Swedish Girl In London

London Life: Bright Lights, Big City. Now what's on TV?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


We are in a corner shop on Poplar High Street. A gnarled little man is stationed by the magazine rack. He peers out of an enormous hoodie, occasionally emitting high-pitch little noises of joy for no apparent reason. Behind the counter, an old veiled lady surveys him indulgently.

"Hello," I say.

But he is shy and retreats further into his hoodie.

I'm looking for Q Magazine, but it is nowhere to be found among the airbrushed smiles of the glossies. Further along the rack the glamour girls jut their breasts out at me like the front of a Finland ferry.

"Do you have Q?" I ask the lady behind the counter.
"If you have to queue, my dear?" she asks. "No, he's not buying anything."
"Sorry, I mean if you have Q Magazine?"

Instead of answering, she emerges from behind the counter in slow majesty and sails up to me.

"I can't see it," I say apologetically.

The old lady grabs a copy of GQ - a magazine for gentlemen who like soft-focus girlies and cars - and hands it graciously to me.

"No, no," I try. "That's GQ... I meant Q..."
"Q", she says reasonably and points to this letter in the title.

The hoodie man giggles. The lady smiles.

"Well," I try to explain, "Q is a music magazine...", but something in her enigmatic smile makes me tail off. "Oh, all right then. Thanks," I say and leave with my own airbrushed bikini version of Jennifer Aniston.

After all, for a seventy-year old lady a starkers Jennifer Aniston can't be that different from a starkers Christina Aguilera - or a Chili Pepper, for that matter.


At 1:15 PM, Blogger Steve said...

That sounds like it could be a League of Gentlemen sketch!

At 10:43 AM, Blogger ChickyBabe said...

I wonder if she was willing to sell it to you at half price, since you were only after Q!

At 10:43 AM, Blogger hen said...

Or the start of a mystery story..

When you got home did a strange old letter fall from its pages onto the floor in front of you when you opened the magazine to read it? Then when you went back to the shop to return the letter - the shop had vanished!!!

At 1:53 PM, Anonymous mia said...

Haha vad du skriver bra!

At 8:28 PM, Blogger Rocío said...

I looove this one! SO HILARIOUS! that old lady is just me in 50 year's time!!


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