Regular readers will know that my usual tone here is one of affected cynicism leavened with cursewords and the occasional bout of scatalogical rambling. I have other talents too - I can do world-weary resignation or caustic sarcasm as the need arises, and I also do a decent line in lachrymose sentimentality, even if I do say so myself.
I can apply any of this to just about anything and, had you asked me yesterday about, say, grand shows of emotion following a celebrity snuffing it, you'd probably have got one of those types of responses.
So you can probably imagine how surprised I was to find out this morning that I was really, genuinely upset to hear that David Bowie had died.
I don't mean upset as in bummed out, or anything. I mean proper quivery-lip, no-I've-got-something-in-my-eye, hoping nobody raises it at work upset. It feels a bit like an old friend has died, one that I haven't spoken to for many years, but still liked to know he was around and doing his thing.
To say that this is unusual would be putting it mildly.
I've been having a think about why this is. I was a big fan of the late Jack Bruce, for instance, but I wasn't anything like as wobbly when he died in 2014. So what was different with Bowie?
At first, I thought it might be Dave's seeming permanence. Compared to other aged rock stars, Bowie retained the looks and the credibility. Jimmy Page looks like somebody carved an effigy of Worzel Gummidge out of a boiled ham. Madonna looks like last night's Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Dylan looks like somebody taught a goblin to play the harmonica.
Bowie was different, kind of invulnerable. The older he got, the cooler he looked - craggier, crazier, more and more Bowie, basically. And while that's true, it doesn't have much of an emotional resonance, so it couldn't be that.
Then I thought about the years when I was really into Bowie's records, my eighteen-year-old self slotting a Bowie's Greatest Hits tape into an old ghettoblaster in my bedroom and battering a scuffed acoustic guitar into submission, trying and failing to overcome my own spectacular lack of talent. But that's hardly a warm, fuzzy memory.
The more I thought about it, the more that I realised that my clear memories of Bowie were from childhood - of scratchy old LPs playing Life On Mars in the living room on bath-nights; of blaring car radios on family trips to zoos and playparks in summer; even of Dave prancing around the set of Labyrinth, chewing on the scenery, while my brother and I watched from the rug in front of the coal fire. My folks love Bowie.
Well, the old heartstrings twanged away at that, alright.
Bowie might have been the alien and the androgene to everybody else but it looks like to me, although I'd never quite appreciated it, he was also as much part of my childhood home as the pictures on the wall and the wee stone dog on the hearth. That's what the trembly-lip stuff is about really, about family and home and happiness.
And well, maybe that is a bit sentimental and sappy. Maybe it's quite self-involved and not really about the man himself, but it's not such a bad thing for him to have brought to the world.
Quite a nice way to be remembered, I think.
Anyway, a wee conceit here, to finish up. Dave has a cameo in the movie Zoolander, where he pops up unexpectedly to volunteer as a judge in a daft fashion contest.
"If nobody has any objections", he says, looking weird and fucking cool as usual, "I believe I might be of service".
The image freezes; a snatch of the riff from Let's Dance plays and the words "David Bowie" zap into the frame.
Ever since, I've always enjoyed kidding myself that this wasn't even a special effect. It's just what happened, any time that David Bowie showed up unexpectedly somewhere.