Getting back early from Belgium this afternoon, I decided to profit from the situation by going to the gym and using the machines that are never available when I want to use them. Needless to say, the gym was packed and the machines were all full, with people waiting.
So, I sat on the bike and rode for a while, watching a couple of episodes of the Sarah Silverman show on the old i-pod. The fact that all of the machines were full meant that I left the gym early and - I'm getting to the point here - I found myself at a loose end, and so went to buy a bin for the kitchen.
A bin. For the kitchen. A bin, poubelle, rubbish bin, you know the kind - big, metal, keeps smells in and mice out. This is what I was after. I've needed one for ages, ever since I threw the last one out as it had started to smell like an old folks' home.
So, I'm standing in the local branch of 'Casa' - a council house Crate and Barrel, if you will - and I'm looking at, well, I'm not looking at the bins.
I'm looking at the customers. I'm not doing this in a perverted way, just in a 'sweet jesus where did this lot come from' kind of way. It was like the home for the bewitched, bothered and befabuloused had closed its doors and thrown everyone out on the street.
I'm telling you - two low-rent Jackie O's checking out the pillowslips, a six foot transvestite buying up an ugly old mirror, a woman on rollerblades with three french bulldogs browsing the cutlery, a pair of fabulous boyz giggling amongst the voile curtains, a lesbian with a chopping board and a tramp sucking his jacket sleeve. It was like the devil's version of the 12 days of christmas.
Distracted as I was, I couldn't focus and so decided the bin was a project for the weekend.
Stepping out of the shop, I couldn't help but notice a rather handsome man in a business suit. He was mid forties, good looking, with expensive shoes and a well cut coat. He'd put his briefcase down on the floor and was taking a piss between two parked cars.
He gave the old fella a shake, tucked it back into his pants, zipped up and walked off.
The fact that nobody else gave this a second glance made me wonder if I was hallucinating. I was soon catapulted out of my reverie by something hitting my leg, hard.
I turned round and there was an old lady - I'd say at least 80 years old - and she had hit me with her walking stick.
"Allez", she mumbled, "p'tit con" (a not so polite way of saying 'you appear to be in my way kind sir, would you please move')
I moved out of her way - not that I was in her way, there was a clear metre of pavement either side of me. I watched her continue on down the street. She maintained a dead-straight line and walloped anyone in her way. You could hear the yelps of the innocent as she passed by with the stick.
Thankfully, sanity was waiting for me at home, in the shape of a lovely gin and tonic. I poured myself a large one and sat down.
The phone rang.
It was my Mother.
"Do you know how to turn my TV on?".
Tonight, it seems, is just one of those nights.