• Jen

HAY BAE #11 - Sweet Charity


Hay Bae, you good?

I went to a charity shop yesterday, the first one I've visited in months (dunno if you heard, but we've had a little flu going around), and I gotsta say - it felt incredible. I know people have been pretty jazzed about the pubs, bars & secret swinger sex clubs opening back up again - but for me it was all about Oxfam. British Heart Foundation is my local, and Dido's "Life For Rent" CD is my booze of choice (unless I'm in the mood for a more specialist, hoppy IPA like David Gray's White Ladder).

It was pretty unreal having to line up around the corner for a charity shop. As it was Hackney, the line was made up exclusively of trendy, well dressed young people with bad haircuts in dungarees & it felt a bit like we were queuing up for the cackest nightclub in town. From midway in the line, you could hear the pumping beats of Craig David & Sophie Ellis-Bextor. As you finally reach the door, you are checked up and down by the roughest looking doorman you've ever seen - 76 year old Edna. She's got a blue-rinse, and she's handing out black eyes to all those who don't observe the strict "sanitise yer hands" door policy.

Having to line up for shops now really forces you to think about if it's worth it. Like, you ain’t just "poppin' in for a browse" anymore. Each shopping trip is an exercise in weighing up the pros & cons. Is it really worth lining up for this? Do I really need food this week?

I know it's a stereotype that the British are good at queuing up, but god-damn it, it's the truth. Even in the Wild West that is Poundland, where law and order is usually but a yellow, Yankee concept - people are lining up like it's Alton-flipping-Towers (minus all the tragic rollercoaster injury). Speaking of which, theme parks are open now - right? I went to Chessington World Of Adventures a few years ago, and the lines were torture - I can't even imagine how long they're going to be now with social distancing in place. Imagine having to wait 3 hours to get on Professor Burp's Bubble-Works.

I bought a packet of sweets from Poundland, and it said on the bag "Extra Free!". I've never seen it presented so vague before. Usually, they give percentages. Even if something is "free" I'm not ready for a world of arbitrary numbers. This is capitalism, for gosh-sakes. I wanna know what I'm paying for, even if I'm not paying for it. Keep mystery out of consumerism. Also, I can't be the only one who feels weird about free sweets? Firstly, we all know the connotations there. You wouldn't accept them if they were given to you from a white van. Also, what happened to "nothing is free". At a certain point, you've got to ask yourself - where are these "extra free" sweets coming from? Are these "floor chocolates"? Look, I don't mind floor-chocolates. I have eaten chocolate off of the floor before, and I will do it again. I just want to know where we stand.

Other than in-line. I know we're standing in-line. We're always in-line.


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