M Green, Solihull...

“A few years ago I got a date with a girl I’d been ‘circling’ for ages. She was blonde and plummily posh, so I took her to a pretty expensive bar near my office, hoping to look like some sort of suave urbanite. All was going well. But as I listened to her natter on about ponies or something, I started eating a bowl of peanuts on the bar. Except the first peanut had gone stale: it was incredibly hard, and I had to crunch it painfully between my molars, before swallowing the shards.

Cursing my bad luck – and trying to avoid her puzzled stare – I took another. But no: it too had gone hard. So as she stared at me, I ground it down again between my teeth, wondering what kind of crappy bar thinks it can serve rotten snacks. But then the barman wandered over, took the bowl, and threw the contents in the bin. I then realised why she’d been staring in growing disgust at me for the last five minutes: they weren’t peanuts, but the olive stones left by the previous bar patron. Bleh. It would be our first and last date.”