I smashed someone’s face in today. It all started because of those bastard letters made out of wood, made to look like distressed metal. They don’t spell anything — they’re just giant single letters and people put one or two of them on their wall — or worse, they lean them on a shelf. If someone I knew wanted one, I’d get them a T for turd. They’re not cheap, either — you have to pay good money in this city for things that make you look like a twat in your own house. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not being all “Oh, it’s crap being abroad, I wish I was back home in London,” because I’m sure there’s plenty of shit knick-knacks being displayed there as well. It’s just that they stand out more in Canada. Big-arsed trees, snowy mountains, raccoons, and then there’s pointless decorative bollocks. It’s the contrast. In England, everything’s a bit shit, so you don’t notice.
The wife had sent me to this “home interiors” shop near work. What does that mean, anyway? Doesn’t everything go inside your home? Unless you’re shopping in a bastard garden centre — which I wouldn’t be because they’re piss-boring and full of old people. Anyway, I was supposed to get a cushion for my sister-in-law’s birthday. The wife described it as pale green with a bear on it, which sounded shit from the beginning. I got in there and every bastard cushion had an animal on it and I’m colour-blind so I was confused. There was this geezer behind the counter, wearing one of those indoor hats. I was thinking, what kind of bloke works in a “home interiors” shop? Well now I know, and I’ll tell you: a right berk in a felt cap and rectangular glasses. He goes to me, “Are you finding everything you’re looking for?” and I go, “No,” and he ponces over and starts plumping up the cushions and talking about design. I wanted to twat him right then, but I thought, well, I’ll just ask him for the shitting cushion, pay, and go. Easy.
So I described the cushion and he knew which one it was straight away. It was hiding behind some horrible printed one with the Queen’s face on it in three colours, trying to be all Andy Warhol, but it was shit. He pulled it out for me and I looked at the price tag. I went, “Are you taking the piss? Ninety bucks for a cushion with a bear on it? That doesn’t even look like a bear, it’s rubbish.” He goes, “Oh, I love your accent.” I could have told him he was a turd — he wouldn’t know, wasn’t listening. I was getting really annoyed. I looked at the Queen’s face — I don’t know why, it was a nervous reaction. He looked at it too and I thought, no, don’t say it, please don’t do the royals, I don’t care. Couldn’t help himself, though, could he? Asked me if I liked Kate and her sister. I couldn’t even speak, just shrugged. Then it all kicked off.
He goes, “Have you seen these fabulous letters? Here’s one with an amazing green metallic gilt that matches the cushion,” and I went, “No, I just want the cushion. I don’t even know why anyone would buy a big letter.” Then he goes, “Oh, they’re so now.” He had one of those faces, his lips were all pursed together and his eyes weren’t quite right. I didn’t know which eye to look at. I hate that. Looking back, it probably didn’t help when the twat in the hat said “fabulous.” I just don’t like that word — it’s my most unfavourite word and it makes me feel all hot.
I’m not a violent man. Well, maybe after a few pints and a football game against Wimbledon, the posh wankers, but not often. It was the combination — the home interiors, the overpriced cushion, the Queen, the felt hat, the fabulous. It was all too much for me, all at once. Something had to blow.
I took the cushion, trying to be calm, and went up to the counter to pay. I got my wallet out of my back pocket and started thumbing some notes. Didn’t say a word. He got the message: I wanted out — now. He came over, all quiet, and got some bright tissue paper to wrap it up. Then the door opened and in comes some girl. Quite attractive she was, even though she was too thin and had a stupid little dog that looked like a drowned rat. She goes, “Hi baby, got time for some lunch?” He went, “With you in a minute, sweetie, I’m nearly done. I could kill for some yam fries.”
Shut up, you twat, you shit for a brain, posh tit — no yam fries — that is it.
I turned around, grabbed one of the wood letters off a shelf. It was angled in a jaunty way next to a pathetic brass picture frame with spaces for millions of tiny photos. The letter was quite heavy, couldn’t believe it. When it slammed into felt hat’s face, the sound was satisfying, like it actually hurt. His girlfriend started screaming when he fell over, and I went, “No yam fries. What’s the matter with you? Indoor felt hat, stupid glasses — wanker.” Then I ran.
As I got on the sky train to go home — cushionless, I might add — an old lady smiled at me. I admit I was soft and smiled back, which isn’t something I do a lot, but I was in a good mood all of a sudden. It had just sunk in that I’d used the letter T for the face-slam. For turd. It made my day.