You can’t lick da mutt’s nuts

I once had a hand me down t-shirt that had a picture of a British bulldog sitting with his legs apart, showing off a massive pair of bollocks. The slogan read ‘you can’t lick da mutt’s nuts’. At the time, I was pretty convinced it had something to do with being British and being untouchable; an immovable force, someone to be reckoned with. A position of great advantage, like the family pet who can do the one thing his owner can’t; tongue his own testicles.

Thinking back, I’m aware I had a sort of thickness when it came to phrases. A constant source of embarrassment and misunderstanding while I grappled with the language that eventually I grew to love.

  • You can’t have your cake and eat it – A diet mantra for the overweight?
  • Life’s a bitch and then you die – Male dogs are immortal?
  • It’ll cost you an arm and a leg – body parts are legal and acceptable tender in some shops.
  • Beat around the bush – shrubbery designed to conceal parents smacking their children.
  • Cut the mustard – trimming your facial hair (I was raised by Greeks and my English wasn’t so great back then).
  • Wouldn’t be caught dead – A ‘to-do’ list for the afterlife.

I don’t know how it came across, a baby bubble like me, wearing a t-shirt of a union jacked dog. A plump little kebab of a child, unruly hair poking out the sides of my pitta. But I wore it regardless, even though I wasn’t sure what I was telling people. And if truth be told, I’m still not sure what the fuck it means. I can tell you this though: the first answer in a google search, who’s redacted text seems to be answering the question, will actually take you to a website called Instabang which throws live porn videos of ‘horny girls near you’ or even more worryingly ‘naked pics of someone you know’ in your face. Unwanted flick-book images of overly tanned munters eating their own nips dominates my screen, till my frantic clicking of the ‘back’ arrow finally sails me safely to the search listings.

Even without all that pop-up-punani, the listings still don’t give a definitive answer. As a politer way of saying ‘The Dog’s Bollocks’, The Mutt’s Nuts could mean anything from an old printing term describing a full colon followed by a dash introducing a list :-, to a Meccano factory faux pas for the best kind of packaging: The Box Deluxe.

I resolve that I don’t actually need a half-baked bit of cyber cod’s wallop posing as fact to understand the phrase, instead I’ll come up with my own conclusion because today I feel a bit like that cute-stupid little shit who barely knows her arse from her armpit but grins affectionately regardless.

  • Why does a dog lick its own bollocks? Because it can.
  • The truth is like a dog’s bollock: easy to find, if you dare to take a look.
  • You can’t lick the mutt’s nuts – in a hierarchy, the dog’s bollox is top.

Though you may be slightly lower down the pecking order than you’d like, restrained on a too-tight leash, dump and dinner times dictated to you by the arsehole Alpha’s of the group: there are still sweeter things easily and exclusively within your reach, pleasures they will never know unless they are you.




On Being Too Greek


To simultaneously think too much and too little of yourself. Perhaps. even, to be proud that you’re a fuck up. In some strange way.

If it’s true to say I never much liked the Greeks it’s most likely because I don’t much like myself. I try to pretend I’m nothing like them. As a baby bubble all those years ago, I wished I could be any other race but Greek. And the it’s really upsetting to think I have acquired a racism from people who’s opinions I don’t value: people who bullied me for being Greek. Those nasty little shits that pelted me with berries, trying to get me in the tit. The same little shits that cornered me one day on the stairs ‘what sort of wog are you anyway?’ they asked, the answer to which I had no clue. The very same abortion survivors who lovingly asked an English little boy, Jamie, to step aside so he wouldn’t get hurt while they took aim at me again.

It’s not only the reason I don’t like the Greeks, but most likely the reason I don’t like anyone: myself included some days.


If you met me, you might think, she doesn’t seem so Greek. And it’s true, I’m no Androulla Papadopoulos, I definitely know people much Greeker in looks and temperament than me. But it’s something inherent within me none the less. Sneaking around somewhere in my innards, popping olives and lemony salads. And yes I do believe it’s in your blood. It doesn’t mean that my front garden has to look like the Parthenon or that I have to bank with the Cyprus Popular Bank or risk being exiled from ‘the village’ or wherever the fuck it is I hail from.

No. But I am the best and worst of both worlds when it comes to being Greek and Cypriot. I can cook up a storm and I will over feed you if you visit my house, I will always bring you something when I visit your house (couldn’t bare the shame on my name of turning up empty handed). But I will also start planning a funeral if someone even has the slightest cold, I do have an unhealthy constant pre-occupation with death and I do have an intrinsic Zorba The Greek yearning to fuck everything off, eat a shitload of food and dance till my fat arse hits the ground with a thud.

It’s beautiful and loathsome all at once to feel relentlessly Greek Cypriot. And all those years ago when I watched The Weeping Meadow and took the piss, I now realise I am that guy who staggers forlorn through the sheets screaming for Eleni and the deep terrifying dread…all the live long day….the dread.

Do I need to quit and embrace my inner Brit? Which compared to most Greeks, I’m actually very good at outwardly doing. Or do I just go with it, keep staying awake at night stressing over everything that exists between heaven and earth. Feeding everyone that comes near me, loving the fleas that spring from their knees wildly into the air, smelling the sky with my bold Greek nose, truly madly Greekly happy to be alive. Do I just accept that I’ll have a beard and hoofs by the time I’m 60? That my voice will go raspy and my eyes will be glorious cola bottles imbedded in their baggy turtle sockets. I’ll laugh like the strum of a Bouzouki, toss my head back like the jump-flick of heals and I’ll have been a character, with plenty of stories to tell. Whatever transcends as the strongest of my essential flavours, there’ll have some family left to mourn the loss and revel in the deep loving amusement that was me.