Tuesday, August 28, 2007


In between my hectic holiday schedule of golfing and sleeping, I'm somehow managing to find time to read Bill Bryson's latest book, "The Life & Times of The Thunderbolt Kid". If you've never read any of Mr Bryson's books then, frankly – and excuse my candor here – you're an idiot. He is by far and away the funniest writer I've ever read and writes in such an eloquent, effortless style that it sometimes makes me want not to write so much anymore because of my poor construction, sentence-wise, and right bad grammar and such like.

The book is subtitled "Travels Though My Childhood" and describes what his life was like growing up in Des Moines, Iowa in the 1950s, a time, seemingly, of great prosperity, unbounded optimism about the future and a complete absence of globalization and endless strip malls. Later in the week, when I've gotten too large and lazy to squeeze out the front door to find things to tell you about, I'll maybe reproduce a small extract from the book to show just how good the writing is. But meantime, I'm totally spending... like... WAY too much time down at the mall.

When I ventured out yesterday, I was hoping to stumble across some small town, Americana shopping experience as described by Mr Bryson – perhaps a drug store with big soda fountains (whatever they are) or a diner with a little jukebox in each booth – but regrettably, none were to be found. So it was off to the mall instead and the men reading this will like totally understand why I chose to travel a dozen miles or so along the interstate to visit the one in Milford *snigger* although I'm sorry to have to tell you boys that THAT wasn't how the town got its name. Alas.

Now let me say at this point that normally I hate to go shopping. Seriously, if you're a woman and you ever want to see my deepest, darkest side, ask me to help you pick out shoes. But shopping in America is kind of exciting, not least because the prices are so cheap. Yesterday I got Levis for $20 and a Starbucks coffee without having to remortgage my house.

Strolling around in air conditioned comfort is also very agreeable and even the preponderance of spotty youths in ill fitting clothes clutching handbags and cell phones like they were life support machines didn't annoy me as much as they do at home. Probably because they walk at a slightly slower, and therefore cooler, pace. You know… like Fonzie.

The mall also had a movie theatre where I went to see The Simpsons Movie which I thought – and regular readers used to my normal negative rants should find a seat at this point – was the best film I've seen all year. Seriously. Talk about good writing… which we were earlier… with the Mr Bryson thing… remember?

Anyway, for those of you who put in shopping requests and have skipped the previous six paragraphs to find out if I've been successful yet, here's the update…

Lip Gloss Girl – no luck yet finding a Benefit retailer. May have to go into New York on Wednesday. Bummer eh?

Gordon – Apple stuff is dead cheap here. Still want to go to Glasgow?

Lesley – Sunshine is bountiful here in the land of plenty. I have packed a little away every day for you.

Wee Man – no calipers yet but I've got a crane to lift me off the couch if that's any good?

Morv – Triangular chocolate secured. Now you can call me the 'Candy Man' without fear of disapproving looks.

Dave* - I couldn't remember if it was Colorstay eye shadow or mascara I was supposed to get. Then I remembered it was eyeliner (wasn't it?) but the store had too much choice – a crayon version and a liquid liner. I hummed and hawed and nearly got ejected for scratching too much but eventually, rather than choose one, I got you two of both. Hope this is okay.

*not really


At 28/8/07 3:25 pm, Blogger Gordon said...

For the last time, it's lipliner not EYEliner.. idiot.

In saying that, if you are reading Bryson you can't be that daft (he IS sickeningly good, isn't he).

And poo to your Apple.

(unless you happen to feel like bringing back a nice new wireless keyboard... and 'donating' it... no? Really? And here, I thought you were generous. Miserable sod).

At 28/8/07 8:34 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you sweetie, it was eyeliner and you will be suitably rewarded on return.

Just think what you'd get if you helped me pick out shoes......

xx love love xx

At 29/8/07 6:25 pm, Blogger Kell said...

Bryson is great. Thunderbolt Kid is next on my list.

You have to come a little more midwest for a soda fountain. A little town south of us uses their original drugstore soda fountain as their big draw. I haven't made it there yet. It's too close to a winery and I never get past that.

At 29/8/07 6:28 pm, Anonymous Bama said...

For your Lip Gloss Girl-Head to Sephora in NY for Benefit Cosmetics.

Sephora is my mother ship.

At 30/8/07 9:04 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And "globalization"? Really? And how Scottish are you? Sssssssssssssss...

At 31/8/07 8:03 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Candy Man - that doesn't feel at all appropriate and I know actually feel quite violated,:0

You should definately share your Milford story with Coco - I think he's spending way too much time in the 'virtual' Milford and would perhaps appreciate a mini break away to the 'actual' place - but just stop short of telling him that isn't why it got it's name!

At 31/8/07 9:05 pm, Blogger Peggy said...

Did you know I'm from Iowa?

At 1/9/07 3:56 am, Blogger Neil said...

Gordon - "donating it" ha, ha, ha... good one!

Anon1 - No problem... but shoes? Never!

Kell - I actually checked the map the other day to see how far it is to Omaha... it's "a ways", as you say over here, somewhere in middle America!

Bama - thanks for the tip.

Anon2 - what the f...?!?

Morv - I thought 'Candy Man' would be better than 'Sugar Daddy'.

Peggy - I DID know that... I think I cruelly referred to it as one of the "flyover States" when I met you. You'd love the book!


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