Yesterday a very surreal thing happened to me. I was lurking in WH Smith by the ruinously expensive magazines. Obviously I had no intention of buying any of them because they are ruinously expensive. And a guilt free flick means that I can basically read them in 10 minutes anyway.
Somewhere around abouts Britney dressing like a harajuku nightmare I heard the phrase, "I love doggies." I'll be honest. I was a bit offended. It seemed hideously close to my ear and I hoped that I wouldn't have to defend my own honour. I turned around to find that the pets magazines (no, I didn't know they existed either) are directly opposite hideously expensive in the Smith's aisles. I was then confronted with an extremely, extremely, terrifyingly, tall man with his back to me. "Who is this giant?" I asked myself. I moved to the side a little (a lot actually. I moved a fricking lot to see the giant) to gain better perspective on this freakishly tall man. When I got to a good view it was immediately obvious he was blind. And I mean that. If one wears sunglasses and has a white stick they are blind yes? Stood beside him was a Smith's employee. I'll give him this - he may be blind but he picked the best out of a bad bunch in the magazine aisle. He chose a normal looking young lady leaving behind a man who looked older than Father Time himself and a lady who looked like she could have been married to Father Time and the two of them were stone deaf. I know this because they were shouting at each other about where Glamour magazine should go. But I digress. Yes. For a blind man he sure has a 6th sense for helpful employees.
I won't lie. I should have moved off and not stared at the blind man in the magazine aisle but I was mesmerised by him. Perhaps it's my insane fear that one day my sight will deteriorate 0.5 more and I'll end up like that. The conversation went a bit like this:
Him: What doggie is it on the page?
Her: Er, it looks like a Poodle
Him: Is it big?
Her: Quite big
Him: How much of the page? How much of the page does it take up?
Her: Um, half?
Him: Ooooooh *gush, bleugh, gush, spurt* (I inserted the astericks I'm not sure if he actually was thinking that but it looked like it)
Him: Are there any German Shepherds? I love German Shepherds.
It was about now that I snapped out of my car crash rubbernecking like behaviour and decided I had better go and do the lottery in a genuinely futile (WHEN WILL I WIN? WHEN?) attempt to be able to afford a house, any house. A shack even. I found my friends hovering around the dailies stand. Checking up on the latest developments on X Factor no doubt (as an aside, does anyone else think that the people who are saying Gamu should stay in are probably the people who post on the Daily Mail website constantly about how immigrants should go home?). I breezed over clutching my (no doubt) winning lottery ticket and announced very loudly, "I think I just saw some sort of dog porn type behaviour," and recounted the above to them. I think their reaction was actually more shocking than the whole encounter. Instead of being shocked and disgusted by descriptions of dogs being read out to an excited young man they merely said, "If he's blind how does he know what a German Shepherd looks like?" I despair.
This evening I went to Ikea for the first time ever in the UK (I went once in Paris but it truly was a paltry size). I've been hankering after such an outing for quite a long time. When people speak of Ikea to me their eyes mist over and they clutch their breasts and talk of travel to a far away, hallowed land. Finally I arrived tonight. My first impression was that it was quite large. Massive in fact. In we walked. "I'm here!" I thought, "I can buy all sorts of useful plain shit!" I wandered around looking at lights ("You don't have enough room for lamps. And anyway, you've just bought a poodle light" - Thank you mother, crusher of light based dreams), I investigated sofa beds with an extra bit at the end making it a poor man's chaise longue ("That is nice but it'll probably be gone by the time you qualify and move out" - Thank you mother, bringer of brutal reality) and so on and so forth until we found the thing that we actually came for. And then it all went downhill.
I had to fill out some form that asked what aisle it was in and what location. But I wasn't in an aisle. The showroom is one LONG AISLE. So I wandered over to a nice looking lady with pink hair and asked her what aisle this was. She looked at me quizzically. I looked at her quizzically back thinking, "Ahh this must be some sort of Swedish based brow furrowing exercise." Those crazy Swedes. And I also thought, "Why is she looking at me quizzically? She fucking works here." She went to a computer and told me the aisle and location. I'll be honest. I was a bit confused. We were standing in the aisle. And the location. Why did she have to look up where we were standing on a computer. That's like me being at work and someone wandering in to the office and asking me where I'm based and me pulling out my iPhone to find out. But I said nothing. Because she worked there. And she knew best.
Onwards we went. And I got a bit tired and cranky. Mainly because I was hungry. I started to hate Ikea. It was a home based nightmare. I just wanted to get to the end. I'd got what I had come for. But I had to go through office, bedroom, quilts, home organisation (an oxymoron to a person like me), vases and general shit and plants before we got to the check outs. But we didn't get to the check outs. We got to a travelator. "Where are we going now?" I asked my mother, who had continued to brutalise me as we went around the shop metaphorically ripping out each and every hope I have for having a nice house by the way. "To get the stuff," she replied. "But we haven't give the sheet to the man," I said. "What man?" - "The man who gets our stuff for us and then leaves it at the checkout for us so we can pick it up, " I patiently explained to the old dear. And then she laughed. She laughed harder than I have seen her laugh in at least a week because she has been angry with my dad and she carries anger around with her like a handbag, never leaving her side. "There is no man, we go and get it ourselves," she said. My reply, "WHAT??!!!! I can't collect this stuff. It's heavy! And I am only little!" I think it was the, "I'm only little," that did it. She laughed for 5 minutes solidly. I know this because it took me that long to go BACK ON MYSELF and back in to the PRETEND HOUSE OF NIGHTMARES and find a trolley that would take our stuff. A trolley she told me to get I might add. Then when we finally got to the biggest, most epic box in the whole wide world it didn't fit in to the trolley. Like I said it wouldn't when I went to get the trolley in the first place and she shouted me down and told me to get a 'normal' trolley. And I did. You know why I did? Because, reader, I trusted her. Not only is she my mother. She has also been to Ikea TWO MORE TIMES THAN ME. We attempted to get the flat back in but it was like trying to get a life size replica of the Titanic on to the 4th plinth. It just wouldn't happen. So I was sent (even though it was not MY stupidity, sorry I mean, miscalculation) BACK THROUGH THE PRETEND HOUSE OF NOW NON STOP NIGHTMARES FOR A SECOND TIME. By the time we finally got to the checkout I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I didn't have time to hang around by this point. We were going to self checkout and I was going to check the shit out of this stuff. Ma handed me up a storage box and said, "Scan this 3 times". I did. Off we went to the car. And we unpacked the massive trolley in to the car. And it was then that we realised my mum really doesn't know how to count. "Oh," she said, "shit". Upon pressing it turns out she has put 6 boxes in the trolley not 3. So basically I am an accessory to a crime. I'm a burglar of a fake house. And guess what. *I* WENT BACK IN AND PAID FOR THE OTHER THREE. I'm never going to Ikea again. Ever.