Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Service/Retail Grief.

‘I’m sorry,’ says the Unsympathetic Woman, ‘but we can’t do anything with that. It is far too dirty.’

I blink for a bit.

‘Pardon?’ I say.

‘Your coat. You’ll have to clean it before we can do anything with it.’

I am in a Dry-Cleaning Emporium. Brandishing an overcoat. My only overcoat. It is apparently offensive in that it is not in pristine condition.

‘I need to take my coat away. And then clean it myself. With my hands. And then bring it back. So that you can then clean it?’

‘I’m afraid so, yes. It is far too dirty for us to consider.’


I then proceed to the You Can Purchase Anything Imaginable Emporium. I require a new keyboard for my computing machine so that people reading my emails do not suspect me of being a drunkard/imbecile when they see that every other letter of each word is missing.

In order to acquire this I have to leaf through a laminated catalogue until I see a picture of my desired item. I then have to write an arcane code onto something that resembles a betting slip.

Taking the betting slip to a troglodyte behind a small computing machine of her own results in my paying for the item. After queuing for a bit. Despite never having even seen it.

The troglodyte then refuses to surrender my coveted purchase.

It seems I have to join another queue. And wait to receive the item I have just paid for. Strictly speaking my keyboard has been stolen before I have even touched it. After suffering wipe-clean magazines and arcane rituals involving betting slips.

Three people before me are informed, before their stolen goods are presented to them, that the goods themselves are not exactly as they would have imagined. In that they are different items altogether. And is that O.K?

When I reach the desk of Kidnapped Goods That Rightly Belong To Someone Who Paid For Them Fifteen Minutes Previously the following exchange takes place:

‘Seems like a bit of a lucky dip here.’ Say I.

’43?’ Says he.

It has been an unsatisfactory afternoon.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Go And Buy This Book.

I'm in it so it must be O.K.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Girls Are Scary

I head into my Local Shop, side-stepping the youths who darkly demand cigarettes and/or the purchase of Smirnoff Ice.

Having recently experienced an unpleasant episode involving a football, I now just want to purchase some cigarettes and return to the safety of my home.

Heading toward the counter, my heart sinks as I see an Elderly Person engaged in the purchase of every single lottery ticket available in the country. Perhaps the machine will run out of paper.

Also present are a group of schoolgirls, milling around being girly. I glance at them.

Shit. They are THAT age. Not women by any stretch of the imagination. Technically still girls, but girls who have realised they have some strange influence on adult men. That they can make them go red. And perspire. I’m not sure if they even now how or why.

I start to worry. Although by no means a matinee idol, I am not ugly. I am their ideal target. Thirties, not hideous. Christ.

It’s O.K. I think to myself. Just do not look at them.

I can already hear them whispering. Already. I know it’s about me. I start to feel quite warm.

God. They must be thirteen if that. Just don’t look at them. It’ll be O.K. It’ll be fine. Fuck me this hag is taking an aeon with her lottery tickets.

They start to giggle. The whispering continues. ‘He fancies you.’

Christ, I think. Just don’t look. Everything normal here.

My eyes do a spastic thing and, without warning, point themselves directly at the TITS of one of these barely pubescent girls.

Shit. SHIT.

They explode in a combination of laughter and whispers.

Fuck. FUCK.

I am now VERY hot. I really would like to be elsewhere, but would also quite like some cigarettes. Fuck me Miss Havisham is taking fucking forever with her cunting lottery tickets.

The laughter and whispering intensifies. Kinell, I think. I should tell them I’ve got a daughter. That’ll help.

Whilst thinking about my tormentors, my eyes unconsciously swivel toward them. And point directly at the ARSE of one of their number.

I’m dead in the water and all concerned know it. They have beaten me. Actually quite LOUD laughter and pointing of fingers ensues.

'He's got a hard-on!'

I have not.

Elderly Person completes her additional purchase of an entire roll of scratch cards and departs. I step to the counter.

Shop Assistant woman looks at me with distaste.

I decide that this will not do. I shall explain to her that this is just what girls of that age DO. That they have tricked and humiliated me because they have just discovered they CAN. Without fully realising why. Yes. I will do that.

Me: Um. Twenty Regal Filter please.

Shop Assistant: Uh-huh.

I make my purchase and head toward the door. My palms are wet. I stand in front of the glass door for a moment or two.

Nothing happens. I step back. Nothing happens.

Oh you twat. It was NEVER an automatic door.

More girlish laughter.

It is getting dark now. I head toward the door to open it manually but notice someone on the other side heading toward it at the same time. Being a gentleman I wait for this person to come in first.

And then realise that said person is merely my reflection in the glass that has, in the dark, become a mirror.

Considerably more girlish laughter.

I RUN home.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Comic Relief Is Shit.

But this might not be:

*SIGH* I'll be noshing-off real publishers next.

I swore to myself that I'd never get involved in this sort of hippy-internet-we're-all-mates nonsense. But it is for the starving. Or the spastics. Lesbians maybe. Mentals. Oh I don't know.

Anyway. Have a look. I suppose it's a jape, and anyone who doesn't want to see their stuff in REAL print is a liar.

More on the personal humiliation front soon.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Throw / Catch.

I am walking down my street. On my way to my Local Shop.

I don’t know what it is. I’ve never had much interest in the physical pursuits. I don’t know why. My Grandfather (don’t even get me started on that grand old bastard. There’s a permanent blog in it) continues to study and practice Art decades after he retired from teaching it. And has read Everthing. Maybe it is from him. Or maybe it is because I am not tall and built like a pencil.


I pass by the waist-high wall of the back-garden that belongs to one of our neighbours. In attendance are several children playing football and, at the bottom of the garden, several Dads observing. Adopting the classic stance. Legs wide, arms crossed aside from the right hand which clutches a can of Stella Artois.

The ball gets away from them. And sails over the wall. Toward me.

I start to panic. I may be required to Do Something.

In slow motion the ball heads toward me.

Assorted Children: Mate. MATE. Can you get our ball?

I reach out to catch it. It scrapes my hands and begins bouncing downhill.

I tried to catch it. Hence I am now committed. I go running after it. I catch it. And walk back to their garden.

I attempt to drop-kick the ball and miss. My foot flails in mid-air whilst the ball bounces away. Again. Once more I run and catch it.

Accepting my limitations, I now throw it over the wall. Well. I say over. It clips the top of the wall and bounces back toward me.

I duck so it does not smack me in the face.

And then go running after it. AGAIN.

I then HAND it to one of the children.

Child: [With tears in his eyes] Yeah. Thanks a lot.

Parent-type: [Desperately trying to breath normally and slightly doubled-up] Yeah. Cheers for that.

Me: Um. Yeah.

I proceed to the Local Shop.

Where things actually get worse.

To be continued.
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