I’m feeling a bit smug today, for a couple of reasons.
Two months ago I gave up smoking, and have been keeping tally of the money saved ever since. Today I walked into the new Apple Store on Regent Street and purchased myself a gleaming 40GB iPod with the cash I’d accumulated not dancing with dastardly Dr Death. If this weren’t enough, I’d spotted the following passage on the Apple website prior to visiting the store:
Aha, I thought. Amazon sell their iPods much cheaper, probably as loss leaders. So when I finally get to the till (surprisingly – what with this being Apple – the queuing system at the store has been badly designed), I ask for £31.00 off the retail price, explaining that Amazon are selling the 4G models at much cheaper prices. I’m asked for proof of this, and present a printout of a Froogle search results page showing Amazon’s (and several other company’s) discounts. The nice gentleman on the till looks a bit startled by this turn of events and calls his manager. There’s a bit of chat on the walkie-talkies about whether Apple’s promise applies to online retailers but in the end, and only slightly begrudingly, I’m given the full reduction. So, I suggest that everyone buying iPods for Christmas gets down to Regent Street armed with printouts, before the company changes their position and limits the offer to high street retailers.
The second reason I’m feeling a bit smug today is because of a strange couple of minutes spent in Cricklewood last night. Myself and evil animation genius Bowers have convened for our weekly selection of pints at the Crown Hotel, and Bowers has gone to the toilet. At the table next to where we’re sitting is a girl Ron Atkinson would probably describe as a “fit looking bird”. She turns to me and says, somewhat surprisingly, “You’re sexy. Are you single?” Now, I don’t mind admitting that this comment throws me somewhat. I can only remember being chatted up once in my life, and that was the best part of twenty years ago. So instead of making the most of the situation, by offering to buy her a drink or returning the compliment, I just mumble a thankyou. And she repeats the compliment: “You are. You’re sexy. What’s your name?”. So I tell her mine, and ask hers, and she asks how old I am, and looks disappointed when I say I’m 38. She’s 26. I keep looking round for signs of people snickering, suspecting that I’m the unwitting victim of some cruel prank or bet, but no, there’s no hint of subterfuge. Bowers returns and I fill him in, then trot off to the gents myself. By the time I return, my mystery woman has vanished into the night.
Those few moments confirmed three things I already suspected, and one thing I didn’t.
1. I’m crap with women and need to polish up my social skills.
2. I’m a sucker for compliments. I’ve been walking round all day feeling like some kind of handsome geek lothario.
3. I probably should have had my hair cut years ago.
4. I may have to start lying about my age.