We all know animals can smell fear. Or at least we have been told that animals can smell fear and it is generally taken as a given. Well I have now learned something new. Women can smell chocolate.

I’m not henpecked, despite Mila’s desperate attempts to prove otherwise. She has her ideas on the kind of thing her man should be snacking on during the day (which would explain the sliced carrots that keep finding their way into my bag), most of which I tend to ignore in blissful happiness.

Last night however I came undone. Just for a change I’d arrived first at our meeting place in town at the end of the day. Her tube line was disrupted and I knew I may have a short wait. Thus I popped into the nearest newsagent, rejected the idea of buying some crisps, toyed with the notion of a cereal bar before taking the mans choice of a small bar of chocolate.

Nestle Crunch, since you ask.

I had just finished when Mila wandered out of the station, smiled, embraced me, pulled back and unleashed the accusation:

“You have eaten a chocolate.”

How could she tell? The wrapper was not exposing my guilt in my hand. A quick glance at a shop window confirmed that there were no stains around my mouth (a problem that nobody ever quite ceases to suffer from after the age of 2, have you noticed?). No, nothing could possibly give the game away.

“I can smell it,” was the triumphant response to my puzzlement.

Now this was something of a revelation. I knew there were certain things that women were able to detect at five paces. Cheap aftershave, the smell of a rival for example. Never did it cross my mind that an allegedly illicit chocolate (and I still maintain it is my right as an adult to have a Nestle Crunch when waiting to meet someone) would be detectable to a woman’s sensitive nostrils.

Truly this is a journey of many revelations.

There is something to be said for occasionally Googling for one’s name. I’ve not done it for a while which would explain why this link has not caught my eye until now.

The author of the piece takes issue with the glowing writeup I gave to the first Evanescence single last summer and makes some wonderfully barbed comments about the whole writing style of the commentaries. I love the way he describes the columns as being full of “increasingly personal and thinly-disguised views” when in actual fact I don’t make any attempt to disguise my views in any way at all.

I mean let’s face it, we are writing about music here and like most forms of artistic expression it is designed to provoke an emotional response in those who experience it. Any review or commentary on a piece of music will inevitably be coloured by the way it has affected that particular writer and I make no pretence of being objective or dispassionate.

The glowing writeup of the Evanescence single was as a result of the genuine sense of excitement that people felt about the single and they way both it and the video gave you goosebumps the first time you encountered them. It still stands up as one of the most majestic and memorable singles of last year and for that reason deserves to be hailed from the rooftops. The sad thing is that none of the followups so far have come up to scratch.

I’d read some of the guys other columns on the site (assuming there are any) but anyone who uses a column to accuse another of having “…an agenda … tainted with arrogance…” I suspect is likely to miss several more points along the way, and life is simply too short.

Whilst writing the chart commentary this week it seemed sort of appropriate to dig out what I had written about Mysterious Girl first time around. I couldn’t find a way to shoehorn it into the Launch piece itself, so here it is for posterity, from the dotmusic chart commentary for the week ending June 1st 1996:

The campaign to turn the Australian pretty boy into a major star over here is apparantly reaping rewards. After a curious period at the end of last year when he appeared all over teen magazines, apparantly famous for being famous, he scored his first chart hit earlier this year with ‘Only One’, a pleasant enough pop song which didn’t really deserve more than its Number 16 peak. Now with his profile built even higher he releases a second single and scores an instant smash hit. Actually I could do to curb my natural cynicism over this because ‘Mysterious Girl’ is actually rather wonderful, a summery reggae track featuring the toasting of Bubbler Ranx which would have been a hit single even if it wasn’t sang by a long-haired Australian with gleaming pectorals. But for the fact that ‘Three Lions’ looks to be in a strong position at the top, this track could even be marked as a potential Number One.

Hey, I wasn’t wrong either, just about seven years premature.