Yesterday = v disturbing. Had to go to Sports Direct. Sports Direct not my sort of shop usually. Usually I walk past and it doesn’t even enter into my periphery, but yesterday at 11.32am I found myself steering myself in there and walking mechanically onto the escalator.
“Look! Sports socks. Are sports socks on the kit list?” asked Ads, pointing at a large rack crowned with one 70% OFF day glow sign.
“Yes, no, I don’t know!” I spluttered, shuddering and shaking like a zombie whose been made to stay up past daybreak.
Ads looked crestfallen. He absolutely loves to go shopping. Even when someone else is shopping. And he seems partial to Sports Direct. He has assured me that it is a very RESPECTABLE place to buy sporting equipment. And I believe him. I really do. I just don’t know why the moment I walked in I found myself behaving like Patsy from Ab Fab, tottering around, pulling my elbows in, not wanting to touch anything in case it was sticky.
Is it just me or does Sports Direct feel like the Pizza Hut of the Pizza Hut world? Sugar, that doesn’t make sense. I MEAN, does Sports Dircet feel like the Pizza Hut of the sports shop world? And if it isn’t – which it may not be – where have I got that feeling from? All of the racks are kind of thrown together so you have to SQUEEZE through and there’s no rhyme or reason to any of it. Everything feels higgledy piggledy and the staff are so doughy looking. Do you know what I mean by that? Not one of them looks like they have even considered using a tracksuit for anything other than standing outside McDonalds with a fag and their pregnant girlfriend in.
“Right, get your kit list out then,” said Ads, all perky and excited. “What’s first?”
“Sports bras. Three.”
“Right.” Very efficient and determined, Ads threads his way through aisles, leading me to the Sports Bra Section. We choose Sports Bras and he drops them into the basket that he has very efficiently remembered to pick up. “Next?”
“Running tops. Three.”
This brought me to a bit of a standstill. As women, we all know that in different shops different sizes vary. I mean, a NEXT size 10 is worlds apart from a Top Shop size 10. One slips from your hips and hovers half way down your bottom. Another makes you feel like an elephant attempting to crawl through the eye of a needle.
“Well?” asked Ads, rummaging through numerous sporting wear.
I swallowed. Then I risked it. “Ten!” I declared – then changed the subject and added, “that one looks nice.”
The next part of the Sports Direct experience was like a beautiful dance of pointing excitedly at sporting clothes, slow motion jumping up and down, clapping hands and declaring “that one! Yes! And that one. Oh – no size ten/ I guess we could try a size twelve! Ooh, what about that one?” And Ads grabbing clothes like a sugar-deprived kid who has just been allowed into Willy Wonka’s land where the water is melted chocolate and the grass is made from marzipan. It involved us grabbing a step ladder and climbing up to the very ceiling of Sports Direct to pluck the fruits of the top aisle … And not one doughy sporting assistant hurried over shrieking about insurance!
Finally and with great love in his eyes, Ads passed me the basket. I took it and with the Black Beauty theme tune playing in my head, pranced through the aisles to the Sports Direct
changing room stock cupboard.
Oh my God. Have you ever been in a Sports Direct changing room? I’m not sure if they are all as bad as this one, but flipping HECK … If I had to die and go to hell, I would prefer to wallow in boiling lava and demons with bottom stabbers than have to spend more than a minute in a Sports Direct changing room.
There was an old rack of jumble sale clothes that had been shoved in so the door didn’t shut. The changing room itself was divided by a sad grey curtain that was onto connected to the curtain pole. The floor was littered with fluff and old 70% Off day glow tags. All in all, suicide enhancing.
“Must get out of here asap,” thought to self and ripped all clothes off. Then realised that in my rush to go kit shopping, was wearing bulky bikini top under clothing and a pair of inappropriate knickers. Knickers weren’t really an issue, but bikini was rather frilly and didn’t stay in place very well underneath EXCEEDINGLY size 10 tight sports top.
