Wednesday, 15 June 2011

After a lengthy absence

Well, my election special received so much aplomb that I've had to take a short sabbatical to let my ego-swelling down. My fingers are now deflated enough to once again operate a keyboard, and I feel the best use of my newly recovered tactile ability is to raise issue with something which annoys me, and I'm sure a lot of other (more) level-headed people. Strangely it doesn't even pertain to the teaching I've once again taken on, although that is certainly a near-endless source of brat-related antagonism.

Once upon a time, I triumphantly left my dress shoes at home, and required something respectable for my feet which would compliment my incredibly sharp looking dinner jacket.

Sharper than this. AND my head isn't made of wood. 
A jaunty car journey later, I had arrived at the cavernous citadel of retail that is West Quay- a shopping centre designed by people who think that people need commodities in the following ratios:

Relative use to a human being

Now shoes are pretty high up on this list (which could be titled "The Anorexic Female's Guide To Shopping") so one might expect that it'd be relatively easy to find some which met my (as usual, totally unrealistic) list of criteria:

1. Not too expensive. I consider 'expensive' to be anything where I could buy a decent mobile phone for the same price, basically. Actually I consider 'expensive' to be anything more costly than breakfast.
2. Black
3. Loafers of a decent shape. Sort of....
Not to be confused with the more delicious but less wearable 'Loaf'
I went through five pretentious, loud, stuck up, overpriced shitshacks before finally finding a perfectly decent pair for a modest £35 at M&S. Apparently I've stumbled upon a pantheon of high street clothing (and indeed shoe) shops who pride themselves on employing tubby GCSE-failures as staff which they then soak in tar and roll in their stock room until they're suitably adorned in a visual sick-bag of clothing and scarves.

If you're not yet salivating at the stylistic possibilities these prime specimens are offering, consider next the artificial environment created to tantalise your senses and get your wallet fingers twitching: namely one where gaudy fake gold trim, retro wood and rope fittings, loud thumpy 'music' and glitzy plastic signs and pictures take precedent over, say, actual clothes. Or price tags. This is sort of what I imagine Hell would be like if the interior design was handled by Gok poofing Wan. Very few places outside theme parks feel so fake. The tans of the patrons don't help.

By the time I was contemplating suicide, I had been in a number of these cesspools masquerading as retail outlets, and found a grand total of ONE shoe which matched criteria 2 and 3 in paragraph 5 (subsection 1) above. It cost £100. I do wonder if they've ever sold any. If so, there's clearly a target audience out there with the shared brain capacity of a fungus who are willing to throw money away in exchange for a sensorial assault and prolonged exposure to fat retards. I may have mentioned this previously (see 50% of all the blags I've ever blagged).

Compared to this M&S not only felt sane, reasonable, clearly labelled, unpretentious, well staffed, well stocked, and altogether reassuring: it felt like heaven. I don't really have much brand loyalty so don't consider this an advert. It's just that apparently a run-of-the-mill clothes store that does good sandwiches meets my approval more than any overdecorated fashion chain.

This is what I got when I Googled "M&S heaven"

Consider this a challenge, then. If you honestly believe I would miss out by spending the rest of my shopping days in Bhs, M&S, and other budget-y, down to earth stores then I would like some proof. Find me a clothing item so overwhelmingly awesome that it's worth the audio-visual rape and testicle-shrivellingly expensive price tag and I shall buy you a Coke.

In the meantime Abercrombie and Fitch, Jack Wills, Jones The Bootmaker, Republic, and all their chic little friends can take their stock and ram it firmly up their noses.


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