Monthly Archives: February 2009

Che Guevaragado

Being lazy, I decided to drive into town this morning to do my food shopping. Yes, I know, environment, etc. We’re doomed either way.

Anyhow. The Lion Yard Grand Arcade car park proudly announced “spaces” and I duly hunted for one therein. There were none. Oh, not strictly true: there were in fact about a hundred spaces, all nice and cosy in taped-off areas. Every exposed section in the car park was closed due to icy conditions underfoot.

But nobody told the ticket machines.

So people were driving up to the top, and driving back down again. And up again. And down again. And over the days, months and years we started to form communities and talk to each other over radios and circle endlessly, endlessly, looking for a space, until a man in a strange blue box turned up and–

Oh, hang on. No, I seem to have got mixed up with a Doctor Who story.

What actually happened was that, on the way down, a sensible man just ahead of me got out of his car, ripped the tape, and drove into one of the forbidden zones. The revolution had begun! I followed, parked, and exchanged mutual tsks and health-and-safety-gone-mads with a lady in the car next to mine.

IT WAS THE SPIRIT OF THE BLITZ I TELL YOU, LIVING AND BREATHING HERE IN 2009.

I then walked towards the lift and slipped on a patch of ice.

No, I didn’t. I nearly did. BUT ANYWAY, BLITZ ETC.

When I returned to my car later the entire section had been colonised by rebel parkers. But we were the first, the pioneers, the trailblazers. Years from now they will worship our names, or more probably our number plates gleaned from CCTV. It will be our faces on student posters, on knock-off nigel t-shirts, none of this Che Guevara nonsense.

Where were you in the great winter of ’09, they’ll ask. Where were you when the revolution started? In the Peugeot two cars back, I’ll say, and they’ll look on with awe and then say christ you’re old and move on.

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Women: Know Your Limits

Yesterday was destined to be eventful. Having successfully traversed ice-strewn roads and pavements into town without embarrassment, I held open a door for Clive James, who thanked me and is therefore now a very great friend of mine; and I also bought some shoes. Not proper shoes, obviously, those are for grown-ups. Whatever, these factors heralded an exciting day.

And so it proved. Last night up the pub was busy and cramped. I was standing on the edge of the dance floor chatting to Steve when a very drunken, very shrunken lady of mature years took a shine to him. She had rather obviously been enjoying a few more dry sherries than strictly necessary on such an evening and she quickly had her arms round his midriff (it’s as high as she could go) attempting a cuddle.

Steve resisted gently but was resigned to his fate, saying that she did this often. And a few moments later she had moved on; or rather bounced on, rebounding off various dancers like a pinball until careering into her next prey, a startled young gentleman. He danced with her for a while, attempting to keep her at arm’s length, before escaping into the sea of people surrounding the dance floor.

The cycle repeated: unwanted cuddles, random dancing, and presumably more sherry. The startled boy had another helping, and received a ribbing from his mates for his trouble.

And then, a few moments later: BANG. I turn, and she’s flat on her back, having fallen over and slammed her head on the floor.

Some people fuss over her. The ladybouncer on the door signalled to DJ James to cut the music. An ambulance was called. And Steve said to me, “She does this all the time. She’ll get up in a minute.”

And she did, just as the ambulance arrived. With ladybouncer help she tottered outside where the very nice paramedic checked her over. I didn’t see what happened next, but I suspect she was given a lift home courtesy of the Ambulance Service, and woke up this morning with head sore in several places.

Also present at the pub last night were: Ernst Stavro Blofeld in drag, as portrayed in Diamonds Are Forever (or at least the spitting image thereof, and the least convincing tranny since); and someone who – paraphrasing the great Charlie Brooker – I could describe only as Posh Spice as drawn by a blind lunatic.

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