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It was only a short trip into Mansfield for my annual contact lens check so why does it fill me with dread everytime. I’ll tell you why, irritation and today was no different. As usual in the opticians they had one queue manned by no one in particular and approximately seven hundred staff carrying clipboards milling about the place. It’s always the same, I arrived with plenty of time for my appointment but after queuing I was considered late as I had waited so long.

‘You are late, we have let somebody else go in your place.’

‘But I have been here, in this queue.’

‘That doesn’t count, you need to be registered before you are classed as here.’

Standing in the queue was no better, we stood behind probably the most irritating man in the world, all nasal hair and brylcreme with a dab of TCP for good luck with the ladies. He was also the reason I was considered ‘late’

‘When would you like your appointment?’


‘How about next Monday, does that suit?’

‘No, it’s too early’

‘We can make it later in the day?’

‘No, it’s too early to come back’

‘You mean the day? Oh, how about Thursday then?’

‘No, I don’t want to wait that long?’

‘Ok, do you have a preferred day?’

‘No, any day will do.’


‘Next week?’


‘I don’t come into town on Wednesdays’

I looked vainly around for something large and brick like to throw at him, can you imagine him on the bus?

‘Where to?’


‘No, where do you want to get off?’

‘I don’t want to get off here I have only just got on.’


And thus started my day.

It’s been a morning of moans, the optician berated me for not wearing my contact lenses for a full two hours before I went in as it makes life ‘terribly difficult’, an hour and a half is not good enough – note to oneself. At least I didn’t get a garlicky burp like last time, it was just at the point they are face to face with you you knees almost touching when they stifled a burp so it flamboyantly shot out of their nostrils, it was horrid, they nearly got a face full of sick back.

Anyway, misery continued as Jayne wanted some new ribbon so a trip to the local haberdashery led to another ‘moment’

It’s not a large shop, it’s filled higgledy piggledy with a hotchpotch of stuff so navigating around is a little cumbersome at the best of times. We were both scrunched and bent over riffling through rolls of ribbon when one of the members of staff needed to reach the other till. Its a simple matter as there are two ways to get to the till, either through where we were stood or take several paces to one side and you have a nice gap to walk through put in place for exactly this purpose.

So it was with an astonished dismay when at the top of her voice she stood behind us and bellowed to the entire shop and probably half of Mansfield that ‘Can’t you see I can’t get through here because there are two scruffy people in the way.’, ok, she didn’t exactly say scruffy but the pause between ‘two’ and ‘people’ spoke volumes, especially as she turned her nose up to look down it in a condescending fashion anybody would have thought we had farted in her handbag.

The old cow.

Oh, sorry about that, but she was.

So you can understand why it always fills me with dread, it’s like being irritated to death. As I stood in the opticians queue I turned to Jayne after a few minutes and said ‘did you see what’s just gone out of the door?’ Thumbing over my shoulder in the doors direction.

‘No, what was it?’

‘My will to live.’

Anyway, since when did buying something as simple as an air freshener become so damn complex? Like some country hick I wandered down the aisles in Wilkos only to be astonished at the air and toilet freshener range. My god it’s massive but let’s get back to talking about air fresheners. Ranging between £1.50 to make your house smell like a plastic pine forest to £15 for an all singing, dancing battery operated puffer spray that transforms your hovel into an exotic palace full of eastern promise it makes the mind boggle. And you know those flushy things that make the loo-la smell nice, you know what I’m on about, toilet ornaments, they work like Christmas tree baubles, you hang them and the flush activates it. Well, they are getting silly. I found one today that played a tune, I kid you not. The last thing I want is the 1812 overture complete with firing cannons everytime I take a dump.

Hang on though, it may not be a bad idea. The tune could change depending on the severity level. ‘I want to break free’ could play when you do a giraffe (it’s all to do with a long neck, keep up Bond, get with the kids) or ‘Poker Face’ by lady Gaga for the serious kind that numbs your legs because you sit too long.

Another thing has just popped into my head, do people take Kindles into the toilet with them to read? I once used a loo at a house where they had installed a sweet tray next to the toilet roll holder just in case you got peckish. No, really, I was shocked, amused and beguiled all in one go, it did make me laugh though which sped everything up a little so maybe that was the point.

Where’s this all going today?

I don’t really know apart from rapidly downhill.

One last thing, this next bit is really real although it sounds far fetched. Unknown persons making their way back from town late at night have perfected urinating to such an extent that they draw shapes. They remain etched as the urine has burnt the ground slightly so they take a few weeks to disappear. No, really, we have come across hearts, letters and even in one case a face with facial hair. They must have waggled it about a bit to form all the curls. Today we found they had returned back to one of the hearts and drawn an arrow through it. Just for the record it’s not me although one did look like an Impossimal head with two ears until I looked at it the other way and realised it was a tallywhacker.

Well I think that has about covered everything for today, opticians, queues, annoying people, loud people, toilet habits and urination artwork. Nope, not much else I can add to that, I wonder what this afternoon has in store for me?

This blog is written on edible paper, please eat once read.


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