My old mate Hugh has a quirky way of looking at life. He is 84 years old and makes me giggle, last week he came to meet me for coffee.
The shops in my area are all upmarket kitchen/flooring/bathroom specialists. There is a new shop just opened and Hugh had a peep in the big windows to see what was on sale. Later when we met up for coffee he gave me his account of the new place.
“Janey, what is that shop selling? The place looks empty; there are a few stones on the floor. It has the hull of an old boat, a grandfather clock and a skinny boy shop assistant with funny hair staring out into the distance”
“Ceramic tiles” I explained in-between gulps of coffee “It’s got really expensive tiles that they import, maybe that’s what the boat reference is”
“What? There were no tiles; there was the hull of a fucking boat, what has that got to do with tiles? There was only that boy has long hair on one side of his face, I think he is selling ‘gay’ and looking out for cottages, I heard about that on TV” He spluttered.
“Hugh, don’t be homophobic, he isn’t gay and you can’t sell gay and you have the cottage thing all mixed up, it’s all subliminal marketing that’s all it is” I couldn’t stop laughing.
“In my day a ceramic tile shop had ceramic tiles in the window so you knew what it sold, all this strange subliminal marketing makes me feel invaded. I looked at the hull of that old boat and it reminded me of Dunkirk, he is luckily I never went into that shop and had a nervous breakdown” Hugh sniggered.
I forgot how older people have a sharp sense of humour, only old Hugh could link a tile shop to Dunkirk and make me snort with laughter. Though he does have a point the exclusive tile shop is a tad too snotty for my liking, and the boy with emotional hair that struts about in skinny jeans looking down on people who walk past and who try to figure out what the boat is all about does need taken down a peg or two.
My entire area is being taken over by fancy shops that sell nowt that I want to buy; I could do with a decent coffee shop down there. Not yet another exclusive kitchen shop or some place that sells Aga’s. Who the hell uses an Aga in this day and age, who the hell has a house or kitchen big enough to cope with an Aga cooker? What happened to shops that sell stuff the masses want to buy? In this day and age of the credit crunch, I don’t see any of these snotty shops surviving.
Luxury goods do sell, there is no debate, but I fail to see why my corner of the street has to be deluged by them.
Old Hugh put it nicely “ A proper old shop selling hardware and curtain rings is what’s needed, that or a shop selling cold cuts. In my day you got your food locally and in season. When did Italian ceramic tiles suddenly come into season? Mind you that deli up in Byres road sells oatcakes that could double up as wooden tiles any day, floors you can eat; now there’s an advertising slant that would work”_