I took the photo accompanying this post while wandering back towards home this evening – after most of the streets had already emptied of the thousands that descended on town for the annual “late night shopping” extavaganza that shuts the road, and causes motorists hours of hell in the surrounding area.
While being bumped and pushed between oh-so-very-important families forcing their way through the crowds, we drank mulled wine, ate mince pies, and spent money on several bits and pieces that will re-appear on Christmas morning. We listened to the Salvation Army band play two or three carols on repeat, and tried to ignore a small army of sales people pushing leaflets under our nose.
We won two ridiculous Minecraft swords on an air-rifle shooting range. It struck me while taking my shots that Miss 17 had never held a gun in her life – she was genuinely terrified.
After twirling the swords in the middle of the crowds and variously shouting “SIGHT BEYOND SIGHT!”, and “BY THE POWER OF GREYSKULL!”, we headed for Starbucks, and spent the better part of the next half hour sipping coffee, scrolling through our phones, and laughing at idiocy of our own invention.
It’s worth noting that henceforth whenever I walk into Starbucks I will be known as “Cappuccino John”, after a moment of colossal brain-fade on the part of the guy that served me – he burst out laughing at his own mistake, and announced it to the baristas – having written both the drink, and my name on the cup. The baristas then of course shouted it across the café when my drink was ready.
One day I will remember to say “Spartacus” when they ask the name for the drink order, and return their call with “I’M SPARTACUS!”. I fear I may be the only person that will get the joke though.