Sunday, April 29, 2007

Charity Shop

As has previously been mentioned, my Saturday morning is filled at an unreasonably early hour with the attendance of Favourite Daughter’s ballet class and the necessary trawl, at FD’s insistance, around town that takes place afterward.

Which includes the Charity Shop. And the Woman In The Charity Shop.

Each Saturday she looks at her watch. And thinks to herself ‘Oooh that bleary-eyed man with the really beautiful little girl (she’s not his in my opinion) will be in soon. It’s nearly quarter past twelve.’

She fusses with her hair a bit.

‘I’ve got this wonderful connection with that young lady,’ she thinks to herself. ‘Our little game when I pretend to get her name wrong every time really delights her. Every week. For the last six months. Oh she loves the game, and, by extension, me. And I’m sure her Dad feels it to be the highlight of his day. Although he could have a shave. And comb his hair. And do a little more than grunt at me. Anyway. They’ll be here in a minute. What shall I call her today? She’s so funny though. Pretends not to be interested in my joke. Silly girl. I’m so good with kids me.’


Favourite Daughter: Daddy! Charity Shop!

Me: Christ. Must we?

FD: Daddy!

Me: O.K.

My teeth are already clenched in anticipation of the forthcoming Theatre of Non-Cross-Generational Communication between Favourite Daughter and Mental Charity Shop Woman. I mean. It’s been close to a fucking year now.

If either I or FD were to find that a shop-keeper’s pretend inability to remember a name were comedy gold, we would have perhaps laughed by now. Once. For the look of it.

We never have.

Mental Charity Shop Woman usually spends at least ten minutes following FD around chanting a number of intentionally inaccurate names as FD absent-mindedly chants ‘no’. And very obviously wishing she would Go Away.

It’s a difficult thing really. She (Mental Charity Shop Woman) is obviously doing her best to be nice. And has taken an obvious shine to FD. Which she cannot be blamed for in my eyes. She is also at the cutting edge of customer service. Remembers her customers and that.

Christ I wish she would die.

So. Anyway. We walk in.

I am bracing myself for the charade of politeness in which she pretends to forget my daughter’s name and neither me nor my daughter think anything of it and pretend to correct her for the EIGHT BILLIONTH TIME.

Mental Charity Woman: Aaah. It’s Annabel isn’t it? [FD’s name is not Annabel]

FD: [Very VERY loud] Gaaah! [Looks with total contempt at MCW and then me]. Not this AGAIN?! [Very VERY loud]

And then storms around for a bit, ignoring any retard adults.

I clench my teeth. Roll my eyes apologetically at MCW.

MCW is visibly taken-aback.

I wait until we are outside before I smother her with kisses.

She tells me to get off.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


It is morning. I am at a desk. Colleague Who Ressembles a Hobgoblin But Is Very Pleasant arrives, looking a bit flustered.

CWRAHBIVP: Morning Tired.

Me: Yeah.

CWRAHBIVP: Do anything nice last night?

Me: No.

CWRAHBIVP: By, I was in a rush this morning like. Nearly didn't have time to straighten my hair.


After a moment or two his head sinks and he stares with desolation at his desk-tidy. He knows what he has just done.

More silence.

Me: [Quitely] You're a good man and I like you. I am going to just pretend this didn't happen.

He nods moresely.

Me: But if I ever hear that sort of fuckery again you and I are going to have a little chat, like men, in the carpark. Are we understood?

He nods silently. His eyes are glistening.

Colleague Who Is Also Very Nice Despite Being American But She Has Apologised So That Is O.K. has overheard the exchange, and comes over.

CWIAVNDBABSHASTIOK: I just want to say, I think you're totally right Tired. [She is very good like this]. You guys round here do too much grooming and it just isn't right.

I nod sagely at this validation of my extreme wisdom.

CWIAVNDBABSHASTIOK: I mean, look at you Tired, right?

I do look good, I think to myself. She's right. I do like her.

CWIAVNDBABSHASTIOK: You're like so obviously not someone who spends a lot of time on their appearance.


Me: Fuck off.

It is seven minutes past nine.

Monday, April 09, 2007


Three-and-a-half months ago.

Upon realising that I have been twatting about on the Inter-Course until the early hours of the morning yet again, I decide it may be wise to turn the computer off and retire to bed.

As usual, I am not in the slightest bit sleepy, but have made some rather rash promises regarding by activities for the coming day. I should at least try and sleep.

Having had a shower some time previously, I am wearing only a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. No pants. The t-shirt is fine but the jeans are not fitting night attire. I cast about for something more suited to the lower regions.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not some Victorian sort who believes that sleeping with one’s undercarriage exposed is some form of degeneracy.

But the feeling when a small child creeps into the bed at God knows what hour and Little Dad is flopping about unrestrained is not one of well-being.

Ah. Upon the clothes-horse that does not in the slightest resemble a horse is a pair of my boxer shorts. Ideal.

I whip my jeans off, pausing only to be amused by the fact that I have no trousers on in the sitting-room before a Christmas tree, and begin pulling on my boxer shorts.

This proves problematic. They seem unusually tight and do not progress much higher than halfway up my calves.

I am now hopping about. With no trousers on. In front of a Christmas tree. There is some flapping.

Taking a closer look at my boxer shorts, I have something of a surprise.

They are not, in fact, boxer shorts. Nor or they mine.

I wonder how my nineteen-month-old Favourite Son would feel knowing that at two o’clock in the morning his half-naked Father could be found hopping around in front of a Christmas tree desperately trying to pull on a pair of Favourite Son’s trousers.

Personally, I felt rather uneasy.

I put my jeans back on. I am trapped. I do not know where alternative night-time attire would be located.

I cannot go to bed.
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