Merde! You’ll be fed up hearing from me, but I can’t leave this one inside. My brain will implode if I do.
Today I was “in Town” as some of us over here will say just to annoy those whose own “Town” is nowhere near London, who’s West End (to those of us who regard it as a place of work) is “Town”. So there I was in Town about an hour early for my casting appointment for Colman’s moutarde. Hey… I’m a classically trained actor, my agent only sends me up for the plum jobs! What to do? What to do? “Ah the lightbulb explodes”. Always better than teardrop explodes…stoopid name for a band… I’ll wander down to Oxford Circus to the Nike shop.
Now for those of you not yet familiar with this quaint country of ours, there are no trapeze artists or conjurers here. At one time there was a roundabout at this intersection of Oxford and Regent streets. The facades of the faux Corinthian buildings lending this corner of our Capital’s most prestigious shopping experience an air of classical splendour. No there are no trapeze artists but after dark sheltering in the doorways are many a 15% proof cider drinker whom we call “piss artists” as for the conjurers…oh yes they’re there. Tempting our hard earned cash out of our pockets and into their cash registers.
And it is the glittering confines of one such purveyor of next years land fill that I was heading. The Niké store London. This very boutique is the American giant’s most prestigious store in Grate (sic) Britain. My mission this afternoon was to purchase a simple “T” shirt a black “T” shirt, with the inter galacticaly famous typhoon swoosh ..yes Niké..ny KEE was a name appended to a Hurricane that hit the Eastern seaboard of America the year that the running shoe maker was born. See, my utterly worthless pub quiz brain had information. Information of a degree that a well trained member of staff at this particular store might have been expected to know in this London’s Olympic year.
However, I did not wish them to have such anorak like knowledge. I merely wanted to know the whereabouts of my shirt. The black one with the Niké swoosh and the simulated signature in green of my hero…Mark. The Manx missile Cavendish. As one enters this wine bar of a shop, there are a row of black and white head shots each about four feet by six of Nikés most famous endorsees. Who the rest are I don’t know. My heart belonged to Cav. My countenance wreathed in idol worshipping stupor (I’m 60 in April for Dogs sake) I was approached by one the three strong greeting team. A pretty lass and very bubbly
“How can I help Sir?” Sir? Me, Sir?? I really ought to have seen it coming, but “T” shirt lust had me in its thrall.
“I’m looking for a Mark Cavendish signature t shirt”
“Mark Cavendish. Fastest human being on Earth? Your company have him on their books and sell a shirt with his signature on the sleeve and I’d like one”
“Really sorry Sir I don’t know who you mean”
Im still implacably cheerful at this point.
“ok, we’re you working here just before Christmas?”
“Too right innit? I swear I never had a day off for like three weeks”
Im still grinning pleasantly.
“Well in this very spot Mark, who won the tour de France Points jersey last year and then the World Championship Road Race before winning an MBE and BBC sports personality of the year. Was talking to about 500 of us. No? No recall”
Now I’m starting to loose my sense of humour at this point, but I refuse to be churlish, the drugs are working well today. I lead her over to shrine Cav: and present him with a ringmaster’s flourish….we’re in Oxford circus after all.
“oh yeh!!! ” she leads me to the escalator. What an obliging child “I know who you mean now *snorty laugh* you must fink I’m fick”
I am now on my way up the escalator
“first floor. All the foopball stuffs there.. Sorry”
I inhaled a calming breath chanting Om mane padme Hum. To the first floor then.
First thing I clapped eyes on was Lance Armstrong’s rugged Texan kisser on posters surrounding a goodly sized display of Livestrong gear…excelent! Good start.
“can I help Sir?” there they go with the bloody Sir thing again.
“I hope so. Mark Cavendish signature T shirt….?”
“Well as you’re in this area I hoped you might know where they were?”
It’s in the eyes you know. Actors always know when the other poor bugger’s dried. So I decide, (with my yin and yang in balance) to help
“he’s a cyclist like Lance??”
“oh right sorry, yeh. All the bike stuff’s in with the running kit. 2nd floor.”
My sense of humour was dimming dear reader, but I’m British, we never say die! I head for the ecscala’a.
“Can I help Sir?” I’ve worked it out, it’s the bow tie.
“Mark Cavendish T shirt black green signature. Guy downstairs says it should be on this floor”
“No! Ha! Sorry, the black and green one yeh?”
” yes” the grins back gang
“Hang on Sir I’ll go and grab one, what size?”
“XL please” the grin is really back, people are putting on their Oakleys.
A mere 5 minutes has passed when the young man approaches. A look of triumph emerging through the acne.
“There you go” with a flick of the wrist he displays a black polo shirt with… (in Green)
The embroidered logo of GLASGOW CELTIC. F.C.
Through my rictus grinning teeth I ask
“Is the manager about?”
I prepare an eloquent and uplifting little speech about how in this Olympic year, he really must ensure that his staff are better trained. The sports fans of the world will pour into this shop in the summer and they might reasonably expect your staff to be sufficiently interested enough to know who the people on your current poster campaign are. Especially as the one I’ve been asking about is hopefully going to be Britain’s first Gold medalist…yes that’s a fair speech Jonny bwoy.
“Hello how can I help Sir?”
I promise you, I did not Sir, most decidedly not give the fellow a bloody Coxcomb! But I tell you I exerted self control above and way beyond anything that my Bi polar drugs were designed for.
What’s that? How did the audition go after all that? ‘You ‘avin’ a giraffe???