Friday, July 31, 2009

On getting told off as an adult

On getting told off as an adult

Come on, we've all been there.

We've all more-or-less grown up and left the days of being told off like a naughty schoolkid long behind.

The burning sensation rising to your cheeks as you glow red with shame naught but a distant memory.

Your trousers round your ankles as you await a well deserved thrashing from a strict headmistress the preserve of the lucky few who know the right addresses in certain parts of central London.

So, I expect you know what's coming next. And you'd be right: Woe.

Humiliating, public, brass-plated-and-screwed-to-your-front-door woe. I am 43 years of age.

I'll cut to the chase. I was told off by the store manager for playing with the doorbells in the Weymouth branch of B&Q.

You know how it is when you're a kid. A whole wall of delicious doorbells to try, leading up to the mother of them all - the one that pulls the little bell on a spring for posh houses.

These days they've got all that, but also the new fangled ones that play about thirty different tunes.

And there I was, the one day in my life I was actually in a DIY store buying a doorbell, thoroughly testing each and every tune – James May-style – when a man in a shiny suit and a name badge approached me.

"Excuse me, sir. Would you mind not doing that?"

That familiar burning sensation rose to my cheeks as I glowed red with shame.

I rung the little bell on a spring, just for luck.

"No, really, sir. Do you mind?"

Yes. Yes, I minded, and played The Yellow Rose of Texas on a bell designed to sound like Rolf Harris playing the stylophone just to see if he'd go the same colour as his orange jacket.

He did.

Just wait until we need to buy a new toilet.

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