Tuesday, 3 November 2009


I have been beastly about chuggers in the past, for which I feel a twinge of guilt. Fuck's sake, they're only trying to make a few donations after all. Who am I to judge? Especially as this may be my next career move.
It's just...

In terms of shopping, I can't stop being an English male. If I need to buy something which isn't a pint of lager or a copy of the Currant Bun, I am immediately out of my comfort zone. The other day, noticing the fraying on the cuffs of my favourite shirt, I knew I had to take action. However, I eschewed the usual bun fight of M&S (Next is no longer an option in my neck of the woods, which is undoubtedly a good thing) and headed through Strutton Ground to McCombie Bros towards the Scotland Yard end of Victoria Street. Two shirts for £30. Bargain, I'm sure you will agree. It was (and is) also my kind of shop. Eccentric and odd. Not widely patronised. The assistant was sporting a mohican and the proprietor was filling in some stock sheets over the shirt racks as I entered. As mohican boy plonked down a couple of teas, the old man accidentally stood on his foot, and he reacted by silently demonstrating the agonising pain he was suffering - screwing up his eyes and hopping from side to side theatrically. But then he (I mean the boss) had to go and spoil it, didn't he?

He asked me if I was all right. The bastard.

He wondered if I needed any help. I told him that I was browsing - thank you - and I think managed to achieve an uneasy equilibrium after this rude interruption. But there was no doubt that something had been lost between us in that moment of prostitution, and things would never be the same again. I did end up buying a couple of dickies in the end, but I felt sullied nonetheless.

Then there's the Big Issue sellers. I do not mean to attack the homeless, as this would be pure foolishness, but I cannot abide the way that the sale of a magazine has to be so personalised. The lack of response (even should this be in the negative) is seen as a snub. I don't know why I have to enter into this immediate and ephemeral contract with someone standing on a corner, and why I have to feel so bad about not keeping my end of it.

For me, it's symptomatic of the malaise affecting the world...

But you've heard my bullshit on this subject too many times. I will allow you to continue browsing without further interruption.


Michael said...

That's one thing I like about being a foreigner in Japan. After the initial, disconcerting chorus of welcomes, you're virtually invisible until you've got at least one hand on the counter.

Myeral said...

I would like to be virtually invisible