As the 51st state surrenders like the French to a laughable couple of inches of snow, while real live Americans prove how much tougher they are by actually dying, our minds turn to the one person we knew in New York who really did wear galoshes on a regular basis.

He was called Nigel, and he was tall and dark, and had that ethereal stillness that just screams 'serial killer'. We used to picture him going home at night and modelling the necklace he made from the toes of thirty murdered virgins.