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Sunday, 9 April 2017

Innocent abroad

On Friday I went shopping; it's decades since I did. For me going shopping is moral depravity.

Going shopping's when you wander into Retail-Land wanting to spend money. On what doesn't really matter. You simply crave the transaction.

I had elder daughter, Professional Bleeder, for company and we were in Abergavenny Music. Theoretically I wanted a DVD of Bartok's opera, Bluebeard's Castle, but I knew they wouldn't have it. They didn't. I ordered it (which I could have done by phone). I asked for a score of Schubert's song, Du bist die Ruh, which I didn't need. Cost £2, but they didn't have that either. Instead I bought two bound collections of scores costing £28. I definitely didn't need them. Outside I noticed one was arranged for High Voices; I'm a baritone.

In a book-shop I discovered a tome-ish paperback on musical theory. I stood at the shelving, flicking through, wondering whether I'd ever read it. But standing proved irksome and wasn't helping me make up my mind. Then I spotted two easy chairs. I sat down, flicked some more, decided yes. Complimented the woman at the till on the chairs.

In an elaborate new butcher's there was brisket on the bone. I love brisket but was mildly surprised to find it associated with bone. Only the possibility that VR lacked freezer space (suggested by PB) stayed my hand.

Recently I bought a decanter that  turned out unusable. In a cheapo chain I saw a carafe, typical of French caf├ęs. I hovered but PB discovered it cost a ridiculous £40. An industrial-size bottle of Head & Shoulders shampoo was labelled £3.15. I sighed. My present bottle is still half full and will last well into 2018.

Buying isn't absolutely necessary when "going shopping". Exposing oneself to the risk is.


MikeM said...

Looks like they are both arranged for high voices. How much did you pay for the unusable decanter? I'd recommend shopping for an air rifle so you can use your errant buys as targets.

Roderick Robinson said...

MikeM: Did I want to hear that? You're too kind.

I bought the unusable decanter for friends we recently stayed with. I wasn't sure they had one and I'd arrived with a bottle of Bordeaux which needed exposing to the air for a minimum of ninety minutes. It tasted fine but the occasion was hopelessly degraded.

An air rifle's for wusses. I imagine a Glock. I have this secret and indefensible love of hand-guns, based on the principle of form following function; they have engineering appeal because they are pared-down for efficiency and from this spareness emerges a kind of beauty. The morality of hand-guns I leave to others; I have never owned one, never would.

Among these blued-steel beauties the Glock stands out as ugly. The attempts at decorative smoothing have rendered it more clumsy, heavier than it need be. Perhaps more honest. Since I'm not committed to the task of despatching drug dealers to A Better Place I can afford to see the Glock as an unloved orphan. The spermatozoa wriggles and a distant short story is vaguely discerned.

Besides I doubt an air rifle would have done for the decanter.

MikeM said...

I had thought that with an air gun you could happily fire away inside the house, pecking those high notes one by one from the too hastily purchased scores. All you'd need is a blanket trap to keep from damaging the woodwork. You can get a precise replica of a Glock for $100, and it'll spit 22 cal. lead slugs at 500fps (plenty enough to rough up your decanter). Added bonus: your gun will be indistinguishable, at a distance of 2 meters, from a real Glock. No permit necessary here in the US. Excellent suicide by cop tool. For my money though, the Luger looks more lethal. Almost a syringe-like quality to it.

Roderick Robinson said...

MikeM: Your email is timed at 00.14. If this is true I'm impressed by the re-distributed life you appear to lead. If it turns out to be fourteen minutes past one in the afternoon (a number of Americans who've visited have shown themselves uneasy with the 24-hour clock, so this is not beyond the bounds of possibility) then this passing thought collapses like a meringue in a brisk breeze.

My love affair with the Glock was more "despite" than "because". On reflection I think it was the attraction of the name. I fantasised that perhaps Glock was a translation from Bang in the language of its manufacturer, only to discover it is made in Smyrna, GA. I'd have been much happier if Smyrna had been the original rather than a transplant.

In fact I've just visited the website and discovered that the majority of Glocks are not in any sense aesthetically unique and resemble the automatics US officers carried in WW2. I may also have got it wrong about the misguided "streamlining"; close-up the subcompact 30 SF appears to have been clumsily reinforced, possibly making it suitable for clubbing the intransigent.

Quite true about the Luger. The line of beauty here lies in a subtle increase in the angle between the grip and bit that shoots, working in conjunction with an unfettered barrel. So, better handguns, better tanks, a better fighter plane (in some respects) and better uniforms. How did they lose?

MikeM said...

I guess the comment times are YOUR time, not mine, and there isn't much way "00" could be confusing. I'm almost positive that I didn't compose anything at 00:14 EST, particularly this week, as I've had a nasty cold or the flu or something. Fever for 6 straight days, fatigue, malaise, etc. If I wasn't asleep at a quarter past midnight on any of those days, I'm sure I was lying awake doing no more than whimpering. Not sure the Luger is a better handgun than the .45 Automatic Colt Pistol...just more sinister looking. The M1 Garand certainly was superior in firepower to a bolt action Mauser, but I imagine controlling the Nazis petrol supply (by first selling it to them and then bombing it) was a key ingredient in victory. We also used our superior bomber fleet to obliterate most of the Ford trucks we had recently supplied them with.