Saturday 25 September 2010

Lately made of flesh and blood

Flicking disconsolately through the Argos catalogue (“The Essential Book of Value”), I can’t help feeling that what we need is another war. You’d be hard pressed not to come to this conclusion reading the Argos catalogue.

And I don’t mean a piddling or predictably divisive war like Iraq, say, but a great big “oh good grief, mummy, the Germans are in the garden” sort of war. Something to bring us together, a common enemy to fight, a cause round which we may usefully cohere and remind ourselves of community values and all that it means to be British* – or simply human.

Millions may die, it’s true, but when you read the Argos catalogue you’ll be left in no doubt whatsoever that millions deserve – no, need - to die. (It’s possible to offload the most reprehensible views, I find, when people aren’t entirely sure if you’re being serious.)

But we have too much time on our hands, yes? We are distracted by fluff to such an extent that we may actually start to believe that what we need in our lives is a Sat Nav 3.23 Super System or a wok that doubles up as a shower-friendly radio or an off-silver toaster that also makes children and soup. You know what I mean. When ever did progress start to feel so retrograde and how ever did we fall so low? And you have to wonder what exactly we might be progressing towards, really, if an Argos catalogue is one of the pit stops on the journey. I miss my books.

I don’t argue with the fact that they remain out of bounds – the books, I mean - but there are only so many French or Italian phrase books, Argos catalogues or packets of Power Force Orange Kitchen Wipes (“the force behind cleaning”) that you can read before feeling perilously close to the wrong sort of death.

But it’s a big day today. Huge. I have so much nervous energy that I could, quite literally, lie down. Roundabout now my dad will be hooking up with a woman - nothing unusual there. To date, however, he’s conned this particular woman out of £100,000 and is expecting to relieve her of more money at the meeting. Unbeknownst to him, however, she’s been fully prepped and is now the nervously proud owner of some salient facts. (Here are just a few of them, for those interested enough to look.)

Anyway, she’s good to go and I hope the poor human-woman keeps her nerve. She’s taking a lawyer along just in case she doesn’t. Clever victim. As long as she remembers that every single word he says should be treated as a lie, she’ll be fine. Plus, the angrier he gets, the more likely it is that he’s lying. If he goes all quiet and teary, however, he’s merely thinking of lies to tell. If he’s affronted, hurt, can’t quite believe what she’s saying….he’s lying. If he simply walks through the door and breathes….lying.

So now all we can do is wait and see which way he lashes out. I'll just sit tragically in a corner and hum myself a sentimental ballad as I listen out for news. Or maybe I'll recite ancient poetry and fondly imagine that I'm part of some epic Icelandic adventure of yore, marching forward handsomely, ruggedly, frighteningly good in bedily, with a gleaming sword of justice - fashioned by dwarves in the mountain caves of Old Gnokllharakka (or similar) - strapped to my singularly graceful (and yet athletically thrusting and eternally magnetic) thighs. Either way, the ice age is coming.

È una bella giornata, no?

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