Friday, February 04, 2005

Marked for Death

It’s an undisputed truism to say that we are all affected by our environment, and our surroundings shape us to some extent. If I take that as a starting point, I’m doomed to turn into a corpulent, sedentary, braindead dullard within a few short months if I carry on working here for much longer.

Let’s take it for granted that I woke up in a relatively foul mood this morning. Getting off the train a mere ten minutes ago, I embarked on the familiar stroll from the station to the office. Looking around at this quiet little village through the eyes of an irritable outsider who can think of about 386 better things I can be doing on a Friday morning, I noticed the bizarre girth of this little town’s inhabitants. It almost looked like the entire high street was being refracted through a Fun House mirror. A shake of my head confirmed that, no, these really are some fat motherfuckers. Someone should put a copy of Super Size Me through every letterbox in the area.

Now, let me be crystal clear here. I don’t mean “could stand to lost a few pounds” fat. I mean “coronary heartattack imminent” fat. The tettering topheavy ladies of the area look like they are auditioning for the role of Busty McFat in a stage production of “Wheezing My Last Sweaty Breath. Pass Me that Burger!”, and the lardy men waddle with all the grace of a constipated hippo, their swollen guts scrapping the tarmac as they attempt to navigate the hazardous terrain of this harmless little hamlet.

I got to the front door of the office to be greeted by my name being both strangled and bellowed by my candidate for Colleague Most Likely To Lose An Eye From My Leaky Biro and A Swift Stabbing Motion. I deliberately ignored him and kept heading for my desk.

As I sat down and waited for the PC to boot up, I could hear a monotone litany of nonsense: “…washing powder, washing-up liquid, chicken breasts…” What is that noise? Is someone outlining his sex toys of choice for a weekend of recreational bestial coupling? No…someone was reciting exactly what he had bought from the supermarket last night, item-by-item, inexorably battering my mind with each object of consumer joy. And here’s the kicker. People were patiently sitting and listening to the droning, and enjoying it! They were occasionally even interjecting with the odd question to give a fuller, rounder experience to the Great Shopping List Recitation.

And there’s a window cleaner repeatedly thwacking the window behind me with a metal rod. It sounds like he’s pissing down the wall whilst headbutting the glass.

It’s now only just passed 9.30 in the morning. Someone is going to lose a vital organ before this day is over. Where’s my leaky biro?

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