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Tuesday, August 1

Ikea Again (and Road Rage)

Getting back home last night, after a quick stop at my now-ex-house to pick up my bike, and after a trip to Tesco to be weighed and discover that I have lost weight, but accidentally had gained weight last time, I was fed and told that we were going to Ikea. Fair enough. I don't hate Ikea.

So, off we toddled. We were buying a table for my girlfriend's mother. This is all part of a plan to sort the house out, and I'm always happy to help with plans to sort things out. There was a none-too-subtle suggestion that my trip to Ikea was also recompense for my forthcoming week's gigging. Whatever.

Ikea was looking particularly gaudy that night, though I was amused to find a chair called Harry, another called Roger and another called Nandor - which is close enough to Nando's for me!

We found the table and had trouble putting it on the trolley. Some random man turned up and told me that I should really get one of the staff to help, since it's their job. Then the random man offered me his help and I accepted. We soon had the table on the trolley. The fun, however, was about to begin.

We stood in the check-out queue for about 20 minutes. It was desperately dull and made me want to shout at someone. Loudly. Docile staff at 11.30pm slowly putting Ikea's crap through the till. It was simply not good enough. We all know that Ikea exist for two reasons: to sell reconstituted sawdust, covered in plastic, and to make their real profits from selling £1 hot dogs to people who leave, having paid their "Ikea Tax" - the £30 charge levied to all customers, for which you get a bunch of tea-lights, some glasses, some sticks and some more sticks.

Following the check-out, we got to the outside, where we were well and truly pissed on with rain. Unpleasant.

At the car we discovered that the table was about an inch too wide to go in to the boot nicely, so it went at an odd angle and we had to drive home with the boot held down with a bungy cord. I keep one in the boot for such eventualities, which makes me feel slightly self-satisfied when such an eventuality occurs.

I chuntered about the bad drivers and stupid pedestrians enough to get myself into trouble with my girlfriend. I think it came to a head when I stopped at a zebra crossing to let the woman, who was standing in line with it, facing the other side of the road, cross, and then she looked at me sheepishly and indicated that she wasn't planning to cross the road, to which I drove on, exclaiming loudly "Well, you shouldn't be standing at a crossing then", obviously audible through the ajar boot. Well... she shouldn't! Why are people so stupid? Seriously. There are some docile imbeciles out there, and they're invariably in my way.

I'm probably suffering some sort of ongoing state of road rage these days. Whenever I drive somewhere, I'm usually in a rush and usually on roads which are busy. I notice the docile middle-lane hog. I notice the boy-racer who aggressively scares people and creates a hazard. All I want people to do is get on with it. Move along the road and make space for me to do so too. Don't crash into me, or endanger me, and I'll try to do the same for you. I may wish to scoot along at the maximum possible speed, which probably means that if you're not making the most of the lanes available, something odd will happen - I will undertake if I have to, as I'm not going to sit in extra traffic because someone else doesn't know how to drive. Conversely, I will encourage people to take the time to get into the right lane... like that time I flashed a woman to show her that she was sitting in the outside lane for no reason and she responded with her opinion that I was a wanker. She was right, but I got to my destination quicker with her behind me.

I think this week, where I shall drive infrequently, along with Edinburgh, where I'll also be off the road, will be good for me.

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