Are you gay for special forces?

DO you like hard men a little too much? Never confusing the Spetsnaz, the SAS or US Navy SEALs? Has your interest in elite military units blossomed into something more?

You read books about them in bed

Not just Bravo Two Zero, thought it is your comfort read for lonely nights. And what’s wrong with imagining Andy McNab reading you a chapter at bedtime? And maybe hopping in beside you, to cuddle up and keep warm as if you were evading capture in the Iraqi desert? It’s about survival. Not sex.

You fantasise about intimate unarmed combat training

You can definitely see yourself wrestling on a gym mat with Matt Bissonnette, his muscular arms enfolding you as he explains basic restraint techniques and how he was on the raid that killed Bin Laden. And if there’s a spark of attraction as his lithe body overpowers yours, it’s only because he’s miming breaking an enemy sentry’s neck.

You’ve always had a thing for Lewis Collins

You’ve always been fascinated by Lewis Collins. You thought it was because he had a cool Ford Capri in The Professionals and Who Dares Wins was wonderful crypto-fascist fun, but now you realise there was more to it. Luckily society is less prejudiced these days, so it’s a lot easier to come out as a balaclavasexual.

You know more about special forces than you know about your girlfriend

You struggle to remember your girlfriend’s birthday or the date she left you but can instantly name the technical specifications of the SAS’s preferred assault rifle. An M16 firing a standard NATO 5.56mm cartridge and fitted with an M203 grenade launcher for 40mm rounds. Facts like that stick in the mind, that’s all.

You dream about covert operations

Doesn’t everyone dream about storming a secure compound in Islamabad with a group of buff men?  All firing Heckler & Kochs from the hip? There’s nothing Freudian about that, or your recurring dream about going down on Bear Grylls.

You hang on their every word

Chris Kyle’s homespun philosophy in American Sniper, where he says there are three types of people in the world ‘wolves, sheep and sheepdogs’, is just common sense. Obviously you aspire to be a sheepdog like Chris. Or you’d like him to stroke you and tickle your tummy.

You emulate them

Unlike a Swiftie you can’t copy the fashions of the men you admire so as combat fatigues and a gas mask tend to get the police called. And joining the army is out of the question because the pay’s low and the chance of war high. So largely you emulate them by saying ‘on my six’ when asked where the brioche buns are in Sainsbury’s.

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Playing shows at 1.5x speed: the weird ways boomers and Gen Z watch TV

YOUR elderly parents and the youth of today have little in common, except they choose to watch television like f**king maniacs. This is how they get it wrong: 

Playing shows at 1.5x speed

Sitting down to savour a television programme in real time is eschewed by both, for contrasting reasons: Gen Z exist in a world so stuffed with content there aren’t enough hours in the day to consume it all, while your parents speed through Vera so they can see the murder solved and be in bed with a Horlicks by 10pm.

Dual screening

The young are expert dual-screeners, with one eye on TV and the other live-tweeting reaction or scrolling TikTok. Boomers do the same thing but with Facebook on the iPad. But their brains aren’t wired for it, meaning they’re constantly missing twists in their ITV drama because of drama on the neighbourhood group, where Ethel has seen a possible stray dog.

Talking throughout

Watch telly with anyone below 25 or above 60 and they’ll chatter mindlessly throughout, as if it were no more than visual wallpaper. The former have seen their attention spans destroyed by growing up in the digital age, and the latter by simple, honest senility. Both are equally annoying.

Pissing about with the controls

Your parents have the colour on the TV so high that watching The One Show is a psychedelic trip, because they’re terrified one touch of the remote will break the television forever. Gen Z have had devices in their hands since they were old enough to grip and have to constantly press buttons to know they’re alive.

Having the subtitles on

The young like subtitles because they can briefly look up from their phones and follow the plot without giving it their full attention and besides, it makes for better memes. Your parents like subtitles because they’re deaf and believe everybody mumbles. They will never understand what a meme is and you should never try to explain.