Wednesday, January 12, 2005

December 27 (Monday): An Inverted Pyramid Of Piffle. Back home and awaking in my own bed, it is a relief amongst man. The first thing that occurs today is for Chris to call me up and drag me out. Today, Chris and Tom are up for hitting the sales. Is there actually any money left/going around after Christmas?

I pull myself (my shit) together and when I arrive around the Baldwin’s, I find the pair of them playing Monkey Island on the PC. Old!

Today we all decide to head into town and approach/attack the post-Christmas sales properly. Tom expresses some desire to check out PC World and Chris is currently into some kind of adventure game kick, so we head there. And when we arrive, the Tollgate shopping park is unbelievably insane, so busy. It takes us forever to even get close to the car park, let alone park up ourselves. As we sit in traffic, acknowledging that it would have been quicker to actually walk to there from Chris’ house, Tom goes “Jason, it’s your mum and dad”. I think he is taking the piss but then I look over and see the olds, smiling like buggery. Dad playfully sticks his figures up at me and I stick mine up back, realising that some old guy in a car opposite sees me and probably suspects that I am gesturing at him, I fear I ruin his day in the process.

Finally we manage to get parked up, with me unfortunately having to steal a place that was earmarked by a big man in an SUV who looks rather peeved after the incident. We step into PC World and their sale is gash, nothing good in the sale or at least nothing that I would want. And my colleagues feel likewise. For some reason we head over to Currys where I bump into the parents. They give me jokey shit and I try really hard to convince them that “everything is all right”, I don’t want mum on the verge of tears again. When we are done, I move on back with Tom and Chris who comments “your Dad used to have big sideburns!” and I can only dryly reply “yeah, they fell out with the Chemo”. Gallows humour.

With the day heading towards midday we head into town, which will obviously be murder. If we waited until 2PM, we could have parked in permit areas but nope, they want to go into town now! I head straight to my favourite car park first and I must be kidding myself if I think that I am going to get parked in there. We drive around for at least thirty minutes looking for another car park but often you can tell/see by the queues leading into the car park that they are full also. Eventually he get lucky beyond lucky and grab a spot in a rough car park where I would never inhabit usually. And I almost get my space stolen from me as it turns out that I no longer can park in spaces by just driving in, so as I reverse out the place to reverse back in, a woman comes very very close to driving into me. We’re mutually annoyed at eachother by this. Car parking is SO aggressive.

Matching the car parks, the village of Colchester is rammed full of consumers on this day, all out for a bargain. We attempt some consumerism but the queues just prove daunting to us and to be honest, there really isn’t that much of high quality in the sales this year (whereas last year they were flying!). It all tests our temperaments but Chris and Tom find a good way of dealing with it: taking the piss out of me, not least for there being (apparently) an exact lookalike of me standing next to me in HMV. Ha ha.

We go visit Chris’ mum in Williams And Griffins and bored, this is the point I get the digital camera out, attempting to stun people with the flash hoping to make them stagger into mountains of crockery (no, joking). I only mention this visit because of two of the shoppers held within. First, this is the shop where I see the most elegant and beautiful female of the day and it takes my breath away. It would appear you get a higher class of customer at Willy Gees. Secondly there is the man describing clothing in the sale as being “totally chav” as Tom points out that the man is already “totally chav” without the clothing.

When we get into Virgin Megastore, the place is utter carnage, these are the queues to avoid. I have no idea why they moved their counters, it only makes things worse. And I guess I am not alone is my dissent when we witness the loudest lady in Colchester scaring her mouth off at excessive volumes. The other two actually claim to miss this as the woman brings the shop to a standstill as shoppers quake as she is led out of the store by security, the woman clutching onto a tatty receipt with vicious hopes and claims. And I, being a sticky beak, eavesdropper only find myself scuffing up the side of security dealing with the crow, who now is SO visibly Chav in her white tracksuit, it is painful. Outside, she reunites with two look-alikes and they wander off laughing and giggling. What is this world heading to?

