This afternoon I went to Brent Cross in an attempt to remedy my tragic trainers situation. A quick look at my existing trainers this morning revealed that the heals had been run down into a crazy 45 degree angle, which is shocking beyond words, and no doubt the reason why every time I've looked at myself in a mirror at the gym recently, I've seen some sort of spanner with flapping ankles looking back!
So there I was in Brent Cross on a Friday afternoon, successfully dodging the crowds of bored housewives and Jewish gentlemen in their fancy Kippur hats. I hate clothes shopping. I hate, hate, hate it, so rushed into the first sports shop and picked up the cheapest pair of trainers I could find. They are blue. I can't tell you anything else about them, which became abundantly clear when they were placed behind the counter for me, and I'd forgotten what they looked like by the time the woman asked me which pair was mine!
There was a very strange sales assistant in the shop...
The display trainer was a size ten, my size, so I handed it to him and said, "can I have the other one of these?" He looked a bit perplexed so I burbled, "I'm a size ten, you see, and this one's a size ten. Unless it's not a size ten. Is it a size ten?" "Have you not tried it on?" He seemed astonished. "No" I said, "I thought I might wait for the other one..."
Seconds later a second sales assistant handed me a box. "Size six?" He said. "No." I said, "size ten." He walked away confused.
The original sales assistant returned with my shoes, "shall I put them behind the counter?" He asked. "Well I think I ought to try them on, don't you?" He looked offended: "but you said you didn't want to try them on..." "I said I didn't want to try a single one on its own... Trying on the pair is surely advisable?"
He looked at me like I was some kind of elderly troublesome customer. The sort that don't understand the way that life is and simply bumble through situations, with carnage in their wake. A combination of pity and slight annoyance flashed across his face. "Sorry, is this a bizarre concept?"I asked. He stared blankly. I took the shoe box from him and tried the trainers on. He walked away, shaking his head...
He returned after I'd tried them on, and I told him that the left hand shoe seemed a little tighter. By this point the sales assistant appeared to have entered a coma, so I closed the box and told him they were fine.
"I'll put them behind the counter for you" he said. "Can I not take them over myself?" He shook his head and took the box from me, giving me a look which said "cheeky bastard."
The shoes were duly placed behind the counter and I stood and waited for the till lady to finish serving the customer in front of me. As she finished, she smiled, and informed me that I was standing at the wrong end of the counter to be served. "The queue starts by the sign there," she said, wincing like an embarrassed fishwife tasked with telling her customers she'd run out of trout. "But I'm the only one IN the queue." Just as I spoke, in that oh so ironic way, two more customers arrived, and started queuing at the allotted sign, "I'm afraid I'll have to serve them first," she said. Giving me the pained look again, which instantly became a patronising smile. So I took myself to the back of the queue and waited 'til she was ready...
I witnessed a rather unpleasant episode on the tube this evening. There was a very lovely Geordie girl in her twenties sitting opposite me, with a slightly pissed, one assumes, other half, and an eight-year old lad, who couldn't have been a blood relative, so God knows why they were all together. Anyway, as the Geordie lass got off the tube, she engaged a group of Essex-Boy city slickers in conversation. She was very sweet, and asked if they'd had a good evening. They murmured in a way which implied they had, but it was as she got off the tube that the horrific remark was made. One of the city slickers shouted at the Geordie lass' boyfriend, "'ere keep drinking mate, she'll start looking more attractive."
I couldn't see how the girl reacted. I suspect she'll have been deeply offended, and will probably take some time to recover from such a disgusting comment. The lads, of course, had hysterics and and talked about "the look on her face when you said it" until they got off two stops later. I hope they miss their last tube home and that the bloke that shouted has a miserable life. He was nothing to look at. He probably only manages to pull mingers, which is why he was so familiar with the beer goggles concept. The Geordie was way out of his league! I just hope she realises that.