One of the most exhausting chores the modern world throws at us is getting to grips with the brain-boggling embarrassment of choice available to us.
What to eat, what to wear, what to see, what to think, what to do... Owww, my head hurts! Thankfully, many of these decisions are taken for us. Newspapers tell us what to think, advertisers tell us what to buy, television schedulers tell us what to view, and TV reviewers tell is whether it was worth watching. Even so, it's rare to find any real consensus about what is the best football team to support (Arsenal Wanderers), exactly which is the tastiest flavour of Pot Noodle (cheese and strawberry), and whether Robbie Williams' last album was any good (whatever). Sometimes we are forced to make these decisions for ourselves - and that's just not fair!
But now there is an answer to this depressing difficulty - step forward Kevin the Mystic Trout. Using traditional fishy wisdom, Kevin has already helped many thousands of people by divesting them of those troublesome, everyday decisions that blight our lives. Don't know what to have for dinner tonight? Ask Guru Kevin. Want to know what to put on your iPod? Kevin knows. Not sure whether to take a jacket with you today? Kevin reckons you ought to take something waterproof, 'cause it looks like rain.
"Listen, I is telling you this for your own good, you get me? Don't diss my fishy business, or I is going to mess you up, big time. Pow! I is going all piscine on your ass, blood."
Kevin the Mystic Trout, Woking, September 2007.
Kevin first discovered his amazing talent for decision-making when he was a young tadpole, or leveret, or whatever it is that baby fish are called. Growing up in a small suburban river in the Midlands, fishy stardom seemed an unlikely caller. But then, one Tuesday, Kevin was bitten on the arse by a radioactive kipper. He rapidly developed not only the power of invisibility and a passion for fizzy drinks, but also a complete understanding of Ancient Troutlore. This mystical and archaic knowledge had apparently been lost to fish-kind since the dawn of time. But now, through an innocent act of kipper violence, it had been reawakened in Kevin, expanding his consciousness a hundredfold, and bestowing upon him extraordinary powers of insight and judgement.
"Even though that manky kipper, you know, he bit me on the batty, I do not harbour no grudge. For he is my brother and his actions created in me this like power, init? So I am cool about the kipper, bro. Now, has any of you got any Tizer?"
Kevin the Mystic Trout, Weybridge, February 2008
But although he was blessed with this new mystic jiggery-pokery, Kevin would have to work hard at learning the patience and discipline needed to put his talents to good use. And so, packing a few essential belongings into a backpack, he hitch-hiked to Tibet where he spent the next three years sitting on top of a mountain, contemplating his swim bladder and gasping for air. Then, only once he had achieved a state of enlightenment and memorised the names of every Grand National winner since 1922, Kevin descended to the foothills. Here he studied dolphin karate and learnt to play the banjo.
"Ain't nothing wrong with a banjo, blood. I is pumping out 250 BPM of sweet Cajun funk. Maximum twang."
Kevin the Mystic Trout, Lowestoft, October 2009
Then finally - it was another Tuesday, actually - Kevin was ready for his initiation into the Ancient Society of Troutmancers and Associated Heating Engineers (Colchester Branch). In a ceremony presided over by the Sacred Prawns of Justice he was presented with the Ermine Sash of Wisdom, The Power Orb of Tarn, and a certificate of attendance. After lunch they had a quiz.
Returning home with nothing more than his newly developed skills and a suitcase full of duty free ketchup, Kevin found himself in great demand as people and fish sought his opinion on many varied and learned matters. Should I wear socks with these sandals? Is this milk off, or will I get another day out of it? Do I really need to get dressed to go out to the all-night garage, or should I just go in my pyjamas? Kevin had an answer for them all.
"Butt-munchers of the world, and those of you what do not know their batty from their elbow. Do not worry your empty heads about whether you is going to put two or three sugars in your tea - you do not need to fink about it ever again. Bring me your problems and your dilemmas and I will decide them for you. But first you ought to fink about getting some new trainers, 'cause them ones you got on are well dodgy, you get me?"
Kevin the Mystic Trout, Cleethorpes, August 2010.
These days Kevin is universally recognised for his legendary decision-making, consummate tightrope walking skills and unparalleled cheesecake recipe. He currently counts world leaders, Hollywood A-listers and celebrity reality show parking attendants amongst his clientele. His company, Fishtech Option Resolutions Ltd, occupies a four storey office block in one of the more desirable areas of the River Thames, and yet despite employing a staff of over 300 newts, toads and assorted freshwater fish, Kevin prides himself that he still makes every decision personally. And he's not at all worried about the competition that is springing up, most notably in the form of Carlos the Psychic Halibut of Tijuana.
"This bumbaclot don't worry me, blood," Kevin the Mystic Trout told us, speaking from Coventry last Tuesday. "I has heard that this ponchoed pussy is badmouthing me, and all that, but I ain't getting freaked about it. You know what, man - I can bide my time. I ain't sayin' nuffink, but fings happen, don't they? You read me - drive-by, pow! Just sayin', like..."