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Good call rescues Ben from mother-in-law quandary

We've all heard the theory; if you've got a girlfriend, she'll end up looking like her mother. She may even end up acting like her mother; which, depending on your taste in women, could be a good thing or could be a bad thing. According to Brad and Dan from the Fosters advert, however, it certainly isn't something to worry about.

Our concerns are encapsulated by Ben from Southend, a normal-looking bloke who decides to give Brad and Dan a call in his hour of need; which, by the looks of things, appears to be during a family dinner party. He wants to know immediately, he cannot wait a minute longer. "I was just wondering," he says, "Is my girlfriend definitely going to end up looking like her mum?"

Now, Brad and Dan aren't your standard agony aunts; or in this case agony uncles. The pair of laid-back Aussies fancy themselves as wise men; they have answers to any question that modern man may have. Like some warped version of the Samaritans, they understand our worries and are there if we need them. They may be on the other side of the world in a rather quaint looking beach shack, but they're there if we need them. All it takes is a good call.

Fortunately for Ben, he is immediately put at ease by his Aussie chums. "Benno!", Brad and Dan reply. Their words of wisdom take just moments to materialise. In a superb example of quick thinking, they offer Ben some reassurance using the one thing that has brought Australia and the UK closer than any (in terms of TV shows with questionable acting, at least) other: Neighbours.

"Put it this way mate," Dan explains. "Did Scott ever wonder if the lovely Charlene was going to end up looking like Madge?" Ben is forced to think. He is British, therefore he knows Neighbours. He appears to be in his 30s, so he is of the right age to remember Scott and Charlene's blossoming romance, possibly even their outrageously 80s hairstyles. He also remembers Madge. Ah, Madge. Most of us have never got over her loss.

"Course he didn't," Dan continues, before being interrupted by Brad, who is keen to impart his own words of wisdom: "You'll find as you get older mate, other stuff will start to occupy your mind." It's true. At this point, Ben turns away to a rather attractive bikini-clad lady who, by the looks of things, appears to have a penchant for fishing. She knows what she's having for dinner this evening.

"Like, why do I have hair growing out my ears?", Brad questions. Is it wise to replace one of Ben's concerns with another? Many men of a certain age are terrified by this unusual but inevitable phenomenon. A quick clean of the ears and, oh, what's this, a hair. Hmm, this can be easily removed by my cotton bud... but, hang on, it's not moving. Then the realisation sets in; it's attached. You have become an old man. A quick glance at your girlfriend and yep, she's turned into her mother. It's all downhill from here.

However, if this thought can reassure Ben, albeit temporarily, then Australia's wise men have succeeded in their mission. Dan decides not to risk it and quickly moves on: "How do they make Scotch eggs?", he asks. This is a question less about tapping into man's insecurity and more about distracting our man in need. It's a question that taps into our logic-fuelled, alpha male brains. A hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat and breadcrumbs. But, how? Well, the next time you're in need and Brad and Dan are engaged, why not give it some thought? It won't solve your man troubles but it will make them go away for however long you choose to think about it; just don't use the Internet to cheat.

It's time to wrap up this little phone call, it's no use Ben from Southend getting confused. Also, there's a genuine risk that the other dinner party guests will become suspicious. Brad concludes: "Don't worry about the future mate, just enjoy the now." And then the killer line from Dan: "Who knows, she could turn out to be a Vorderman?". Carol Vorderman, a mainstay of British teatime TV, has aged remarkably well. This is undisputed; some have even compared the queen of the vowels and the consonants to a fine wine.

Ben knows this is true and cannot hide his excitement. He cannot see the giant poster of Carol at the back of Brad and Dan's beach shack, but he can imagine her face without too much trouble. "Oh, that'd be nice!" he says, almost shouts, a little too loudly. Job done; our man from Essex is reassured. He is happy. He will live for today and not worry about the future. He and his girlfriend will grow old together and, with a bit of luck, he won't even notice the ageing process. All is well; Brad and Dan have succeeded.

Now, Ben must continue with his life. His little yelp of excitement about Carol Vorderman, however, has not gone unnoticed. Still on the phone to his Aussie mentors, he turns sheepishly to the room where the dinner party guests are contained and tells Brad and Dan that he must go. His girlfriend looks confused; his potential mother-in-law slightly more confused. Ben is on his own now. He must walk back into that room, appetite restored, shoulders back and head held high; for his mission is clear. It begins and ends with today. Tomorrow; a new one begins. And who knows what a new day will bring?

"No worries mate!" is Brad and Dan's farewell. With a bit of luck, Ben will no longer have any worries. He has made his good call and reaped the rewards. Trouble is; there are hundreds, thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of Bens out there, all of whom are plagued by man troubles. Our Australian wise men, it seems, have their work cut out.

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