"Cut the crap, Bane. Your largest attribute is that you are one of the greatest bullshitters ever to stalk the corridors of this school."
That was the glowing endorsement my former maths teacher, Mr Taylor, gave me in a school corridor one day during my sixth form years. The circumstances which prompted this glowing testimonial are long since lost to me, but I did write down and keep the quote itself, so I know it's verbatim, and was presumably prophetic ahead of my career as a journalist and 'spin doctor'.
I was born at a very early age in Bristol, England, in May 1969, and I have persistently refused to grow up ever since. While some people are born with a silver spoon in their mouths, my time here so far has suggested it is more likely that I entered the world with a plastic picnic fork in my backside.
I was the eldest of my parents' three boys, and still am. I was raised (I can't say "grew up" because I haven't) on a housing estate on the southern outskirts of Bristol, where the secondary level education was not so much fully 'comprehensive' as third party, fire and theft.
I spent 12 years working as a journalist before going straight and joining the corporate communications team of my local police force. I've since worked in a similar marketing/pr role for the fire service, for Weston College and for a public relations agency.
Married, one child, but that didn't work so I thought I would try a grown woman. No one in the UK wanted me (I am the man of every insomniac woman's dreams) so I looked further afield and found a French-Canadian woman in Montreal who was mad enough to give it a go (language was no barrier, as I am fluid in French).
While I often 'jest' (I use the term advisedly) that I was born at a very early age, our son exercised the ultimate display of one-upmanship by being born at an even earlier age - three months before he was due, in fact, and has proved to be challenging ever since.
I often feel as if I've navigated my way through life with the Sadim Touch (which is the opposite of the Midas Touch) and my closest friends have attributed the classic blues song "Born Under A Bad Sign" as my theme.
I do, however, get delusions of adequacy, although when that happens I take a lucid interval until it passes. I am an unremarkable man living a terribly average life, whose idea of danger these days is sucking pasta twists against the thread.
In truth, I am a flawed genius, my primary flaw being that I have still not yet discovered where my true genius lies. I do always aim to please; it really isn't my fault that I just happen to be such a rotten shot.
I've always dreamed of being a published author, and while that lucrative contract that would enable me to make a living from it has eluded me, I did finally become a self-published author in July 2014, and finally fulfilled my dream of holding in my hand a paperback book I had written (and which had an ISBN number and was widely available).
These days, away from the workplace and when I am not helping to look after our autistic son, I like to write, practice magic tricks and play hockey.
My main aim is to grow up without growing old, and I firmly believe that laughter is the best medicine.