Hungered, we head to the Playhouse for some lunch and just a sit down. After last night, the three of us sit vacant and shattered, really failing to amuse eachother/ourselves. I find myself disturbingly staring at the people around me. In order to validate this, I drag Tom into as we people watch, our main focus being on Colchester’s version of the Trench coat Mafia it seems, complete with Kelly and Jack Osbourne look-alikes with their iPods. Also a loud group of girls turn up and we play/debate “is she/isn’t she?”. Food is utterly delayed today, our wait is a declared 45 minutes but it exceeds that. And then when it arrives, it’s not the best food Wetherspoons has ever produced. I have already found myself watching as the most subtly amazing lady in the world decided the wait was too long, giving me a glance in the process which I fail to decide is of desire or disgust. We eat up but fail to become arsed to move. This turns out to be the only point during the Christmas holidays I actually have a pint and Chris digs into his latest kick: Guiness. By the time we finally we leave the place, my stomach pains me.

All day, I find myself seeing/recognising faces from work, mainly faces from Wellington House. I spend my afternoon walking around town with fear bracing myself for bumping into/seeing faces from my old employment but fortunately no such people ever appear.

With the retail day thankfully coming to an end, we finally make purchases: Chris and Tom buying language books and me buying the Viz history book and a retro games compilation for the Playstation 2. Now what does that say about me?

We drive back to Chris’ and just veg before it is time to head out to Ipswich to the UGC cinema and see Bad Santa, the only decent movie on any of the cinemas in the surrounding area it seems.

At 7PM Chris’ parents call him out, him now asleep, and tell him, then Tom and I, that dinner is ready. Dinner? Oh, wasn’t looking to blag dinner tonight (after last night, two nights running surely is some kind of faux pas). Still, with three hours between now and the poison we had for lunch, I dig into half a quiche when really I am not hungry. Now why do you think I am overweight? Its an embarrassing dinner really, us three morons are zombie-esqe with fatigue and very light on conversation (with equates to being light on gratitude). The food however tastes fantastic and it more appreciated than it’s preparers (Chris’ parents) could/would ever imagine.

We leave and tear up the A12 towards Ipswich. I don’t know why but there is something about this road that makes me drive like a maniac. And I honestly intended to make a conscious attempt not to. When we arrive in Ipswich, in demon timing, Chris tells me how I scared him on the ride. Get over.

For once I buy overpriced cinema food (Nestle ice cream) and we head into the screen early before the movie begins. We mess about and observe local herbert Chavs messing around within the screen. We probably giggle at them more than they giggle at themselves, which isn’t good because I’m probably ten years older than the Neds. Tom and Chris get off the best lines/comments with “bad Chav” and “Chav Santa”. For some reason, one of the herberts decides to sit on his own in the front row (maybe he forgot his glasses, like Chris did!) and we watch nervously as sweet after sweet (probably peanut M&Ms) bounce off the back of his seat.

We watch the crap advertisements, take the piss and wonder if “grooming” has now been renamed “fostering” judging by the ill conceived advert on the screen.

Bad Santa comes on and it turns out to be much more intelligent than I was expecting, I just expected to see/watch two hours of utterly offensive stuff which never really arrive. Rather than being called Bad Santa, maybe it should just be named Naughty Santa. Or maybe it is now because of Billy Bob Thornton’s reputation and you expect him to ask this way, that it is almost acceptable and unshocking. He shacks up with some div kid in the movie that thinks he (Thornton) actually is Santa, and the poor little fat kid just breaks your heart, he acts his part SO well (it could almost be me, ha ha). Ultimately it turned out to be a good movie but just not what I was expecting. Tom appeared to like it most out of the three of us.

With the three of us next to falling asleep, I tear back home down the A12, once more trying not to speed falling down regardless. As we reach back in Stanway and turn down Chris’ road, I over cut the junction and subtly almost hit another car prompting my nonchalant response “whoops” whereas Chris looked like he was not amused in the least. Oh well. I drop them off and this is the last time I’ll be seeing Tom now for quite some time. It has been fantastic to see him again and I am really sad that we could not have hung out for longer. Oh well.

I get home and Channel Four are repeating the Shameless Christmas Special again while BBC1 show that awful Still Crazy movie. I pray for some sleep.

np: The Beat – Mirror In The Bathroom


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