April 10, 2006

What're Youz Up Tae?

Apparently Glasgow is the best place in the country to go shopping. Lots of people say so, especially in Glasgow.*
I was sceptical until today. Today I found the Foam Store - a foam monger, if you like. This is a shop that sells nothing but foam; not the soapy kind but the spongy kind. You can have foam any size or shape you want. It's all they do. They don't even sell cushion covers. Just foam. Mountain of it. They've even got a bum-shaped bit of foam with a hole cut out to keep the pressure off your farmers** and a wee guy with glasses and a pencil behind his ear who will cut your foam any shape you want.
Not only does Glasgow have a shop that sells nothing but foam, it is probably the only city where you can have a conversation like this (it'll work better if you imagine it's sundown and whistle that wild-west tune like they do in the Cowboy movies):
Me "Say, I'm uh lookin' for some foam."
Foam Monger: "Well I guess you've come to the right place. What you got in mind kid?"
"I'm thinking maybe grey, about 120mm x 340mm x 60 mm."
"Well we got 600mm x 400mm x 65mm."
"I guess that could work."
"I got a cutting tool out back, I can cut to size. How you put for time?"
"That depends on how accurate's your tool?"
"Oh it's accurate alright."
"How accurate?"
"Well I could shave you off a clean 4mm before you could say jackrabbit and wouldn't leave a mark."
"Okay, I'll give it a go."
"Comin' right up."
*According to the 2003-2004 UK Shopping Index compiled by Management Horizons Europe (MHE), Glasgow remains the top retail centre in the UK, based on its range of shopping on offer. Glasgow’s main shopping thoroughfare, Buchanan Street, has been named as one of the world’s top retail destinations - www.seeglasgow.com
** Farmer Giles - piles. Geddit?

(not) Bang Up To Date

Donkey's Ears (right)

When I started this thing I planned to post every couple of days. Lately though, I've been flagging. I think the problem is that our office has taken on lots of new work but not lots of new staff. I don't seem have nearly as much time to burn as I used to. The upshot, as both of my regular readers have already realised, is that I haven't posted in a long time or, you might say, in Donkey's Ears (that's slang for years - check out the pic).
I did get halfway through a post a while back then didn't finish it. The reason for this is that I meant to give my coat to a homeless guy but never got round to it. That last sentence will make sense if you scroll down two or three entries and read My New Habit...

I Have a Dream

Not so long ago I saw a graph charting an individual's political leanings and dreams/aspirations (x axis) against age (y axis). At the time I vowed never to lose my dreams or, worse, to become conservative - big 'C' or otherwise. Three years on and it's amazing how accurate the graph seems to have been. Dreams do indeed fly out the window when you hit your mid-20's and aspirations slip surely down the pan. Kiddie-fiddlers, taxmen and teenagers, I now agree, should be strung up by the short 'n danglies. Ambition now stretches to having £20 in my pocket.
Or it did...until I saw the guy in the above picture. He's noone else's hero but mine. Every Sunday he tears across our TV screens and I'm the only who points and shouts: "Who is that nut and what the f**ck is he doing with that clock? I want his life. I want to live someplace that's got no highway code; where 2CVs career gaily down country lanes, their drivers raising two fingers to the laws of physics and the land."
Don't laugh. Clockman is cool. If he was Australian that would be a VW Beetle with a surfboard hanging out.
I want to be a peculiar British version of Aussie surf-board guy. I want to show those annoyingly good-looking antipodeans that we too can put impossible objects in ridiculous cars and go for a spin on warm Summer days. So what if we do it in the Dales with the Antiques Roadshow theme music blasting out of the 6x9's. I want to sing with the roof down. Something like this: "da DADADA dada, DADADA dada, doo-doo-doo de-doo-doo doo-de-doo!"
I'm gonna have two flappy-eared dogs hanging out the side windows lapping up the wind, their noses pointed home to a cottage somewhere full of clocks. That, I tell you, is ambition.