A guy I know told me that he was he was drinking in a bar with a friend and they got talking to a couple of Swedish girls. One thing led to another and they ended up going for a curry together.

The two guys ostentatiously ordered the hottest dish on the menu. It was laced with near-lethal amounts of chilli.

They made heroic attempts to eat it but couldn't manage more than a few spoons and fell about laughing.

The girls were appalled by the childish behaviour of their escorts so they got up and left.

The story reminded me of one told by Jarvis Cocker on a talk show I watched many years ago.

He was at a party and he saw a guy impress everyone by performing a dangerous stunt. He climbed out of a window, stepped onto a windowsill a few feet away, and came back in via a different window to the one he'd gotten out of.

A few weeks later Cocker was with a girl in her flat, and he wanted to impress her. He thought a good way to go about it would be to duplicate the stunt he'd seen at the party.

Unfortunately the windowsills on her apartment building weren't wide enough to stand on, so he had to improvise.

He climbed from her window and as he couldn't stand on the sill, he hung from it by his fingertips instead.

He reckoned he could swing sideways, reach out to the adjacent windowsill, pull himself up, then get back in through the neighbouring window.

But he reckoned wrong.

As he dangled from the sill, he realised he didn't have the physical strength to swing anywhere, or even to pull himself back up. And it dawned on him that the ground was a long way off  - a double-decker bus passed by in the street, and it was a fair drop to the roof of the bus.

He asked the girl if she could pull him up but she couldn't.

Eventually he plummeted to the ground and spent the next six months in a wheelchair.

You can listen to Jarvis Cocker's hilarious account of the exploit here.

Both these stories neatly illustrate something about men.

When they're around women, they behave differently.

They show off.

Yes, women wear makeup, high heels. and display parts of their bodies to impress men.

But maybe the lengths that men go to in order to impress women are rather more extreme and desperate.

Funny really, because I've heard lots of women say they want a man who just acts normal.

So why do we men behave in this way?

Beats me.

PS I have to admit that I still show off when my wife is around. After thirty-odd years of marriage, she's beginning to find it a td irksome.

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