Today it is me and Miss Marple’s wedding anniversary. In all honesty the dear gal deserves a long service medal. Maybe even the Victoria Cross for gallantry in the face of extreme adversity. Yes folks, for all Mule fans (he knows who he is), who are regular readers of this piffle, the conclusion must have been reached that, I can be an absolute pain in the arse! It’s not all bad, but the ranting has increased as I tumble downhill uncontrollably towards forty. Incidentally, that pleasure is now only T-minus one month and a day away, and counting! That reminds me; I must get on and organize my black arm band. I do feel rather guilty that I am not whisking Miss Marple off. . . . . . . to Paris or somewhere I mean. Funds won’t allow that sort of extravagance at the moment, so a Mule cooked meal for two, is the order of the day. There is only one problem with this that I can foresee. Over the weekend, I sustained an injury to my finger, whist out in the garden. As bad luck would have it, my tetanus injection has just run out. After telling a colleague about this, he very kindly emailed me ‘All there is to know about tetanus’. Needless to say, I am now absolutely convinced that I have got it! This could put a slight dampener on the evening. Apparently, some of the symptoms of tetanus are, muscle spasms, and the locking of the jaw muscle. This is obviously not going to be good, when trying to promote a romantic vibe. Ideally, I would be engaging her in witty repartee, whilst sipping on a fine beaujolais. Instead, I can see me twitching about like Jack Douglas form the ‘Carry on’ films, flinging wine all over her, while trying to speak without the luxury of a fully functioning jaw. Could be an early night, and I mean, just an early night!
I am knocking this up during a slack period at work, and I took the opportunity to phone my local surgery, to ask for some advice on what I should do. Please may I refer you to my earlier blog dated the 31/7/07, as an example of how the call went. These women, and they usually are women, are beyond belief. She was actually telling me off, because I hadn’t been to the doctors for so long! Surely that is a good thing for them, isn’t it? Less work for them, I am not clogging up the waiting room etc. When I no doubt have to go to be stabbed by some overworked, stroppy nurse, I am fully expecting to be taken in to a side room, and given lines. "I will visit the doctors on more regular basis. I will visit the doctors on a more regular basis". That’s another thing, when a member of the medical fraternity is about to give you an injection, why the hell do they ask, "Are you ok with needles?" What on earth do they expect people to say? "Oh yes, absolutely fine. In fact I can’t get enough of them. Tell you what doc, you stab me with that thing as many times as you like…..Have you got a bigger one?, Go on thrust that bugger right into my triceps……I LOVE IT". Having said that, no doubt there are some individuals who like nothing more than being injected, and I am sure there are niche websites out there, that cater for their needs. www.introvenousagogo.com maybe. (Ok hands up who just googled that!) Anyway, I have gone off on a tangent.
Back to the matter in hand, me and Miss Marple’s anniversary. As I said, whisking her off to go shopping in New York was financially out of the question, so off to the local Tesco’s Extra it was then! Yes off we went ‘Clothes shopping’. Now I do my best, I try to say the right things at the right time, offer encouragement and a helping hand where I can, but clothes shopping to most men, is something that just does not compute. If I need new clothes, and I mean need new clothes, because the crotch has disappeared in my jeans or something, it is like a military operation. We are in, chosen, tried on, and out within a matter of minutes. Not only am I not bothered what ‘Style’ they are, I’m rarely bothered these days if they fit properly or not! JUST GET ME OUT OF THERE. Going shopping for clothes these days, is more akin to going to a discothèque. Pumping music bombards you from every direction, flashing lights dazzle you, and all the staff have to be seen to be wearing the latest ‘thing’, to show they are hip enough to advise you on what you should be wearing this summer. There he is, his little name badge says ‘Darren’, and on his back it says "Here to help". He has got the obligatory baggy jeans on, that hang just off his arse, and piercings hanging from every piece of available skin. His hair, oh his hair is a thing to behold. The left half is peroxide blonde, and is sticking bolt upright, while the right side is jet black, and draped over one eye, and to top it off, he looks fashionably sullen. On the other hand, clothes shopping for a woman, is a completely different matter. It’s something to be savored, to take your time over. To browse, to try on, to handle, to discuss. This is where the problem starts for most men. Wandering round, shop after shop after shop. "What do you think to this?", or "which do you prefer?" Now, I think the female clothes shops are missing a trick here. Why don’t they make a sort of adult male crèche? The lady could drop the bloke off on the way into the shop, and pick him up on the way out. A room with a full size snooker table, and arcade machines. Dartboard, table football, and maybe even a few pole dancers. Stick a bar in one corner, and they couldn’t lose. Everyone’s a winner. The lady can spend hour after hour perusing, and trying on, and the blokes can drink beer, and pot a few balls. But no, unfortunately things aren’t this way. Instead, you can see them everywhere. Men following women around a shop, like something from a George Romero film. The undead shuffling perpetually round and round. Sunken eyes stare into space, and the look of the tormented undead contorts every muscle in the victims face, into a look of desperation. I had slipped into such a dazed state, that at one point I was following the wrong woman around the shop! Just when you think your state of limbo can’t be worsened, you hear those words. Those words that tear into pieces the last scraps of hope that you have left………."Just wait here, while I try these on". "Dear God deliver me from this, I’ll do anything. I promise I’ll never look at intravenousagogo again", I think to myself. Miss Marple descends into the changing rooms, with arms full of clothes. Two assistants are following close behind with trolleys stacked ten feet high. This is where the main problem of ‘shopping with women’ arises. While Miss marple is adorning herself, what the bloody hell am I supposed to do? Do they provide seating, a selection of magazines, and newspapers, to help pass the time?......NO. I have to hang around trying to not look like a perv! And of course the changing rooms are always right next to the underwear section. They know what they’re doing. They must piss themselves when they are designing the interiors of these shops. Sometimes I actually pretend to be sending a text, just so I don’t have to look up, and catch the eye of an assistant who thinks I am perving over the thong section. It’s about this time that something happens, that is guaranteed to happen every time. Out of the corner of my eye, I will see a bloke casually browsing around the shop. He is not one of the undead like me, no, he is actually shopping. Now he is either, a ‘modern’ man, who can quite comfortably buy clothes for his wife or girlfriend, (He knows her size, taste and everything), or he is a very brazen transvestite, or maybe even a pre-op transsexual. Which always makes me wonder, are men who are either of these, allowed to try clothes on, in a female changing room? It’s a grey area. If you don’t believe me, try it for yourself. Go into your nearest ‘New look’ or whatever, and hang around outside the changing rooms. I guarantee you will see a bloke like I have described. It’s uncanny. Probably best to take a lady with you though, or you could be frog marched out of the store by two burly policemen. And whatever you do, don’t go and hang around outside the changing rooms with a camera round your neck…..that’s just silly! Oh well, I suppose I’d better get back to work now. I have got a menu to plan, and anyway, I am still waiting for someone from the surgery to call me back about the tetanus. Trouble is, by the time they get round to it, my jaw will have probably completely locked, I won’t be able to answer, and they will think they have the wrong number or something…..happy days!
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