My idea of shopping is working out what I need, going to the shops that sell what I need, buying the stuff I need, then fucking off home. It’s simple really.
However, I’m in a relationship with a lady-person that enjoys nothing more than spending a day wandering around shopping centres and malls looking at shoes. I’m often called into bag carrying duty and tend to pass the time by checking out who else is about. People like:
The shop assistant
Well yes, they are a given, smart-arse. You get two kinds; the ‘too keen’ and the ‘only interested in my staff discount’.
Note to the ‘too keen’: if you asked if we want help and we said ‘no’, fuck off. Don’t lurk nearby like the Korean lady in Menace II Society, O-Dog ended up shooting her, remember? Although, saying that, you are much preferable to the ‘staff discount’ lot, who treat every customer like a personal insult.
I’m sure you did drink a lot the other night and I’m sure your orange friend at the next till is happy to listen to you list off the amount you drank like it’s an achievement worthy of praise, but just let me pay so I don’t have to hear you any more. It’s bad enough that I know you exist now.
The Topman (or other generic high street shop) advert You’re more likely to find this lad in smaller towns where the shopping choices are limited. You spot them on the high street and notice that everything they are wearing was on the mannequin in the shop you were just in. Apart from their semi-professional footballer haircut… That’s the same as all of their mates.
The middle-aged lady I haven’t quite worked this one out yet, but what I have ascertained so far is they exist to stop randomly, walk in to people they haven’t noticed and hold conversations with other middle-aged ladies in the middle of busy pavements.
You know the lady in front of you at the checkout that seems to forget that transactions aren’t completed till you PAY and when she remembers spends half an hour rooting through her ridiculously big handbag for her teeny tiny purse, in the process holding up everyone else in the queue? Yeah, that’s her.
The husband or boyfriend Can usually be found, laden with bags, a few steps behind a woman that is browsing the racks, looking bored. They are often spotted hanging around the fitting room area or anywhere inside a shop where there is somewhere to sit. Tense shoulders and eyes straight ahead are a dead giveaway if you happen upon them in the ladies’ undercrackers section.
The teenage boy and his mum He’s in his fitted cap and hoodie, bopping about like he’s got stones in his shoe. He’ll probably have a face on him like a five year old who’s dropped their ice cream as well. He’d look really fucking hard if he wasn’t with his mummy. And his name wasn’t Tim or Julian or something. And he wasn’t in the supermarket bit of Marks and Spencer.
Admittedly you don’t meet this lot in shopping centres and malls, they tend to be friends of friends you meet at parties that harp on about working in ‘retail’ and make it out to be as worthy and challenging as aid relief in war-torn third world countries. Fuck off, you just work in a shop.
Anyway, enough of that; I’m going to get a coffee.
Three years ago, I got one of those loyalty card things from Cafe Nero. Earlier this month, I actually managed to fill it and get me a free mug of coffee. Nice. In the three weeks since, I’ve managed to fill another one.
Have I turned into everything I hate? Maybe, but if everyone else can be ignorant about their twattish behaviour, then why the fuck can’t I?
Anyway, much like I noted in my first post on nightclubs, it doesn’t matter where in the country you go, you will always find the same generic people in the same generic coffee house chains. They include:
The staff They can either be far happier than someone working in the service industry should be, especially seeing as they deal pretty much exclusively with self-important lower middle-class arse-hats all day, or they are no eye-contact making monotoned zombies that make you feel about as welcome as the lovely folk in airport security. The further into a city you get, the more likely you are to meet the latter.
The laptop wanker Some of you are probably thinking that I’m sitting in a coffee house while I write this, aren’t you? Yeah, well i’m not, because I’m not a complete prick. So this lot can’t afford to pay for a home internet connection but can buy overly expensive coffee everyday? Hmm. They always seem to be using a Macbook or a wanky new tablet device too, right? Double hmm.
The brat No matter what the Daily Mail or the Torygraph tries to make you believe, society on the whole is kind. Your screaming child may receive polite smiles but inside everyone around you wishes you and your awful kids would fuck off so they can enjoy their drinks in peace. Look at the little fucker sipping their ‘babyccino’ (the person that named that needs to be poked in the eye with a shit-covered stick too, by the way). If it’s a boy, I bet their name is something like Hugo, Jonah or Rupert. A girl will be Beatrice, Regina or something equally as unfortunate or something hyphenated and its parents will insist on calling it by its full name. Better change that order to take-away.
