‘This is a clothes shop – there isn’t a changing room?!’
The new trousers hang limply over my arm.
‘There’s a 28 day returns policy. Bring them back if they don’t fit,’ the assistant says.
‘Will I get cash back or store credit?’
She looks at me like I’m some kind of genetic accident.
To prove a point, I’m about to take off my jeans and try on the trousers in the middle of the shop. Then I remember what underpants I’m wearing and how old they are.
I storm off, chuntering, and put the trousers back on the rail.
We could only take hand luggage on the flight. Because anything over 50ml of liquid is such a colossal terrorist threat, it meant that all of us had to leave behind our deodorants; shower gels; shampoos and aftershaves. As soon as we were through security, we clubbed together and bought one set of toiletries for us all to use. Unfortunately, the spray-on deodorant we picked left white stains on our clothes. When we were all together, it looked like we’d been branded. At least it made it easier to find each other when the strobe came on in the nightclub.
The transvestite in the pub always seemed a bit crap. The skirt’s ok, the aran sweater is reasonably girly but the fake breasts are too high and he walks like a docker. Aside from the clothes, his whole approach to transvestism seems a little half-arsed and I’ve never been able to work him out. Until recently.
It was karaoke night and he got up to sing three times. Each song was by Monty Python and the name he used to announce himself was Wanda. I understood then: he wasn’t a crap transvestite at all, he was trying to be funny.
It was dark, cold, January night. Coming towards me from the gloom, I saw a strange figure. Its black legs were long and distorted, tapering down to a point and wobbling under the weight of an enormous mane of blond hair. As the figure got closer, I saw that the legs were artificially elongated by stilettos and hot-pants; the hair back-combed with so much spray that even the drizzle couldn’t flatten it.
It’s a reflection of my age that my first reaction at seeing this attractive young woman wasn’t: ‘Christ, look at that,’ it was: ‘Christ, I bet she’s cold’.