Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Don't shop for it, Doctor…

I would not advise anyone researching a textbook on customer service to turn to Currys in Peckham for positive examples. However, anyone putting together a manual on retail in the 1980s should definitely head to the SE15 branch of Argos, where you can wait for your deckchairs or foot spa or Gent's Gold Plated Silver Bulldog Ring to the strains of The King Of Rock 'n' Roll by Prefab Sprout and Criticize by Alexander O'Neal*. Yesterday, someone was also wearing a Christmas at Argos sweatshirt. Given these factors, I'm disappointed to have missed a play of Last Christmas, because, honestly, you can't have too many. Argos is a living, working miracle to me. How can they keep that enormous number of different things in the confines of a medium-sized shop. Imagine the labyrinth of aisles and sky-scraping towers of shelving that must stretch back miles into different counties and continents. Imagine the ever-evolving technology that is propelling the gophers to the farthest corners of the stock room. Jet-packs, robots – any mode of transport that would make a splendid new attraction in Michael Jackson's Neverland (and from what I hear, he could do with the money). Anyway, my point is, I have discovered what the A in Tardis stands for. And it's not And.

My business in Argo was to buy a portable hard drive for my computer, so that the 91 per cent of my life that is gathered inside it can be protected. This is as a direct result of the calamity that befell Miss W's beloved machine (and you can read her quite beautiful elegy here). I have decided to keep it in one of my kitchen cupboards. This is in case of fire, of course. My spare bedroom, customary home of my computer, is at the front of my flat. My kitchen is at the back. I am reasoning that in the event of flames bursting out in my home, our location on a busy road that thousands of people use and observe every day will ensure that the emergency services are in attendance in enough time to save at least one of my virtual lives (and hopefully my real one, too). This is the kind of thinking that Richard Madeley and his millennium cupboard would be proud of.

(*This video for Criticize contains some of the greatest pre-song 'acting' I've witnessed. It is right up there with Janet Jackson's What Have You Done For Me Lately. I would invite other nominations, were I not quite so scared of the long, lonely silence. It is the blogger's torment. Every night we dream cold, lonely dreams where two words are scrawled large all around us on walls that are ever closing in, and shrieked in the guttural tones of vile hags: '0 Comments'.)


Miss W said...

Miss Jones! You have 1 comment! My comment is: you are ace. Also, for pre-song acting (and it's ACTING of an ACTING CLASS = post=modern) you cannot beat:



Anonymous said...

No comment

Miss Jones said...

Declare yourself! My money is on my loving godmother.

Miss W, thank goodness you are here. This is indeed awesome. I love the way the introduction keeps stopping and starting, like Lionel is working it with a switch in his pocket. And the fact that she only seems to have part-time custody of the stick.

Marbury said...

Miss Jones,

I suspect that if you sometimes have 'no comments' it is only because, when you address a subject, you do so with such eloquence and penetration that there is literally NOTHING LEFT TO SAY.


Stuart said...

"I smell youth. Vintage youth..."


Miss Jones said...

that is going to give me bad dreams. especially when he starts singing along at the end. is this from the full-length film they made? i rented it at a young age and didn't understand a word. it was no pretty in pink, that's for sure.

i think chris lowe could 'make it' as an actor. he's quite good.


Anonymous said...

Miss Jones I have personally experienced the vastness that is the Argos stock room. Believe me it is a sight to behold. It was also the place for a most interesting Health & Safety experience. In the days when Health & Safety was clearly viewed as some sort of crazy Lefty fad, Argos Bromley experienced a leaking 'waste pipe' and the trusty stockroom workers had to wade around in wee (and other things). Helpfully the powers that be put down sheets of cardboard to absorb said wee. It didn't. It also didn't help Eileen the 80+ year old who worked there. She was fairly low to the ground and wearing an open toed sandal. Anyway it worked out for the best as we all got a lovely bottle of wine as a thank you (Lambrusco I think), which was a great consolation for the potential Typhoid. Ho hum.