Random mutterings, sighing and gasping, finger jabbing, brow dabbing and general bleatings about everyday bollocks. Brought to you by Angie Annetts, author of the highly-acclaimed short story collection, 'Tales From Around The Bend'. http://www.talesfrom.co.uk/

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Redhill, Grey Bras and The French Lieutenant's Scrubber

I fear my days may be numbered at the gym – and that a red card could be in the offing. See, there’s some mad old posh moo who’s begun frequenting said gym, and I’ve become rather transfixed with her (in a non-lesbian brillo pad kinda way). For those of you familiar with the sitcom ‘Keeping Up Appearances’ – this tart is the spit of Hyacinth Bouquet/Bucket. I kid you not. She comes complete with the bouffant barnet, a little black bolero jacket over a pristine white vest, loose trousers (elasticated waist jobbies with a drawstring belt) and some ‘casual’ form of boating shoe (by the looks of it – like I fucking know). And bestest of all (and, oh yes indeedy…) she’s got a pearl necklace on (a proper necklace, not the…). And what’s more; I bet her shit don’t stink.
I’ve been trying to surreptitiously take a photo of her for weeks now, (which, in the main, has involved furtively lurking behind various pieces of gym machinery and equipment) so that I could ‘share’ with you all. And take the piss a bit. But, to date, I have been a big wussy failure. But I ain’t done yet…

Hello, Management? Mrs Bouquet here. Some fucker's been trying to
take photos of me doing pelvic thrusts in my finest porcelain slacks...

Other news: I’ve only just got over a recent trip to Redhill for the night. I went with the old man as he had an ‘important’ business meeting the following morning (that didn’t require the presence of my fragrant gob messing things up), so I just tagged along for the epic car ride and to see what Redhill’s like. So I can now tell you (from an informed position): it’s a shit hole. And as someone who’s come from a shit hole (Leyton), I know a shit hole when I see one.

This is where we stayed. Don't be deceived by its dreary exterior -
it was infinitely worse inside...

Our room looked out on this. Oh, how we smiled...

This was not only the town centre - this was, more or less, all of it... 

There should have been bushels blowing across the empty streets – but they’d had enough and fucked off. And even the hoodies we passed (slumped in pissy doorways) were too despondent and lethargic to give us the finger or relieve us of our possessions when we wandered out to ‘take in the nightlife’.

This was as good as it got. People dying of thirst as they attempt to secure a drink.
Well trained staff go through their standard 78 questions in an attempt to upsell a
packet of pork scratchings or an ice cream with your beer, before allowing you to
escape with your purchase...

And when we finally limped back to our seats, I discovered that a Redhill
bird had shat on my jacket. Initally we hoped it might be white paint - until
I discovered its 'epicentre'...

Suddenly I came over all tired, and began to miss Wally Dog and these parrrts... 

After the obligatory ‘night from hell’, the next morning I was deposited in Costa Coffee in a Tesco superstore, while the old man and his business partner went off to fight a small war on their own.

There they go.
Once their Blackberry's need re-charging, they'll be back...

Now, as an ex-publican, I just don’t get these coffee houses. They’re just full of pricks with paperbacks tacking up space and making one drink last 38 days. We used to get the odd ones waft into my pubs, looking all arty and air-fairy as they’d order a frothy coffee with a sprinkle of penguin shit topping. At this juncture, I would give them my famous pained expression. That would normally be enough to fuck them off from asking for a refill – and free up the seat for a proper punter who wanted to get their face in the trough (and furthermore, pay handsomely for the privilege).

That's right, mate - you take your time. Why not spread your shit out
a bit more on the table, so it'll serve as a deterrent for anyone else
looking for somewhere to sit during the busy lunchtime rush.

So I got up and had a wander through Tesco. I had 2 hours to kill, so up and down every bloody aisle I went. And by God, they’ve got some dreadful shit in there. My ‘highlight’ was the ‘value’ bras that they were flogging. Interestingly, as a labour-saving device, they appear to have saved the buyer from the effort of turning their bras a soupy kind of grey colour – as they’ve cut to the chase, and already supply them in this classic (and appealing) shade.
I limped back to Costa Coffee, and to show them what a rebel I am, I ordered tea. And then, to further fuck them up, I thought I’d have some more. As it was dead quiet in there (I was in a crowd of three customers) and I had a number of bags with me that I didn’t want to hoof up to the till, I asked a passing member of staff if I could order from them. “No” I was told. Bastards. And me – their best customer in years. Bastards II.
The guys returned with tales of battles won, filofaxes at ten paces and a decision within two weeks. We bundled into our car and roamed the streets of Redhill for somewhere to scoff some brunch. We found a skanky cafe and boldly entered. As it was blowing up a hooley and bit on the nippy side, we asked the proprietor if we could close the door. “No” we were told.
“Why?” We asked.
“In case I get a lot of people pushing buggies coming in – or people in wheelchairs.” 
 “Can’t we just get up and open the door for them?”
 “Do you get a lot of people coming in with buggies or disabled people?”
 “No. But if they see the door is shut, they won’t come in.”
 “Can’t you just open the door for them?”

Upon hearing the news that a cafe in Redhill has its doors open, these wheelchair users
have it on the hurry-up to secure a spot out of the draught and first dibbings on the bacon butties...

So we buggered off and took our sterling to nearby Reigate and ate some shit in shopping centre. And then we pointed our wagon back to these parrrts. And to make up for the ordeal we stopped off here.

That's better. Lyme Regis, innit? 

And I thought I’d give it a bash at looking like this

The French Lieutenant's Scrubber.

But then I realised I didn’t have long red hair. Nor a quivering jaw. Nor a cape. All I had was a jacket with Redhill bird shit on it. So we went back home to this.

Look at this nice young chap drinking his way through the stock in a futile
attempt to steady himself for my gargantuan order...

And that made me feel a lot better. I was so glad to be home. And I told the barman this. There's no place like home I told him.

...and he told me, "You daft cow, you could have come back to these parrts whenever you
wanted, rather than staying in that Redhill shit hole and pissing out Costa Coffee over-priced tea.
Didn't you know, that all along you had the power in your ruby slippers...

I'll be okay...with time...


  1. And there's not even a red hill anywhere to be seen. It's an outrage.

  2. Are you trying to tell me..that...YOU...have..been...to..Redhill? (And furthermore, admit to it?) I beg you seek treatment...


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