by Fanny Batter
Bridge over bubbled snotters by Pat Black
Sometimes, we all need a little Fanny.
Troubles at work, troubles at home, troubles in the family, troubles in the head, troubles in the bedroom... well, no troubles in the trousers for me personally, good lord. No, I’m like Pele in those adverts. “Get help. I would... if I were less than a man.”
Anyway, Fanny Batter is an agony aunt with a difference – a celebrity in her own right, whose views are sought far and wide over a plethora of problems. Indeed, Fanny often finds herself being courted as not only a doyen of advice, but a siren of desire, as celebrities such as George Clooney and Sean Bean seek her out for more than a little reassurance.
Such is her calm, reassuring aura, she bats these famous suitors off, serene as Queen Victoria on the commode.
This spoof collection of agony aunt letters is the single funniest book I’ve read this year. Well, I would say that, as I edited it (disclosure: I didn’t really have to change anything), but I was aware of the existence of the fragrant Fanny a good couple of years ago thanks to her hilarious blog. The fact Fanny is out there for you and yours to enjoy on Kindle is a boost to the book-buying public.
Like a prim governess or a hospital matron, Fanny’s not afraid to delve into sleazy or grubby matters, leaving them spic and span (though not quite clean enough to eat your dinner off).
For example, she can console a poor man whose wife ran away with a 21-year-old by examining just what unbridled sexual pleasure with a well-muscled thoroughbred means for his own self-esteem. Advice any cuckolded bloke would take to heart.
Similarly, Fanny will outline how young people confused about their sexuality can take a look at the options available to them - and can also guide couples looking to experiment sexually - through her sensitive pamphlet, ‘Bum Sex – Is It For Me?’
Weight management is a perennial problem for us all, and is one of many subjects Fanny can drawn on personal experience for – “I am what you might term a ‘fat bastard’,” the lovely Fanny says, somewhat disingenuously.
She also looks at problems afflicting celebrities, such as drug addiction, the life expectancy for wannabe pop stars (helpfully illustrated with a handy reference table) and also that dreaded topic for any writer, “how to get published”.
That’s not to say Fanny is all about kitchen sink concerns – she also looks at global warming (“flatulence has a lot to answer for”) and the preponderance of lizard people in positions of power across the globe (watch out for her incredible pictorial proof of this phenomenon). But such is her homely style, these problems are comfortable beside issues such as “old bat” mothers-in-law and how to get your girlfriend to stop howling like a banshee during sex (“Be a man – tell her to shut up”).
Advice is good, but laughter’s best. Listen to your aunt Fanny.