I HAVE come to realise this week that some people, try as they might, will never be bad-ass.
They can wear all the leather and watch all the Tarantino, and murder all the puppies they want, but something about them will indefinitely always make people want to pat them on the head and say "aw".
Boris Johnson is one. Nobody with hair like a Mr Whippy Ice Cream will ever make you quake in your boots. Imagine Boris starting a bar brawl – "Oi, you, you startin' somefink? As MP for Henley and a former shadow minister for higher education, I hereby invite you, outside, now…". It would never work. A simple "put a flake in it, Bozzer" and he'd have melted into his barstool.
Alan Davies is another obvious example. Fed up after enduring five series of being the simpleton off QI, Stephen Fry's personal squeezy stress toy, grinning stoically with every acerbic arrow of wit and wisdom fired into his little orphan Annie curls, he decides he needs a change of image. "I need to show people I'm tougher than this," thinks Davies. "I need to reinvent myself as the Ray Winstone of foppish hairdos."
So, what does he do? Get a big, angry dog? Pick a fight with Colin Farrell outside The Ivy? Drop in some subtle reference to his Essex mafia connections next time Stephen belittles him for not knowing, as no real human should anyway, the name of the Earth's third moon?
No. He bites a tramp on the ear. Admittedly, some public bloodshed might have been the ticket for leaving his Abbey National days behind, but the ear? Really Alan? That's not Reservoir Dogs, that's just over-exuberant petting.
So, like Boris and Alan, I've realised that I, too, will never be hardcore.
No amount of Black Sabbath on my iTunes will negate the way I a) secretly want frocks like Margot in The Good Life, b) use baking as the ultimate de-stressing procrastination activity, or c) occasionally cry at really moving adverts.
I am the girl who feels genuine guilt pangs when she presses the button at a pedestrian crossing and then crosses before the lights have changed. I own a pocket watch, for Pete's sake. I'm never going to be Uma Thurman.
This week, however, I reached my point of fluffy overload: learning to knit, wearing a petticoat, while watching the Sound of Music.
Suddenly, warning sirens sounded and my cynicism generator started to malfunction. "Do something, quick", it screamed, "or you will be doomed to a life of Dolly Parton and Brady Bunch rereuns and never know the joy of sarcasm again."
So I did. I went and got a tattoo. Sorry, Granny.
But like Davies and his hobo-buffet, I was soon to realise bloodshed doesn't necessarily equate to people cowering when you walk into the pub. Particularly when, and here's the snag, it's your own bloodshed. And you declare "that hurts less than epilating!" when it's over, and then spend the afternoon trawling branches of Boots looking for the right brand of recommended nappy rash cream to take care of your new artwork.
Nappy rash cream isn't hardcore, folks – it is bad-ass in a very different sense.
So, inked up but still more Nancy Drew than Nancy Spungen, I was prepared to accept that I am doomed to a life in the fluffy club, forever to have hair that looks like confectionary and too many pillows and weep at musical theatre.
Then, out of nowhere, arrived a letter that changed all that and upped my hardcore status threefold.
Haringey Council is branding me a common criminal! I am contravening Section 1-3-something of the 1980 Highways Act and could be prosecuted! Take THAT, Julie Andrews! Lauren Bravo lives life on the wrong side of the law. Well… she places her wheelie bin on the wrong bit of pavement, anyway.
And as it turns out, the wheelie bin politics extends to all houses in the road, it being the absurd notion of the council that we should start storing our household waste in the middle of our living rooms instead to save unsightly pavement obstruction.
We have written an angry reply. Which isn't a bar brawl, ear mutilation or horse head in anybody's bed, but it's a start. Once they hear about my tattoo, I'm sure they'll back down quietly.