I went into a corner shop today to buy a newspaper and was suprised to note that young men were still able to purchase single cigarettes, much the same as when I was a lad. Despite the above inflation price hike, the facility was clearly welcomed by the roving young scallywags who frequented the shop - several single cigarettes were vended during the time it took me to decide between the Observer or the Independent on Sunday. As I went to pay, I was overcome with nostalgia and decided to make a similar purchase - for auld lang syne - pour recherche les temps perdue perhaps. I asked the shopkeeper for a 50p single and he smiled. "Yes," he said, "So am I," pointing to my ringless marraige finger, "But don't worry, there's plenty of time." He smiled at me benignly. "No," I said, enjoying the joke, "I want a single cigarette,"
"Oh," he said, "I understand, you want to be single." Then he winked at me, "Are you gay man?" he asked. "If you are, one of my brothers very interested."
I had no choice but to augment my intended purchase with a little sign language. I mimed having a cigarette between my forefinger and index finger, pulling it back and forth across my face. The shopkeeper seemed offended, "Don't bloody swear at me," he said, "You come into my shop and want to do bum stuff with my brother, if you don't want to buy anything get out you sodding homo."
I thought it best to abandon my intended purchase of a 'single' and just leave with my newspaper; I put it on the counter. "Just an observer please." I said, holding out my two pounds. The shopkeeper went crazy, "You want me to watch?" he was incredulous, "You come into my shop and offer me two pound to watch you have sodomy with my own brother, two pounds only to watch my own flesh and blood arse be defiled?" and before I knew it he was coming at me with a tazer.
So Jemima, this blog is for you; you are my special girl. If you hadn't walked into the shop at that moment, I really think, with my weak heart, I could have died. As it was, there you were, just back from the hospital with your shiny new head brace, firmly holding in place your little fractured skull - the perfect lightening conductor.
In heaven there will be no head braces and no tazers - in fact, no electricity of any kind. It is lit by the heavenly glow of Jesus' halo shining down on all the little girls and boys who you can play with for all eternity. The fridges are cooled by the breath of eskimo angels and the playstations run on batteries that god will sell you for a small fee - or a few 'favours' - but don't worry, God won't hurt you, and if he does - who are you going to tell?