The regular This is the loser that has ‘their seat’ and ‘their table’, knows the names of all the members of staff and rather than find that depressing, is proud of the fact. If you’re sitting in ‘their seat’, best believe they will make the staff aware of this fact and they will do it with all the passive-aggression they can muster. Like the above entry, they don’t seem to have an ‘inside’ voice, meaning that both their order and their displeasure at the seating arrangement is bellowed at full volume, regardless of how busy the place is.
I’ll get my latte on later this week and jot down some more.
In my last post about who you see on the beach, I mentioned ‘The cunt with a guitar’. Some of you may have thought ‘that’s a bit harsh’, but I don’t. I stand by my sentiments.
However, I do feel I should acknowledge that not everyone that aspires to a career in the music industry is a cunt (although I understand that it helps if you are). This post should sort that.
While I can still buss out a mean ambulance siren on a recorder and during my teens was often found spitting fiyah over Drum & Bass beats, nowadays my own musical ability is limited to solo Crystal Palace chants when I’m walking home drunk. While living in a university town, I have discovered that there are plenty of venues that allow the musically inclined to share their talent with the world. Here are a few of the usual suspects at these ‘open-mic’ nights:
The first timer Usually quiet and almost apologetic when they first hit the mic, maybe the first couple of bars are a bit shaky and they miss a chord or two, but by the second verse (provided their audience isn’t a bunch of unsupportive arseholes) they get well into it and generally reveal themselves to be:
The annoyingly good Maybe you met them some time and didn’t like them, maybe you made a judgement on their appearance and accent as they made their introduction, or maybe you’re one of the people that never learned an instrument and is a little bitter about it. Whatever; the details don’t matter. As this person starts playing, you just hope that they suck. When it is revealed that they don’t, it can either come as a pleasant surprise or simply fuel your hatred further. Your choice…
The downer This chirpy fucker steps up to the microphone and declares that they are going to sing ‘…a song I wrote when I was coming down off pills.’ Exactly what you’re looking for when you’re drinking vast amounts of depressant. They will then try to suck as much life out of the room as is possible in three minutes. Then they’ll probably play a dreary cover of Wonderwall to try and perk everyone up.
The performance poet Too middle-class to get away with rapping, their uniform appears to be a shit beard, a lisp and being slightly miffed at something. They tend to stand too close to the mic while they blurt out a muffled and fuck-strewn stream-of-consciousness and will then swagger around the pub like a cardigan-wearing Fonzie for the rest of the evening. I blame Scroobius Pip for every single one of them.
My mate John The Peter Jackson of open-mic nights. The only man in the world that can take a three minute song and make it last ten minutes but not add anything that wasn’t in the original. The only man in the world who can make an Elvis Presley number sound like something by Bob Dylan. The only man in the world who can get away with singing half a verse before stopping and deciding to play something completely different.
John, we salute you.
Check out the links page of my website for some annoyingly good musicians that I recommend you keep track of, along with some excellent writers (that aren’t as bitter, judgemental and sweary as me), illustrators, photographers and designers (graphics, jewellery and other craft stuff).
Well, summer’s been delayed here in the south-west it seems. But we have had enough good weather for me to do this post.
As is British tradition, whenever the sun peeks through the clouds for an extended period of time, it’s off to the nearest body of water to proudly display parts of our bodies that we don’t even like our other halves looking at on most days.
While you’re there, you might just run into:
The arsehole parent This character has already been noted by my esteemed homeslice Luke Tucker in a far more eloquent manner than I ever could, but fuck it, I’ll have a pop anyway.
