bored of excitement – the griefjunkie blog 

Archive for July, 2010

No Jacket Required

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Dear Rachel

Glastonbury Festival is a hundred thousand mid to high earning Guardian readers and/or their offspring standing in a field listening to Paul McCartney.   That’s counter culture for you.   Pretty much the whole festival season is basically an excuse for middle class people to get away from ethnic minorities for a bit, and apart from a downturn in sales of halloumi, hummus, cava and Apple products in Hackney and surrounding districts, I don’t see that the traditional mid summer slump in market stall revenues can be attributed to it.

It’s the heat that makes things tricky, as far as I am concerned.   The other Friday it was 38 degrees at my stall under the roof at Greenwich Market.   I coped by sitting around and looking grumpy, and a seven hour wait for the first sale was my reward.   I passed the day reflecting upon how far from what I had expected my life to be like this all was, and generally losing the will to live.   After a while, though, I snapped out of it and instead began to lose the will to allow anyone else to live, and felt better for it.

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Can You Smell Burning?

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Dear Rachel,

The phrase ‘He could sell sand to the Arabs’ is a common expression used, of course, to describe someone who is a very good salesman.  Myself, I would rather buy sand from the Arabs, who have loads of it, and sell it to the Eskimos, who don’t have any. This is because I am not a salesman, but a business.  In fact, what I would really rather do is arrange for the Arabs to sell sand to the Eskimos themselves in return for salted fish, impose excise duties on the ports at both ends, and then go on a nice holiday, so as not to disturb the cash as it rolls its way in.  That’s because I’m not a salesman, I am a business, but I’d like to be a merchant, because that’s where the real money is.

I think this salesman-business-merchant hierarchy works quite well, if only to illustrate that even an operation as miniscule but tenacious as ours has to understand that it is part of a larger world with complex agendas.  This larger world fell upon Greenwich market a couple of weeks ago.  It came in the form of yet another group of developers looking to demolish it and put a hotel in its place, and a meeting they were holding with the market traders to discuss this.

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Gary Numan, Dalek Dentist

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

Dear Rachel

I am the only heterosexual man ever to have bought Faith by George Micheal, and I continue to like it despite the number of people who think it would be nice if they could touch my body dwindling by the year.  I’m already resigned to increasing reliance upon professionals in this particular arena, a process which begun in earnest with a memorable bout of dentistry last week.  It started reasonably enough in the waiting room with the usual reading of Build Your Home magazine while assuming that the extra mouth washing I had undertaken prior to coming to the surgery would reverse several years of eating almost nothing that wasn’t caramel based.

While reading, I noticed a bloke Windolene-ing the glass doors of some kind of dental cabinet, and it was only when our names were called at the same time that I realised he was in fact my dentist.   I actually held the door open for him as we went into the dentistry parlour, and asked for a show about Gary Numan to be put on MTV for me to watch while we got down to the matter in hand.   This is how I came to be contemplating Gary Numan’s dentistry skills very intently indeed in a happily successful bid to take my mind off the drills and pain and gurgling.   He certainly has what appears to be a dentists’ shirt on in the ‘Are Friends Electric?’ video, I reasoned over the smell of scorched enamel, although admittedly it does make him look like the kind of dentist whose clientele would be either daleks or thought criminals, or who is employed on the Death Star doing fillings for stormtroopers.

For all his admirable if baffling attention to waiting room tidiness, though, my dentist is a larf, and quickly saw through my clever ruse of putting ‘Dentist’ as my occupation on my new patient form in order to get preferential rates.  Before we got underway, he asked me ‘Are you nervous of dentists at all?’ ‘No’ I replied, quite truthfully. ‘Well you might be after this’ he said ‘As it’s really going to hurt’.   I raised my arm very slightly as I felt our easy and highly enjoyable familiarity would support a high five, but it became immediately apparent that he had stopped pissing about and had started to earn his money.

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