Monday 4 January 2010

How much?

15st 4lb, 7.1 units. So far, so good. The weight is falling off me, mainly because I was so bloated after lunch yesterday that I could not have eaten another thing all day if my life had depended upon it. (Actually, that might be a very slight exaggeration.) I just lay on our lovely new DFS (ooh, bit of product placement there, as Ben Elton might once have said) leather sofa like a beached whale, reading James Hawes’s My Little Armalite. Though frankly if you ever spot a beached whale reading a novel you probably ought to ring an optician or a good nut doctor rather than the RSPCA or your local marine animal rescue team. Don’t worry if you see a dolphin doing it, though. In their case it would be perfectly normal, since I read in the paper yesterday that they have been proved to be the second most intelligent species on the planet and deserve to be treated as honorary human beings. In fact I suspect that this probably undervalues them, as I have never yet heard of a dolphin blowing its gonads off in an attempt to bring down an airliner, under the delusion that this will (a) advance the sum of dolphin happiness on earth or (b) lead to its immediate translation to a heavenly paradise where it will be fed carefully selected fish by 72 dolphin virgins.

I got up at a refreshingly early hour and wrote a newspaper column about my troubled conscience. While I was doing so I absent-mindedly forwarded to a client a link that a press cuttings agency had sent me to a story about two of said client’s competitors. Shortly afterwards the client’s managing director, who had actually bothered to read the piece, politely enquired why I was sending him stuff about companies which had both gone bust years ago, thus making me look a thorough-going tit. (Not hard, I know, but still annoying.) The answer can only be that the national newspaper concerned is progressively populating its website with old stories (why?) and, at least occasionally, dating them when they were posted on the Internet rather than when they were originally published in the paper. That should cause a bit of stimulating confusion for the next generation of historians.

Later in the morning someone e-mailed to enquire the name of the digital radio about which I was raving here the other day. I don’t know why I was so coy; it is a Pure Evoke Flow, or at any rate those are the names imprinted on its smart black casing. But then it occurred to me that I might be making the classic Eric Morecambe mistake of giving all the right names, but not necessarily in the right order. So I made the much more serious mistake (and it’s ALWAYS a mistake, as I should have known long before now) of looking it up on the Internet to check. Which in turn led to the realization that it cost far less than I had assumed. Unlike Mrs H’s principal Christmas present of a pair of Dubarry boots, about which she had been making covetous noises ever since she spotted them in the window of the local country clothing store. They did not have them in stock in her size, so I ordered a pair and went to collect them. Giving my name to the sweet old lady behind the counter, I explained that they were a Christmas gift for my wife.

“Ooh, that’s a very generous present,” she said.

“No, not really,” I replied. “I’m buying her a laptop for her main present,” not adding that this was because I was fed up to the back teeth of her borrowing mine and navigating away from my favourite porn sites to crap about babies’ health and dietary requirements.

“Ooh,” she said. “You were quite a catch, weren’t you?”

I looked modestly at my feet.

Then she handed me the terminal to authorize my credit card transaction and I leapt back uttering a cry of “HOW MUCH???” at a volume I have not experienced since I stopped sharing an office with a Jewish Yorkshireman. “F***ing hell, I only want the one pair, you know, not the whole bloody shop!”

She explained that that was how much they cost. Per pair. So I paid up. Mrs H did not get her laptop, but I have been scouring the Internet for an old-fashioned John Bull India rubber printing kit, which I am sure she will find almost as much fun. And a woman did come up to her in the bogs at the pub yesterday lunchtime and say how much she liked her boots and where (rather than how) did she get them? I’ll piss myself if they turn out to be this year’s must-have lesbian pick-up accessory. But when was life ever quite that good?


CC said...

I am pleased to be back and touched that you'd noticed I'd left the other blog.
I do check in now and again to both as I enjoy your commentary... OK, rants.

As for the expensive boots.....
A case of "Be careful what you wish for" if I ever saw one. But then again, Mrs. H has given YOU an even nicer gift. ;-)

Abigail Rogers said...

I see that you have listed England as one of your interests! Maybe you would be interested in my new blog:

As often as possible I will post photographs of glorious vistas, charming close-ups, and interesting tidbits of life in Great Britain for the pleasure of Anglophiles everywhere!