If you’ve been having trouble opening your mouth wide enough recently, this story should do the trick.
Talking to the always fabulous David Walsh (who perhaps should just be left to write everything) in the Sunday Times, the massively cheerful former England spinner Graeme Swann described how his father revealed to him that he had been adopted.
It’s a text-book example of what psychologists might call the “Northern direct” technique.
The 11-year-old Swann is taken by his Geordie father to play for Northants under-11s against Derbyshire.
His father sets up a camera on a tripod on the boundary, in anticipation of there being plenty to photograph when young Graeme is at the crease.
But it’s not to be. Batting at four, he’s bowled second ball.
Swann walks back to where his father is now sitting with his head in his hands, the tripod stowed away.
“I sat next to him with my little legs swinging,” recalls Swann, “and asked, ‘Dad, what could I have done better?’ He says ‘Don’t ask me, ask your real dad, you were adopted.’ That was it. No follow-up, he just looked straight ahead.”