Thursday, January 19, 2006


'I Wish I Was A Person, With Unlimited Breath, I Wish I Was A Heartbeat, That Never Comes to Rest'*

I was watching Wossy's 'Asian Invasion' the other night, and it was the episode on Hong Kong. He interviewed Hong-Kongish director Derek Yee, auteur of such films as 'One Night In Mongkok' and '2 Young' - no, I haven't heard of them either - but what was really notable about him was that he is clearly very wealthy, yet he was wearing the most enormous Casio watch.

Something like this.

I mean, given the size of it, he might as well have strapped an alarm clock to his arm. What I wondered was this - Hong Kong is one of capitals of sales of fake Rolex's in the world, so is that why the wealthy don't wear them? Are they actually lower in status than the giant digi I threw out on my fourteenth birthday?

I once read in a book that the first two things a woman notices about a man's appearance are his watch and his shoes. If you'd got a face like mine, you'd see why that's good news. So I went out and bought a great pair of shoes. I also bought a reasonable watch. Well, I think it looks quite snazzy, but in fairness it did only cost £16.99 from Argos, so maybe it isn't that great.

I do have a really, really smart watch somewhere, that I was given on the occasion of my turning eighteen, but I've never been able to wear it because I'm paralytically frightened I'll scratch it. Such is the fruitlessness of life.

*from 'Run Lola Run.' Oh, fuck off, it's my favourite film, and I haven't had a reference to it for ages.

I hadn't heard that watches were in the runnning. I've known about the shoe thing--and continue to wear $20 surplus combat boots anyway.
I'm married, who do I have to impress?

What's Argos?
You don't know about Argos, and 'the laminated book of dreams?'

Boy oh boy. Basically, they are a sort of giant superstore, a bit like Wal-Mart, but instead of putting things in a trolley, you go in, look in the cheap, laminated catalogue, note down the number next to the item you want, and then go to queue no 1.

In queue no 1, they take your cash off you, and tell the people in the adjacent warehouse what item you want. Then, you go to queue no 2, which is much, much longer, and there you have to wait for the underpaid schlub in the warehouse to stop picking his nose, and push the item down this chute to the shopfloor, which is scientifically measured to be one inch longer than that at which your designated item will break.

It is so, so long winded. A trip to Argos is guaranteed to end in bitterness and resentment. I hope for your sake it never goes Stateside.
Argos is shopping without having to shop around, hence perfect for men. You can get all your non-essential Christmas presents within an half an hour on December 23rd. It's good for things that are mass-produced, like toys or electrical goods.

I will agree, however, that it's sometimes a bit of a frustrating experience.
He had a similar business called "Service Merchandise".
It was half-way. They had some displays (with catalog numbers emblazoned upon their attached badges) but were mostly as you described.
They have, thankfully, gone out of business some four years ago.
I meant "we" when I said "he" and by "we" I would have meant "USA"
Paul - December 23rd? Me, I always leave it until Christmas Eve, because it is much quieter then. Having said that, over the last few years, it seems like more folks have been cottoning on to that ploy . . .

SafeT - No danger of Argos vanishing. It's far more likely that they'll take over everything.

What is it with us Brits and these vast warehouse shops like Argos and Ikea? We must be the laziest nation on Earth, in fairness.
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