I took a stroll along to the shops today to buy something to read. You'd think it would be simple enough but the whole outing was an ordeal. I wanted something funny to read and foolishly went to the humour section and there began my anguish. If we had anything approaching a proper government in this country the owners of book shops would be locked up for the villainous fraud that is the humour section. Who on earth buys all this rubbish? It's just one poor joke kicked arseless, then in some of the worst cases kicked again and again in a series of sequels. I wholeheartedly agree that most of the books in the humour section should be rounded up, though I'd be happier if they were then burnt rather than placed on general sale under the humour heading. For God's sake children might see them! As a thirty one year old spinster I was horribly shaken by the experience, think what could terrible havoc could be wrought in the mind of a simple child by a glance at 'Shites Miscellany' . I shud an awful shudder at the mere thought.
Just as I was about to leave in disgust I came across the Sociology section. At least some of those books have funny titles. I was just having a good browse when a lumpy exam passing intellectual fraud lumbered into my space, you know the sort always ostentatiously letting people know about their degree but as stupid as mud. I had never laid eyes on the terrible talking bag of laundry before but within thirty seconds I knew that it was studying towards a degree of some sort. As my grandmother would have put it she didn't know bee from a bulls foot. Grannie if you're reading this in heaven may it please you to learn that I now truly understand what that expression means. Anyway the lumpy creature started droning on in the flattest voice I think I've ever heard about 'mental health' to her drippy boyfriend. Mental health! It seems that the idiotic beast is studying for some sort of qualification in the mental health field. Saints, deities and the little baby Jesus unite and preserve us. I cannot begin to tell you damage her horrifying voice and repellent appearance did to my mental health but I doubt I shall ever recover. Surely they cannot allow that awful she-bore to roam the mental hospitals torturing the poor mentalists. This must violate some piece of human rights legislation. It has to, if it doesn't then we are the merest baw hair from anarchy. Our very existence is in peril. Hearing that woman's voice for less than a minute has done me irrevocable harm, think of the horror that could be unleashed if the already mentally frail were to be exposed that sinister drone. It's hard to convey the sheer awfulness of that voice -the nearest I can get is to imagine that someone sat down really slowly on a set of bag pipes, recorded it, slowed the recording down as far as possible and played it to you alone in a rat infested pitch black cell forever. Well it was like that only a bit worse.
In my by now very distressed state I raced to the dusty embrace of the reference section. I'm fond of the reference section, though I can't remember why. I think it's the big dictionaries. It's certainly not all those 'Hyacinth Bucket' books about manners and weddings more of which later. Anyway I'm wandering from the point here. I was idly gazing at a book of quotations when my poor and already damaged nerves were dealt a near fatal blow. Yes the unmistakable chirrup of boho middle class children 'expressing themselves' at near ear splitting volume, but look! here comes Mama smiling proudly at her 'vibrant', 'clever' 'happy' offspring. How I longed to rip her Monsoon handbag from her shoulder and beat the lot of them round the head with it. How I longed to go up to her and screech 'your children are a pain in arse' right into her face. Of course I didn't because one of the 'Hyacinth Bucket' books I'd turned to, to establish the correct etiquette in episodes of murderous rage, was very definite that violence and verbal abuse were definite no nos. Mores the pity and like I said I hate those bloody books -a bunch of printed spoilsports.
Anyway a kind of mania had gripped me by this point. All thoughts of funny books had escaped me. I left the shop with a book by Jonathan Sacks (not funny), a copy of The Idler (funny) and a frightful headache. I should stress that I did remember to pay first -just about. I crawled up the road wondering why on earth people invariably suggest you get out the house to cheer yourself up because I tried and now I'm hopping mad. So much so that I'm too overwrought to read.