So this is the parent that spends the entire day bollocking their kids at full volume, no matter how small the indiscretion. In the process they ruin any opportunity for their children to have fun and the people unfortunate enough to be near them to relax and enjoy themselves too. They do this under the guise of ‘good parenting’, blissfully unaware of the pity everyone feels for their poor, hen-pecked offspring, who will probably move out at sixteen into a shitty bedsit with a pervy landlord that they’ll have to sleep with when they can’t make the rent… And it all starts here on the sand…
The arsehole child Occasionally with the arsehole parent, but more often with some fucker that is blissfully unaware of what a odious human they have produced. This is the little shit that thinks they can do what they like and runs about screaming, kicking over sandcastles, shitting in the sea and just generally being abhorrent. If you make eye-contact with their owner, they just give you that dopey shrug and grin combo at says ‘What you gonna do, eh?’
Fucking discipline your child, that’s what.
The muscle-man On a rare break between gym sessions (like the last time we met them), this is a chance to grease up the abs and guns and go show those bad boys off. Ideally they like to keep moving, as just like sharks dying when they stop moving, these lot need to be exercising at all times, incase they start losing muscle-mass. So you will usually see them swaggering up and down the waterline in pairs, or occasionally jogging, but only if it’s midday and it’s about 30°c. And they always seem to be wearing wrap-around sunglasses…
The horny teenage boy This fella brings at least one horny teenage wing-man with him and a frisbee too. The general plan is to locate some lovely laydeez and start bussing their mad frisbee skillz near them. Strategically placed ‘stray’ throws provide opportunities for closer inspections and then, if those inspections prove positive, another can be a conversation starter. Especially if you hit the pretty one in the face.
The cunt with a guitar (sorry Mum, but no other word was even close to being as appropriate) Usually found in the evening by a fire that would make Ray Mears weep in shame, the fucker never rings ahead to check people would be interested in hearing him play, he just turns up with his axe and starts strumming away, ‘entertaining’ his companions (and anyone else unfortunate enough to be in earshot) with awful stop-start renditions of songs by Bob Dylan and whatever depressing indie folk band/singer students think they’re cool for listening to at the moment, until he forgets the words in the second verse or stops to explain that the chord progression in the next bit is quite difficult and he hasn’t quite mastered it yet. Oh, and he’ll play Wonderwall at some point too. They always fucking play Wonderwall*.
The pervert Know who this is? Every bloke! Why do you think we buy mirrored sunglasses? Duh.
Oh no… I’ve let the secret out. Fu-uck…
*Yes, it is a good song. But try listening to it out of choice after you’ve heard at least one person shit on it at every open-mic night you’ve ever been to.
Fuck terrorists, making me check in two hours before my flight… And what self respecting terrorist is going to bomb a flight from Gatwick to Newquay anyway? And if the masses react to the actions of a few, doesn’t that mean they’re winning?
Think I’m talking shit? Look up a definition of terrorism- and not on Wikipedia, you retard.
Anyways… It’s holiday season, yay! Jetting off somewhere? Look out for:
The jobsworth Could be the check in girl insisting you remove half a kilo from your suitcase but it is far more likely to be the failed police applicant by the metal detector who spazzes out because you forgot you were wearing a belt. Combine them with the fear-mongering of right-wing politics and news media and what do you have?
What was once one of the most memorable events of a person’s life, on one of the most amazing achievements in the history of mankind turned into a ‘criminal for a day’ experience. Thank you, terminal staff.
The smug Those fuckers in business class or those people that stroll past everyone else at the gate, pull out their ‘speedy boarding’ pass and stroll triumphantly onto the plane. You walk past the business class arseholes, who are trying out the gadgets built into their seats or seeing just how flat their seats can get before they become aware of someone else being nearby, before you reach your seat in the section of the cabin that smells of sick and illness. Then you discover that you have the pleasure of sitting next to or behind…
The person with a fucking baby There is no way on earth that you can get 100+ people to hate you quicker than arriving at a departure gate with a selection of small children. With luck, they’ll scream and cry and moan and kick and generally make the journey delightful for everyone who has paid hundreds of pounds for a ‘relaxing’ holiday. And anyway- how relaxing a time can you have with a three month-old in tow anyway?
The lads Admittedly, if you’re flying to ‘the stag weekend capital of Europe’ and you’re surprised to find this lot on your flight, you deserve everything you get. As long as you enjoy needless profanity, passive aggression, dick jokes, homophobic homoeroticism and all the above served drunk and AT HIGH VOLUME, you’ll be fine. Honestly, three hours is no time at all…