As I sit here in McDonagh Central, the words of Dylan Thomas come rocketing into my mind
Do not go gentle into that good night,Yes I have been shopping in Londonderry / Derry (affectionatly known as "Stroke City" cos the Prods afix the suffix London and the Catholics do not , hence "Stroke City"). But that is not ther reason for this rant....
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
After a quick wander around PC world to look at the tech and all things geeky, sundry females dictated that it was time to hit Foyleside Shopping Centre, what our American cousins call "a mall". Oh Joy Unbounded!
To me shopping centres of any type are as Douglas Adams would have it "..the long dark tea time of the soul" and on this late October day never was it more true. Gales and heavy rain had moved in from the Atlantic and the north coast of Ireland was being drenched and blown hither and thither in equal measure.
So there I was abandoned in one of the temples of Mamon with not a great deal to do for a couple of hours. Don't get me wrong there is a place in the world for clothes shops otherwise we would all be naked and in the case of Northern Europeans blue with the cold. However the nature of clothes shops is defined by a select group of deamons that have slipped through a dimensional gateway and rather than douse everyone in nasty smelling ectoplasm have instead taken it upon themselves to damn humanity to a multitude of evils wrapped up in the gaudy glitter of "department stores".
It being close to Halloween, the store fronts are packed with the tat all parents of the under 10's are nagged incessantly for. Witches harts, skeletons of varying sizes, colour and luminosoty (all of which are anatomically total crap!) gouls, ghosties and other miscellanea that go bump in the night. (perhaps only in the minds of people that have had too much cheese before bed - nocturnal Stilton nibblers have a lot to answer for!)
I sat at the central crossroads of the four "legs" of the mall, three floors above and two below and let a seething horde of humantiy bumble past. It struck me there really wasn't that much difference between the shuffling gait of these Halloween consumers and that of the Zombies in the "[insert time of day here]... Of the Dead" movies.. All they needed was a little less colour and some dribble and it would have been perfect.
Way and above any other group represented in this mass of humanity was the packs of PPTGs [Post Pubescent Teenage Girls]. Now I am the father of a 20 something male, a fact that I give thanks for every waking day for I as a father would not let any daughter of mine out on the street looking anything like these lassies.
There was a palable tension as each group of PPTGs passed by. Where as teenage boys seldom are not awake enough at 3pm to pose any threat (other than the sudden discovery of last night's socks in the linen basket) these lassies where on the hunt, tracking down their prey by some form of collective telepathy... or could it be the high pitched giggling and overly enthusiastic ejectualations of camardarie - Hmmm there could be rich pickings for a piece of scientific study there.
I retired to the relative peace and quiet of the Gentleman's department of Debenhams which has one small floor in the basement which is around the same size as the portion of the next floor up set aside to sell handbag deodourisation utensils.
There amongst the suits, 3 colours in a variety of sizes from "Skinny Git" to "Fat Bastard" I found a modicum of sanity and peace. This was not a place for the predatory packs of PPTGs or there older but much more deadly YMWPs [Young Mother With Pram] or the vicious solitary MAWLFAPFs [Middle Aged Woman Looking For A Party Frock] I spent a pleasant hour picking through a sizeable array of goods branded by "Stig" from Top Gear. (you can get Stig on a Rope if you feel the need to wash those intimate places with a dark visored helmeted Racing driver!) and some suits by "Rocca, John Rocca" why on earth does he need to have name mentioned twice .. it is not like it is a difficult name.. and I heard it the first time.. so WTF is there twice for?
Venturing back into the meleé i girded my loins and set off in search of a cup of coffee. Now I have said this before and I will say it again.. I WANT A FECKING CUP OF COFFEE. I do not want a trough, a bath or a small resevoir of the fecking stuff flavoured with caramel, cinnamon and essence of Papal Sweat!
I want a simple uncomplicated cup of coffee that taste of coffee, with perhaps a splash of milk, milk that came from an ordinary cow, not a skinny or lord perserve me a Soya cow! I want to be able to go up to the spotty oik behind the counter and say "A cup of coffee please" and not have to endure the endless fecking questions about the additional extras. Was not my instruction simple enough and put in such a way that there should be no misunderstanding? So to all you "baristas" out there, you are NOT some form of intellectual giant whose right it is to question the nature of the universe and coffee's place in it, you are there to give me a cup of smegging coffee when I ask for one and take whatever mortage level price your establishment is currently selling it for.How in gods green earth does some hot water, coffee beans and a serving attitude taught by Attilla the Starbucks Paradgim Moderator come to £3 fecking 50?
Ah well tis over for another wee while, I have been there done that and now I am at home, with the computer, a coffee and a good book, so for now I have done my "Rage Rage..." bit and the night having come lies ahead
Toodle pip for the now gentle reader :-)