Friday, 21 December 2007

Men in tights

I am standing in the new John Lewis's in Cambridge. (Whatever happened to Robert Sayle's? The old name seems to have been junked with the re-opening of the shop.)

I am in the women's tights section of the shop - I have in my hand a piece of paper with a detailed list of 'Things Lynnie Likes.' Wolford black small tights. Easy enough, I am thinking to myself. But no. There is an array of the said beasts displayed before me with more choice that can possibly be healthy.

I am nudged. It is the Village Speech Therapist's Wife nudging me. She asks if Lynnie knows that I spend my time in this section. She trys to help by suggesting that Lynnie wouldn't be seen dead in the support hose and steers me towards the smaller numbered dennier collection. Between us we choose the tights.

I enlist her help with the next item on the list: Chanel red lippy. Of course there is none in Cambridge. The power of advertising. All sold out. The vacuous over painted lady behind the counter shrugs. The VSTW drags me sobbing over to another counter, where another vacuous over-painted assistant finishes her conversation with her friend behind the counter of where she would really like to go on her holidays next year before she deigns to serve me.

No red lippy here either.

I am a dead man. I head for Don's for a beer to re-group.


  1. At your age you should know the M.O. by now:
    1. Make the (vain & pre-doomed) attempt
    2. Present an alternative choice
    3. Grovel abjectly
    4. Use the key phrase - 'its the though that counts'
    5. Nip out for a paper
    6. Return home a few weeks later to check if your front door key still works

    Of course #6 means hiding the b/pack gear in the shed well before Xmas - hope you remembered.
    You didn't?

    Oh dear.

    Then it's
    7. We're all doomed- welcome the the club
    Have a good one AS

  2. Alan! I'm surprised about the difficulty you are having choosing tights, I've always thought your legs look rather wonderful in your stretchy black numbers.

    Miss Whiplash x

  3. ...and as for the red lippy....!

    Lord E.

  4. Alan. I would be the last person to query your reason for being in that department! I just wonder whether the reason was the same as I suggested to my newsagent just before I left Bristol. I had always collected my papers from a newsagent who had no sense of humour whatsoever. The shop next door was a ladies fashion shop which sold many nice things it appeeared from their window display. However the ladies shop was to close down and I suggested to Steve that he should buy it and keep it open. Steve had no idea what I was talking about and just gave me a vacant stare. So I told him that I didn't walk over to buy papers from him because I liked him, but rather to look into the shop window next door at the ladies underwear and if the shop closed I, and possibly others would go elsewhere for our papers! The shop duly closed and I moved to Scotland soon after and I wonder now whether Steve is regretting not buying the shop!

  5. You can check my size anytime, Big Boy


  6. Oh, I'm so glad that I got Mick into this walking malarky and converted him to a gear-head. It just makes this present buying malarky so much easier!

  7. Alan,

    This sounds familiar ... Yes! I know what it reminds me of - are you familar with the wonderful 'Father Ted' Christmas special where Ted, Dougal and a bunch of priests get disoriented and find themselves in the women's undies department in Ireland's largest department store and have a terrible time trying to escape? A classic!

    Merry Christmas!


  8. You're very brave in shopping for these items.I settled for a fleece and scarf for my wife.Have a good one


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