing the scenario out in my mind, one of the early possibilities for the scene's conclusion involved the builder asking me why I was looking at his crotch anyway and then punching me in mine.

    Did I take the coward's way out? No, I don't think so. In fact, I was actually pretty brave. I might even go so far as to say courageous. I heroically didn't say anything, despite desperately wanting to, because I was thinking of the builder. I valiantly spared him an awkward social moment, selflessly prolonging my own awkward social moment in the process.

    It turns out that sometimes not telling is the bravest thing of all.

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