No, really, I honestly want to know.
Today, I actually left my house, and I went into town [which, as it turns out, was a horrible mistake – but I will get to that shortly]. There were a number of reasons for my decision to interact with the real world for a change;
- I woke up at 11am and didn’t feel tired – that’s weird, and momentous, so I wanted to do something with a bit more enthusiasm than normal
- I have been needing more plastic wallets and backing boards for my comics since at least August last year and only remembered today that I never actually picked them up
- I needed a new storage unit for my bathroom since the current one really sucks balls, has done since I bought it 3 years ago, but I have only now decided to do something about it.
And so, I set about my day with purpose. I had breakfast (which is also unusual) and freshly brewed coffee (which really isn’t), dragged some clothes on and got in my car – which still has frogspawn on the rear corner, but as far I am am concerned that shit is staying there until it gets rained off.
The sun was out and everything was going swimmingly; I was listening to the new While She Sleeps album on the drive in, and thoroughly enjoying myself. There is a carpark in town almost next door to the comic book shop, which is coincidentally free-to-park at weekends. I got to Close Encounters and the items I ordered last Summer where unsurprisingly no longer there. I left a new order and this time made sure they had my contact details, which would probably have helped last time, thinking about it…
I stepped out of the shop and into the sunshine. I briefly weighed up the idea of driving my car to Argos for the new bathroom unit, but I decided that was not only lazy, but also the main carpark I would need to leave my car in would be rammed – plus it charges for parking at the weekend. I made what seemed like the best choice at the time and embarked on the short walk across the town centre.
Almost immediately, it became apparent that I had made a massive error of judgement.
I followed a small dreadlocked blond dude who was wearing huge white Beats by Dre headphones, excessively loudly whistling what sounded like that bit from 5 6 7 8’s – Woo Hoo over…and over…and over…AND FUCKING OVER… all the way from the Racehorse pub to McDonalds on the Drapery.
If you’re not familiar with Northampton, here’s a map for reference.
That’s way longer than any song would be repeating what he was actually whistling, which tells me that he was simply being a dick.
Recently, in a desperate attempt to – literally – drive more traffic into the town centre, our local council in its infinite wisdom decided to de-pedestrianise a stretch of the main high street. It has been paved for at least the last 30 years that I have been conscious of, but has now been returned to being a road…which means all of the pedestrians are now jammed into a fraction of the space that there used to be. There is now nowhere to go to avoid the assholes and the pushchairs, or strollers as they are now marketed. Thanks, America.
I simply do not understand the pushchair thing. I’ve SEEN babies, and they are tiny. I have also had more than one woman insist that I hold one. Those things are definitely the same size as cats, and cats move around loads more, so there is no WAY that they need something the size of a Smart car to be transported around in. If your pushchair/stroller is bigger than a cat-carrier […granted, on wheels for ease of movement and also raised off the floor so you can fit all the shit-catchers and wipes underneath] then I’m sorry but you’re just attention-seeking.
Just stop it, OK?
Plus (and I am assuming this was because it’s Easter) I had to run a veritable gauntlet of different god franchisees, all waving leaflets promoting whichever brand of Theism they were invested in. There were bloody LOADS of them. I get that there will be a natural overspill around the Jesus Army Centre at the top of the high street because that’s where they burrow, but it’s almost like there were different parties out campaigning for a god-election. Honestly, this isn’t the USA people, calm the fuck down. The only positive takeaway was that they weren’t singing…
…they left that to a costumeless Mariachi band, who really hadn’t got a handle on what’s an acceptable volume for public spaces.
[the whole time, this was happening to the soundtrack of the Whistling Asshole, who I swear was playing a very deliberate game of “How Long Can I Do This Before Someone Elbows Me In The Back Of My Head?”]
Not even mentioning the sheer numbers of people on the streets (I will accept that I made a Bad Call about coming into town on a Bank Holiday Weekend), by the time I got to Argos to have a look at bathroom storage units, I am fairly sure that you could probably SEE the irritation like a corona around me. That, however, must have clearly just presented itself as a challenge; whilst I was stood browsing the interactive screen – as indicated by area A in the stock picture below – a couple came up and stood TOUCHING MY SHOULDER – as indicated by area B in the picture below – despite there being an unoccupied booth just next door.
As a side note, the touch-screen was slower to respond than a 56k dial-up connection.
After heroically not punching the people getting in my space, I went and queued for my stuff. While I was waiting, a member of staff behind the counter called an order number a few times, before asking if there was anyone waiting for some remote controlled cars. A man who was stood next to me, leaning against a post about 20 feet away from the counter, responded “Yeah, me.”
…AND THEN JUST STOOD THERE.
Go and fucking get it then asshole, what’s wrong with you??
Eventually, he got his stuff, and I got my stuff, and then I went to the fucking pub.
After a pint, I headed back to my car, and on the way I gave a couple of pounds to the old cat lady (who I swear has been collecting money in the same place since I was a kid) and then gave whatever I had left to the man selling the Big Issue a few doors up from her.
- The town centre holds nothing that cannot be less painfully obtained elsewhere
- People going about their daily business are not people I want to be around
- Everyone else might be from SPACE
- Beer makes everything more tolerable