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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Toss another shrimp on the Barbie.If there's one thing I like to do during the school holidays, it's to superglue a small child's feet to a kite, and send them two hundred metres into the air. Preferably during a lightning storm.

But when I'm not doing that, I'm spending the afternoon in Toys R Us, looking for a birthday present for my niece, who reaches the grand old age of seven on Saturday. And after a good hour looking at the remote-controlled Daleks and computer poker games, I finally plumped for the 'Barbie Electronic Dance Party Mat' pictured above, which, according to the blurb, allows small girls to "get up, dance and groove with Barbie", just by placing them on the high quality plastic mat. It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase 'toss another shrimp on the barbie'.

It looks good anyway, and I'm hoping it'll be safer than the Barbie scooter (a lethal deathtrap - don't let the pretty pink flowers fool you) on which her friend broke a leg a couple of years ago.

Anyhoo, from Toys R Us I went on to Tescos, where it was clearly National Let-Your-Child-Push-the-Trolley-Into-a-Stranger Day. I do so love the school holidays. Although I stuck out a mile, being the only person over 12 in charge of their own trolley. But I managed to successfully gather supplies for Lisa's arrival at the weekend. Ironically, it's a bit like having a child staying for the holidays, as the only things I have to get in specially are crisps, Easter eggs, and Ribena.

On the subject of food, Lisa had suggested that we consider seeking out a Michelin-starred restaurant for our two-year anniversary in May, just to see what food tastes like when you don't buy it in little plastic trays which go in the microwave. I was quite happy to agree to that idea (although personally my idea of over-the-top extravagance is to buy something from the Tesco Finest range)... right up until the moment I started checking out prices on the internet. At which point I decided it might just be quicker to set fire to my wallet.
Michelin-starred egg.
But in the absence of a poached quail breast for thirty quid, I've made it up to Lisa by getting her a Michelin-starred Easter egg instead, personally fashioned from the finest Belgian chocolate by Gordon Ramsay himself. Probably. Well it's got his name on it anyway, and frankly for the price they charged me, it had damn well better have his fingerprints on it somewhere.

But hey, it's no more than Lisa deserves, especially as she's been under a lot of pressure lately, what with having new neighbours who appear to be dealing drugs to the more violent members of Brighton's criminal underclass from the flat next door. Not that it's a daily occurrence. When I spoke to Lisa on Sunday night for example, she told me that it had been very quiet all weekend, the neighbours appeared to have gone away, and all her troubles seemed to be over... before asking me to put the phone down so she could call 999. Timing never was her strong point.