bored of excitement – the griefjunkie blog 

Fun With The Unimpressable

Dear Rachel

Our lady haired elf bearded website geek Gary – the Nerd Man of Alcatraz – once memorably stated that the problem with life is that, as a rule, you’re reliant upon people very much stupider than you to get anything done.

I am reliant upon Mike to get all our glassware and printed stuff done, and on the face of it, he is the stupidest man I have ever met.   You may recall that this is why I habitually refer to him as Child Brain.  Further examination reveals him to be a far from idiotic man, however.  If nothing else, he’s doggedly pursued a thirty year career in the production of glassware and printed stuff – something he is clearly not cut out to do – and this shows admirable determination and the willful denial of all commercial logic and reason.  Remarkably, he manages to do it with large amounts of pathos, to the extent that when he actually manages to deliver what I’ve paid him not inconsiderable sums of money to produce, I expect everything to go in slow motion and the chorus of Chasing Rainbows by Shed Seven to start up, like it used to do throughout the late nineties whenever they were presenting awards to crippled children on the telly.

I have a less misanthropic view of my fellow humans than Gary, however, and while it’s true that while the general public and I co-exist under conditions that resemble a nervous ceasefire, we’ve come to accept that we can’t really do without each other.    I find it useful to remind myself of this constantly while trading, especially when dealing with the Unimpressable Elderly.    You get a lot of the Unimpressable Elderly at Greenwich, and the thing to remember is that even if you were freely distributing the Joy That They Used To Feel from your stall, they would still look at you as if you’d shat in their handbag and quietly passed it back to them.    It’s also interesting to recall that, when you’re looking at awesome film of mods and soul boys and skinheads and all that in the 60s, it’s these people.   These were the My Generation kids who wanted to die before they got old, and without wishing to put too fine a point on it, might have made contemporary society a bit more light hearted had they done so.

I had one such funless old monster at my stall on Sunday, wanting to buy a £14 apron for a fiver.   I declined, obviously, on the basis that five is a very much smaller number than fourteen.   ‘Have you not left your house for twenty five years?’  I inquired, ‘Has a weird Austrian man been keeping you in his cellar?’     I then pointed out that although street slang plays a more important part in mainstream conversation since the last time she stepped out of her house – to see the Herman’s Hermits at Camden Palais, perhaps – all the numbers still mean the same thing.    As she wandered off mumbling to herself, I reflected that Jimi Hendrix, Keith Moon, Brian Jones and Mama Cass didn’t die accidentally in ambulances, bed, swimming pools and hotel rooms of drugs, sleeping pills, drowning and cake at all, but simply choose a cool and in some cases calorie ridden Valhalla as preferable to an old age of charmless bewilderment.    Let’s hope we all have the strength to do the same.



Photards: This week’s hop, skip and jump through photographic protraiture has produced -

Top: Wacky sign at the London Marathon produced by the kind of people who go to Bestival, I should imagine.    Even the handwriting is pleased with itself.

Middle: Nice bloke called Rob at Greenwich Market last summer sometime, who pops up from time to time selling books he’s written and illustrated.    Out of work actor, would you believe.

Lower: Thames Festival last year.   We didn’t trade it, but we’re trying to lig our way in this time round, as a decent result there will sort you out for Christmas stock.   Note the blond lady in the foreground, looking crestfallen because she’s realised that the sign would’ve been more of a larf if they hadn’t translated it.   Less is always more.

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