Those damned onion rings…

For those of you who see me as a bit of a miser, someone who would drop a penny and have it hit me on the back of the head, you’d be surprised to learn that I’ve spent a “considerable” amount of money over the last couple of days. Plans were made a couple of weeks ago, by Dick Brown, to go out on the lash on Thursday, 3rd March. This involved also getting me some new clobber. I’m not the most fashionable of people. If it’s not folded up on a shelf in Matalan / Primark, I just don’t bother with it. I’m too old to be “trendy”. Mr. Brown offered to meet me the day before, and offer me his infinite wisdom when it comes to all things fashion…

I could hardly wait. Jamie S came to the rescue, and announced that he was going to the Metro Centre with another one of my “work colleagues”, Davvi, and that we were more than happy to tag along. I think my exact words were “Woohoo!”

Everything was arranged, including the times to get picked up, even down to the budget I was willing to spend. I had a sneaking suspicion that Mr. Brown was going to drop out, so I dropped some bait on Twitter after I’d gotten in from work…

Waiting for @thedickbrown a.k.a. Gok Brown to work his designer magic. 6:29 AM Mar 2nd via web

Sure enough, when it came to getting picked up at approximately 1PM, I was broken the ‘bad’ news, that he had indeed dropped out….

On a scale of 1-10, @thedickbrown is a pussy. 

I’d like to say I was surprised. I really wasn’t. That means, there were three of us left. Me, Jamie S and Davvi. Therefore, we left Hartlepool, sans Barney-Rubble-With-A-Beard, and headed up the A19/A1 to the CENTRE OF METROS!

So, there we were. In the North East’s largest shopping centre, ready to buy clothes for the night out of awseomeness arranged by Dick Brown. Where was our first stop? Yes, you’re entirely correct – a record shop named “That’s Entertainment”. And I’ll tell you something, it’s absolutely superb. It’s where all of the old CDs go to die. Nowhere else on this planet has a shelf full of “The Awards 1989”. I’m quite sure it’s the first time I’ve ever walked into a shop and almost lost the entire contents of a testicle. Needless to say I spent ~£25, and walked out with a bag of CDs that would weigh me down for the rest of the day. I didn’t even touch the DVD section.

The time I spent in there was disputed. Jamie S claims I spent an hour in there. I reckon it was shorter, as I would have spent a hell of a lot more.

The clothes shopping began, and I entered shops I normally wouldn’t dream of going into. The reason for this, was every pricetag appeared to be 10 times more than I was willing to pay. Take the jeans for example. Maybe I’m missing a trick, or just not getting the joke, but why buy “distressed” jeans? As in the ones purposely ripped / faded? The more I try to get my head around it, the more I think that they’re so scruffy, I couldn’t even wear them to work. Why would I want to spend £80 on them? I’ve got jeans that I wouldn’t even leave out for the poly-bag

An amusing episode occured in Foot Locker. Jamie S saw some shoes. They weren’t bad to be honest. Black and yellow “Penguin” things. He goes off to the counter… and after a hell of a lot of rummaging, it turned out they only had the left shoe in stock. Oh, my *sides*. I must admit, that’s happened to me before in shoe shops, but it still remains a mystery how / why it can happen.

After many hours of shopping, all three of us were hungry and dehydrated. Unfortunately, my suggestion of heading to the indian restaurant (which I didn’t know existed, until I smelt it, and instantly lost the contents of my other testicle) was rejected, meaning we had to go to a “normal” place. I’d heard good things about Frankie + Benny’s, as in nice food. Unfortunately, nobody told me about the price.

The beer was £3.10 a glass. I’m not sure if this is a record for what I’d paid, but I wasn’t too bothered. You’re in the middle of a shopping centre. I just wanted my throat wetting. The cost of the starters / main course were reasonable, I suppose, but the mistake *I* made was when the waiter asked… “Would you like some onion rings?” The room fell silent. I’m sure there were people gesturing me to say ‘no’ on other tables, but I must have interpreted it as a bout of wind. Surely they were complimental. I can’t think of anything cheaper to make. Yes, I ordered the onion rings. Some guy, three tables away just shook his head. The look of disappointment on the other two’s faces made me think instantly that something had gone south.

The meal came. I went for the steak, medium, well-done. It arrived, and it was delicious. The onion rings weren’t far behind. there were literally 7 of them. Davvi had one, and found them too spicy. I must admit, after one bite, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. Unfortunately, the bill was next, after we’d gorged ourselves.

I’m not too bothered about everything else, however, the onion rings were… £3.55. No, I’m not shitting you. Three pounds, fifty-five pence. For 7. OK, they were the best onion rings I’d ever had, but that’s not the point. They must have saw me coming. (insert ejaculation joke here).

I didn’t mention that I did actually find some decent clothes in this whole trip. I also found a new jacket, and £3 Primark plimmies to top off the look. It can’t have all been expensive…

Our new defecation station!

I do apologise for being a bit quiet since returning from Blackpool. Unfortunately, I was struck down with manflu. I have struggled on with the aid of Lemsip and several toilet rolls, and now the only lingering ailment is a chest that likes to fill itself up with green mucus every morning, meaning that I sound like a broken motorbike every time I get out of bed. I’d also like to apologise to the people who I may have infected with the afore mentioned plague. Considering I didn’t step foot outside of Mercuryvapour Towers for 6 days, I don’t think that would be many people.

Something that happened before I went to Blackpool was the installation of an “upgraded facility”. Regular viewers will remember that Mercuryvapour Towers boasts two toilets, however, the downstairs bog has been pretty much out of order since the 90s. It “worked”, but had to be flushed by the use of a bucket, as the cistern had completely gave in, and had to be sealed off. Fast forward to Winter 2011, and swollen pipes.

Now, as you can gather, the mention of toilets and swollen pipes usually means that I’ve had a rather vicious vindaloo the previous evening. Fortunately, this was not the case, however, the destruction was equally as bad, causing an entire toilet to be “written off”. The previously sealed pipes delivering water to the cistern froze, and split, causing a water leak, all over the concrete floor of the toilet, meaning the off-shot was little more than a large rectangular puddle. Grrr.

Several attempts were made to stem the flow of Hydrogen Dioxide, sadly, none of them came to fruition, and before you could say “Noah’s Ark”, Daddykins was on the phone booking a plumber. I assumed he was just going to get someone out to repair the broken pipe. This wasn’t the case, however, as he’d also ordered a new toilet to be fitted. Hurrah! I’d hinted that an extra working bog would be beneficial, after the “Lidl” incident several months ago. If you don’t know what this is, think yourselves lucky, all I’ll say is that “backups are important”…

I suppose you’d want to see what it looks like….

I’m not going to excuse the colour of the walls, or the flaking paint. This “room” has been unused since the mid 1990s. Repainting the walls and laying a carpet in there would be completely pointless. The only reason I’ve posted the photo is to show ‘Chad’, our resident troll (who oddly maintains silence in any blog post I mention him in), that the spirit of the Bangermobile is still alive and kicking.

Either way, I wasn’t around for the bog fitting. I had just finished work, and therefore went to bed. I do know, however, the plumber got soaked suring the fitting, as the main water valve couldn’t be turned off for whatever reason.

It cost a lot less than I was expecting, and now we have two shitters. This is good news, should we ever expect guests. I can stink out the off-shot as much as I like. Nobody would ever want to go into the back garden!