Tried my best to get arms through holes and pull down over my head. Reinforced bust area got trapped on my face and for a moment I felt like Sports Direct demon was gagging me whilst laughing hysterically.
“Urgh, urgh!” I grunted in a muffled way. Was massively sweating out by now. Arms struggling to do age old, “Top Shop size 10 I-Will-Get-This-On-Without-Ripping-The-Seam” contortionists trick and finally get the latex OFF my face. Lean against wall, gasping for air, feeling like small child who decided it was a good idea to put on her doll’s dress.
Had a 30 second rest then started the gradual process of unpeeling my body from the sports top. You’ll be delighted to know that it was only the skin tight latex Nike numbers that had the gagging effect. The rest were all OK (Thank God for Sports Direct sizing inconsistencies. There is a God).
Finally emerged from hell-pit changing room looking a little frazzled. Hair quite static. Shoulder marginally dislocated but everything else fine. Lined up in queue behind sweet old man who looked equally traumatised to be in Sports Direct.
“InterestyouinaSportsDirectbagforlifeforjust69pence,” droned the doughy faced chav behind the counter.
Little old man cocked his head and then jutted it forward like a kindly tortoise with spectacles. “I’m sorry. I didn’t quite catch that.”
Dough Chav looked exasperated. “InterestyouinaSportsDirectbagforlifeforjust69pence.”
Little old man frowned. “I’m really sorry. I still didn’t understand what you said.”
Dough Chav sucks in loud hissing breath. Looks like he would gladly punch the Little Old Man in face.
“Don’t worry,” I said to Little Old Man reassuringly. “I didn’t understand what he said either.”
Little Old Man let out a little thankful sigh.
Dough Chav now made his voice very slow and clear and growly. “Can I Interest You In A Sports Direct Bag For Life For Just 69 Pence?”
“Oh, no thank you dear. I’ll just have a free one,” replied Little Old Man.
Hoo-hooo! I could have hugged him. Little Old Tortoise Man takes out Dough Chav with Devil Horns in one swipe.
Paid for my stuff (came to over £250!!!! Felt quite sick but swallowed it back) and with a feeling of elation and victory, took Ads’ hands and cruised out onto the fresh, sunny, heavenly high street. And what a coincidence! On the other side of the road, hurrying past Maccy D’s itself was Naughty N and three of her four scally-wags.
I ran over, waving my large bag and instantly catapulted myself into telling Naughty about the trauma of Sports Direct. When I got to the changing room part Naughty N looked quite breathless and blurted, “I know! I know! It is like hell! Imagine having to get stuck into a Nike skin tight top whilst you have all your children in there, pressing your wobbly bits whilst having a refresher sweet stuck to your cheek!!”
That’s what I love about Naughty N. She can always make you feel like it’s Not That Bad.
So then the whole tribe of us headed to Olivos in the square, drank v healthy fresh orange juice and I presented a small guided lecture on each item I had purchased. I gave Naughty her Union Jack wrist bands that I had bought for us both as a last minute gift and then sat down.
“So,” said Naughty N.
“So,” I replied.
“Yes,” I said, sort of mechanically. “Tomorrow we are going to Boot Camp for a week.”
“Yes,” said Naughty N.
And then we both went very quiet.
And now it is today. This morning in fact! Eight o’clock! And I am driving us to Devon for a fitness holiday to snort in the face of all other fitness holidays. And guess what else? I’m driving!! First time ever driving off the island! In Ads’ car!! And I am going to wear my Union Jack wrist bands!! And I have no shoes because they were washed away in the sea two days ago. But that’s all ok!! Because I can drive v well, barefoot!! However, it might be illegal. Is it illegal? I don’t know. But what I do know is this … nothing that this military style training throws at us is going to be worse than the hell that is Sports Direct. SO!
PS. I’m taking this laptop so hopefully, if I’m not crawling like a dehydrated stick insect to bed each night, I may be able to tell you how it’s going.
Wish Ads’ car luck!!