When people refer to places as ‘gems’, or ‘treasures’ that are ‘tucked away’, it tends to get my goat. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you can catch me calling a pub a ‘gem’, such as the Faltering Fallback near Finsbury Park, but I say it in the style of the late Jimmy Carr. Besides, the entire façade of the Faltering Fallback is covered in ivy that turns red depending on the season, and it’s called the Faltering Fallback, and it probably serves fine ales.
But given that this is a serious piece of reporting, and that Jimmy Carr sadly passed away recently, I have banned all use of irony. So, no gems.
Luisa took us to a place today I had no idea existed.
Every other Thursday under an archway in Bethnal Green an auction takes place selling goods confiscated by the Metropolitan Police. A lot of the items on sale are what you would expect to find: a shed load of bikes, mobile phones, a couple of cars, car radios etc. The catalogue however does get a lot more random:
376: A gothic revival armchair
377: A fire screen and plant stand
Lots 349 to 355 were as follows:
A pair of ankle boots size 36
A blue and white Chinese style vase and multi colour similar
A Mahogany bottle coaster sterling silver inset and gallery surround
A pair of black and red vases and matching ginger jar
10 assorted hand decorated wine glasses
A pair of green smoke glass vases
A collection of Colour Box teddy ornaments
Bruce Forsyth. Bruce Forsyth. Bruce Forsyth.
My personal favourite, though, was lot 121:
1 x pair of Nike trainers, 1 x cream jacket, 1 x pair of socks, 1 x pair of sunglasses
All of these items were tied together with some string. Clearly they were a set, and I couldn’t get the picture out of my head of a man wearing nothing but a pair of big white geeky Nike trainers, socks, a cream jacket, and a pair of creepy sunglasses. Whoever this man is, lurking somewhere in my imagination, I have an enormous amount of respect for him. I just hope he never sets foot near a school.
I reckon these auctions will revolutionise fashion. At any one time, people will only be allowed to wear items listed in the same lot. If you got kitted out with lot 119, for example, you’d be laughing: not only would you be able to cover almost all of your body, but you’d have some spares in case it was really cold, you soiled yourself, or you’re a bit nuts and enjoy wearing two shirts at the same time time. Of course, you’d get all the ladies too:
1 x white jacket, 2 x brown shirts, 3x pairs of Gap jeans, 1 x pair of socks, 1 x bottle of Zara aftershave.
One of the guys who ran the auction told us that they were all stolen goods. The first thing that came into my mind was, ‘who the fuck steals a pair of ladies sandals size 40?’ (lot number 3). Then I thought about the credit crunch and wanted to kill myself. Far more interesting, I think, are the people who got mugged in the first place.
We’ve already pictured the dude wearing lot 121, and probably had sex with whoever wore lot 119. Let us now consider whoever was wearing lot number 117:
1 x jumper, 3 x mascaras, 1 x brush, 1 x pair of tweezers
I find it hard to believe that someone would be so vain as to carry around a brush, a pair of tweezers and three different mascaras. I feel vain enough carrying my guyliner everywhere I go (inside left pocket) in case a moment arises when I feel the need to be eccentric, or just bring out the shape of my eyes a little. This becomes all the more weird given that this person was wearing only a jumper.
Moving on now from The Generation Game©, and passing Through the Keyhole®, let’s have a go at guessing who the previous owner of lot 117 was:
This is obviously a lady…
Good. Umm… Am I right in saying this lady wears a lot of mascara?
OK so, lady… mascara… Hmm. Every lady uses tweezers, so not much of a clue there, but she obviously pays a lot of attention to her hair. Does she have quite a distinctive hairstyle?
Right. This is quite puzzling. She’s got a distinctive hairstyle, wears lots of mascara, plucks (not that I have a problem with that), and is incapable of putting on enough clothes before leaving the door.
Aha! Was lot number 117 previously worn by… Amy Winehouse?
(Cue Sir David Frost)