Thursday 27 October 2016

My get-rich-quick scheme is a flop

Published 03/08/2015 | 02:30

I get paid peanuts and my rent in London is 650 peanuts a month which leaves me very few nuts for anything else. This leads me, one Saturday afternoon, to consider other possible streams of revenue - perhaps I could go to a clinic and let them harvest my eggs to sell to a wealthy childless couple? But that seems morally dubious, and possibly sore.

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I gaze around my room, my bulging wardrobe before me, mounds of dresses on the floor and hatch a get-rich-quick plan - to sell every garment I own and then retire. The following Saturday, with a blinding hangover, I stuff bags of my unwanted clothes into a taxi. I arrive at the flea market (30 peanuts for a stand) to discover that all the other stalls are full of real antiques, handcrafted knick-knacks and fancy crockery, not wrinkled last-season Topshop dresses with dodgy zips. My partner in crime arrives, and together we do some 'merchandising', but our display looks as co-ordinated as a pile of sick. We have a few customers, but mainly people pick things up suspiciously and ask "what is this?" When I reply, "That's a vintage dress I wore to two weddings and both times I scored," they walk away.

"We need signage," says my flea partner who scurries to the shop and returns with a notebook designed for a child's doll and a roll of sellotape the size of a Polo mint. She decides to slash prices - however, the sale fails to ignite customer demand. In desperation, I fashion some more signs. One reads: 'Please buy a dress, I'm saving up for a bikini wax', but still no one parts with their cash. At 3pm we decide if the good (but exceptionally tight-fisted) people of Hackney don't want our stuff, then sod them. We deliver mounds of clothes to the very grateful manager of the nearest charity shop and hit the pub. By the time I've paid for a round of consolatory drinks it is clear that flogging second-hand clothes is not the way to make a fortune. "I broke even," I dishonestly tell everyone who asks, when really I just broke.

This Cinders has lost her glass slippers

By Eleanor Goggin

How can anybody in their right minds lose a pair of shoes? Then again, maybe I'm not  in my right mind. Because my feet are no longer the petite appendages that they were, I have to spend money for comfort - what with the bunions and corns and broad size 42. Next stop, the box or men's shoes, I hear you say. Sometimes, I see sales assistants looking at me pityingly when I ask for a 42 and they glance towards the men's side of the shop. And if I'm in a shoe shop on the continent, they just look at my feet and walk away. I'm over being embarrassed now. Anyway, I had a pair of expensive high wedges and now I don't and if anybody is walking around in a pair of black wedges that are far too big for them, please return them. 

I was up in the Big Smoke and I know I was wearing the missing shoes in the morning. After a spot of shopping, a weariness that could only be addressed by stopping for a glass of wine and a smoke descended upon me. I sat for an hour or two reading my book and sipping (sometimes guzzling) wine and I genuinely can't remember if I took them off and changed into another pair which I had in my overnight bag. I have contacted the establishment to enquire as to whether some lunatic left a pair of shoes under a table. It would appear not.

I went to stay with my friend overnight, and when I returned to Cork and discovered the disappearance of said shoes, I was convinced they were in her house. She says they are nowhere to be found. Now she's a size 40 so I don't think she's harbouring them. But I am convinced she hasn't searched properly and have tried to set up situations where other friends in Dublin call to the house and search when she's not looking. Not an easy task. So now I'm going to have to go up to Dublin again and search her house and she's going to get cross that I didn't believe her in the first place. Then again, if I find them, she's dead.

Enough about me, what do you think of me?

By Aine O'Connor

I was slagging someone recently because his normally hard-to-pique interest invariably swells when the topic of conversation is himself. He might  barely acknowledge even the most shocking story, but discuss him and he's all attention, questions and requests for examples. A kind of "Enough about me, what do you think about me?" scenario.

I like to think of myself as at least a little different, in that if you tell me a story I will listen and ask questions. Not because I'm super caring, just because I'm super nosey. And to be fair to the protagonist of the previous paragraph, who isn't fascinated to hear what others think of them? Especially when it's flattering or a bit roguish.

So when someone I don't know that well offered a character assessment of me, I was instantly hooked. He said he couldn't imagine me in a maternal role and that he was sure that I was the kind of person who, if I wanted to do something, would just do it regardless of the consequences. As I say, he didn't know me well. Or at all. Not only have I been fulfilling a maternal role for nearly 20 years but the stars of my maternal role call me Faffy Mammy because, well, the clue is in the title. The Boychild has been out of the country for five days and I'm mooning over his rancid socks putrefying in the laundry basket.

The Mammy part almost 100pc cancels out the regardless-of-consequences suggestion, but even if it didn't, I have always been Mizz Anxiety-Responsibility and am as likely to do something spontaneous and wacky as a boulder is.

So essentially the bloke was as wrong as he could be. But I was weirdly flattered that I might project such a rock-and-roll, devil-may-care image. What, I wanted to know in my rogueishest tone, made him think such a thing? "Oh," sez he, "No offence, but your job, it's not very grown-up. And your shoes." Right. For the record, I was wearing runners. Nice runners.

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