Years ago when I was still working in the City I was held up at knifepoint by a couple of young hoodlums. They wanted my ‘fucking wallet’ and eventually I gave it to them. Actually I threw it onto the pavement and they grabbed it and scarpered.

It was a shock. Didn’t they notice that I was more or less Superman? How did they know I didn’t have a black belt in something other than holding up trousers?

Anyway, I was less Superman than I thought because I needed a couple of counselling sessions afterwards to recover my ignorant and carefree old self. I discovered in those sessions that I was very good at being hypnotised.

All you have to say to me in a soft voice is ‘your eyelids are getting heavy’ and I fall asleep.

Those two hoodlums didn’t need a knife. They needed Diplomas in Clinical Hypnosis. They could have talked me into or out of anything, including my black belt.

Knowing how good I was at being entranced (note my positive spin) I literally couldn’t resist when SPONSORED CONTENT recently appeared on my FB feed offering to hypnotise me! It was my lucky day.

All I needed was a problem with alcohol (tick) and a desire to do something about it (um, maybe a question mark). But I couldn’t stop reading. My eyelids were getting heavy. I was going under.

If Robinson walked by in that moment and said ‘start vacuuming’ I would have done it. I’d still be doing it unless she counted to five and told me to ‘stop’ at some point later in the afternoon. Which I doubt she would do, having turned me on at the wall. I’d be like one of those little robot cleaners, bumping into furniture and walls but going on and on and on.

I read on through the SPONSORED CONTENT with heavy eyelids. There were five star reviews from old ladies in Hull and sailors from Portsmouth, geezers from London, all sorts, declaring their alcohol intake had plummeted or evaporated after hypnotherapist Hugh had given them a soft talking-to. The reviews looked real enough. There was bad grammar and spelling mistakes and everything you’d expect from recovering alcoholics who lived in the rain in England.

I wanted in!

The fee was modest. ‘About the same price as a bottle of whine,’ one reviewer noted, ‘you can’t loose.’

Robinson was incredulous when I told her of my intention. She offered to walk around behind me whispering ‘do not drink my chardonnay, do not drink my chardonnay’ in a calm but sort of creepy voice as a free alternative to my online purchase.

Too late. By now I was deeply engaged with Hugh and already fumbling for my credit card.

One minute later I got an email advising that my alcohol dependence hypnotherapy download had arrived. All I needed now was a quiet room and the rest of my life.


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