Wednesday, 25 November 2009
Not since pushing open the door of an entirely inconspicuous building on a tiny street in Barcelona and finding a beautiful cathedral, filled with candles and flamingos, have I been as confused or surprised as I was when I entered another door, down a little street in London. This time however I wasn’t surprised in a good way, more in a ‘what the fuck is this and why is that guy only wearing pants?’ way.
For anyone who hasn’t visited this particular establishment; upon entering the Abercrombie & Fitch store you will be greeted by a man without a shirt on, twitching to some bland euro-trance and smiling at you with his mouth while crying for help with his eyes. The mock-American (Mamerican if you will) accent really threw me off as well. To be fair it did justify the horribly cheesy welcome of ‘Well hello sir, a warm welcome to you, enjoy your time inside’ somewhat more than if I had heard it in a Scouse tongue, but is it really necessary?
After this peculiar shock to the eyes and ears, the nose is then confronted with the overwhelming stench of Eau D’Abercrombie, or whatever it’s called, that management choose to spray over anything with a logo, including their staff. Now I don’t want to personally attack any of the staff members, because I’m sure they are all lovely people, but fuck me, are they weird when they’re at work.
Firstly, there are about five staff to every customer, so just as you’ve finished being accosted by one set of pearly white teeth, another appears asking you whether you would like a hand picking any of the identikit, ‘sexily lit’ pieces of clothing in front of you. Secondly, the dancing doesn’t stop at the door, oh no…the real party’s happening inside; above your head are what looks like the Hollyoaks cast, dressed in next to nothing, some grinding each other and some awkwardly jolting to Scooter’s greatest hits. Lastly, Abercrombie appear to monitor their staff closer than Disney are guilty of while grooming their next child star. From the look of it, jeans must have no less than three rips per leg, eyebrows must be streamlined and hair must be elegant, yet just dishevelled enough to remain ‘edgy.’
I wonder what they’re like when they go home. I suppose its kind of like being a kids TV presenter, at the risk of falling victim to work induced bi-polar syndrome. Both talk loudly, move in a funny way (the ‘dancing’) and smile like an imbecile all day before, I imagine, going home to a microwave meal for one and an unsuccessful wank culminating in tears. I can only hope it doesn’t end with hoards of false smiles killing their girlfriends and hanging themselves at Paddington train station. (Too soon?)
I don’t really know where I’m going with this. I just felt like I needed to share the inner workings of perhaps the most surreal store in London with someone other than those fake tanned girls with white lips and Ugg boots who were standing outside.
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
Wednesday, 7 October 2009
Obviously people with flyers are annoying; you're in a rush, you've got bags in one hand and a phone/paper/umbrella (if you're a well-equiped sort of person) in the other. No room for a shitty club night flyer from an over eager girl in bright green stockings and a pink bum-bag. I needed/still do need money however so I've become one of those annoying people thrusting unwanted pieces of card in to your hands. One occasion, outside a Foals gig, I spotted - between the hoards of winklepickers and beginner smokers - a collective of the urchins of live music that are ticket touts. In my new found role as flyer giver out' er I felt slightly higher in the food chain than those who rip off punters, rather than just pestering them, as I was. What I never realised (probably completely naively) is that the touts seemingly work as a team, shouting for each other once they've found someone to massively overcharge and surrounding them in a huddle of whispers and transactions. There is still a glimpse of competition, which on one occasion worked itself up to the tout you see below shouting, "Did you just tell me to fuck off? Cos' I will fucking bleed you!" A bit unnecessary I thought.
The next session in my new trade lead me to numerous London freshers fayres and the first lot of people who would actively take flyers out of my hand. Of course, trying to offer flyers to a 2nd year is hugely inappropriate, I found this out after a set of disdainful looks and a "Oh, no...we're not freshers thank you." A new and different set of men trying to rip people off were here as well; these were those scumbags who come up and offer girls an entirely 'free' makeover day. This particular guy (who's pictured above) was at both events and picked exclusively on Asian girls who he knew couldn't really understand him both times. Douuuche-chill.
Wednesday, 16 September 2009
Riding shotgun in a porsche 911, soaring up the M90 to Dundee at 110 mph with two large guns in my lap and Fall Out Boy blasting out of the stereo is not a usual start to my weekend. The middle aged driver steering with his knees while drumming on his lap is an even more peculiar sight, if not slightly worrying.
The reason for this excursion was the end result of a weekend beating in the Angus Glens. Although sounding like a euphemism for a homo-erotic jaunt to a remote location in the Scottish wilderness, beating - as I found out - is where you stand in a line with 40 burly, ginger Scottish men and march towards 9 tweed attired men with guns, flapping a flag around to scare birds out of the grouse moors and up in to the air to meet their demise. Morally that's a tricky one; I never agreed with fox hunting but for some reason birds didn't seem quite as important - coercing them towards their death however did make me feel slightly like the Joseph Goebbels of the ornithological world.
The day begins with a 7.15 alarm, which in the summer holidays feels like you've done yourself a huge injustice, then you load yourself in to a van that resembles some sort of military vehicle; it has tracks instead of wheels, quite cool. The next few hours were a blur of 20 mph winds, Danny the head beater screaming at me to "STAY IN LINE....GET FORWARD" and birds falling from the sky like fleshy raindrops. I did hear one of the shooters remarking that his loader was "good to have in the butt," - the butt being the hole they shoot from - but after my earlier mention of homo-eroticism my immature side wouldn't let me emit that little detail.
When I finally got back to the house I had one of those cigarettes where it feels like you've been in a war, gone over the top, made it to the other side and lit your fag off the burning embers of the ground around you. Well, not quite that that excessive, but it was a good cigarette.
I don't think I'm equipped for the beating lifestyle, I've got skinny legs, feel the cold far too easily and can't really understand what any of the other beaters are saying to me. What I did make out however is that they spend the whole year tending to the moors in the hope that grouse, the birds who love those kind of digs will flock to them in time for the shooting season. It's a weird cycle of life and one that I don't really understand the original motivation behind, but it keeps the shooters happy and the beaters in work, so after my surreal venture in to the world of grouse hunting, I'll keep my nose out.
Thursday, 6 August 2009
Sunday, 2 August 2009
Wednesday, 29 July 2009
A bahamian island that's only about 2 miles long where everyone drives golf carts instead of cars, the sand is pink and the houses are guarded with white picket fences. Kind of like a disney country club but with rum and weed. It's a big money holiday haven and there's obviously a divide between those with p-diddy yachts named something like Jeffzilla or Knight Force and those with a wooden fishing boat - a case that isn't helped by 14 year old yacht kids spewing on the street after the tequila shot their nanny bought them didn't go down too well. The island still hasn't really submitted to the big money aliens who inhabit it for the summer months though; the biggest club there has a basketball court doubling up as a dance-floor and is about the best place to spot the crack-head whose best friend cut his hand off as a joke. Sadly I didn't get a picture with him but there are some other pictures below.
my woman poor black and famous