Three great hatreds come to ahead today; Football (or saarrrcaaarrr for my American/ Canadian chums), Shopping for clothes (God bless you White Stuff online) and Town centres (any day of the week but particularly Saturday).
Problem is I'm going out to Germany on Thursday to watch some sort of sporting event, which is taking place as part of some corporate hospitality for the company, I work for; yes I know this basically means I'm in league with the devil. Believe me I've tried to get out of it but it's a bit of a Vito Corleone situation.
Anyway, one of the stipulations of the event is that I need some sort of 'smart casual' clothing. I don't have any smart casual clothing. I hate smart casual. Smart casual is worn by dull middle class fathers who have given up on their own appearance and now live their miserable subservient lives through their wives and snot nosed brats. I do the following only:
So, a trip to town is required and seeing as how with my usual advanced planning I've left far too little time to order anything online.
As I said, I hate town centres and town centres on Saturday in particular. Town centres on Saturday are almost solely occupied by moronic consumer sheep that literally are chomping at the bit to spend every penny they earn on products and brands they are told to like (but Goddamn it I still want an iPod Nano!).
However, as luck would have it the England Football team are playing their first match today at 2.00pm. With the build up to the World Cup having far more intense than the Bush/ Blair campaign to invade Iraq nearly every man, woman and child has been brainwashed into thinking this is a defining moment in our depressingly blood-soaked and jingoistic history.
So the plan is:
1. Leave home at 1.30pm - the middle ground of the pre-match warm up
2. Hit Cheltenham at 2.00pm - all pubs/ bars and whatever filled by general populace all in a zombieesq trance ready to shout/ cheer/ go "Oooowww" at the appropriate time.
3. With the hoi totally occupied only the disaffected (such as myself) will actually be shopping, making this Saturday afternoon look more like a Sunday afternoon back in 1977 when all we had on this holy day was some horrifically long biblical epic on the ITV and a big box of lego to keep us occupied (all the shops were shut on pain of law).
4. Get some boring short-sleeved shirt, boring 'slacks' and nothing else.
5. Leave Cheltenham at approx 3.00pm.
6. Get home just as England loses it's opening match to the 'shock' of the nation.
7. Cook meat on BBQ ensuring it is burnt on the outside and raw on the inside.
8. Watch Dr Who.
9. Play computer games.
10. Go to bed.
I'll report on the success/ failure of this 'Guns of Navarone' style operation.
And remember; not liking football doesn't make you weird - but it doesn't help.
Major success. Smart(ish) casual items purchased - town quite empty, carparks very empty. Only slight incident when a couple of male shop workers quizzed me as to why I wasn't watching the footie "like a real man". Cheeky bastards. Would normally have retorted with witty comeback but felt a bit weak and defensive - plus was on the clock as the match was (potentially) drawing to a close and needed to be back home by the start of the post match analysis to count as a total success.