Bunny Boilers

Invasion of the bunny boilers

More of us than ever are experiencing a version of the psycho avenging lover made famous in Fatal Attraction. Cosmo Landesman hears some scary tales

Have you ever been bombarded with text messages from a man who says he wants to marry you and make babies — after only one drink? Have you ever had your suits slashed by an ex-girlfriend or wife? If so, consider yourself lucky. You got off lightly. Last week a crown court jury heard allegations that a man responded to his wife’s request for a divorce by burning down their house, though he denies it.
But these days there are many examples of hell having no fury like a man divorced or a woman dumped. Or so says Paul Duddridge in a new book entitled Ever Dated a Psycho? It’s a collection of true-life tales of dates from hell. Reading Duddridge’s book, it’s tempting to conclude that we have become a nation of emotional nutters.
Clearly something has changed in relations between the sexes. In the old days a man could expect a slap in the face from a woman scorned. Now she will attack a man where it really hurts: in his phone and e-mail contact lists. One contributor to Ever Dated a Psycho? tells of the time he had been dating a girl for just a few weeks when, “One morning I woke up and checked my mobile for messages. When I looked in the contacts list on my phone all the numbers for females had been deleted. She had even deleted numbers that were my family, ie my mum and my gran. She said I didn’t need any other girl’s numbers now I was with her.” He made his excuses and left. For good.
Duddridge’s book is full of wonderful girls who turn into “complete bunny boilers overnight”. Although Duddridge claims that women make better psychos, he fails to point out that the really terrible acts of violence are mostly committed by men. Instead he concentrates on the loopy side of male lovers. His men hide in gardens to spy on ex-girlfriends, they are obsessed by Rupert Bear, they cut their...