Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Man shops

As previously highlighted in some of my previous posts shopping is the bane of most men lives. However there are a small number of retail outlets that any man should be proud to visit. Visiting these places of business is a joy.

Not only will you be in a male environment, conversation will be limited, to the point, and need no knowledge of last nights TV. I present to you Man Shops-

Cobblers-

Behind the counter stand two wisened old blokes, wearing either dark green, or dark blue aprons. They are normally accustomed to smiling cheekily at women requesting new heels.

However, smell the air, take in the sounds, check out the big ol' power tool in the background. This is a place for men.

When to visit- when you need a key cut. On the wall there will a plethora of uncut keys just waiting for an imprint. Marvel as they return exact copies of your required keys.

What to discuss- Light banter centred around football, security locks, and (depending on the gent behind the counter) any female customer that is just leaving.



DIY Specialists-

Small wooden shops hidden within plain sight. The floor boards will be rough and spongy to walk on. There will be untold numbers of door locks on a bit of chipboard. Paint test cards are everywhere. There are small boxes of screws within easy reach, and the back room seems to be bigger than the actual shop.

When to visit- When you require specific grades of sand paper. When you require an unheard of shade of paint.

What to discuss- Do not try and blag a knowledge of DIY here. You will be found out. If anywhere this is likely to be the place where conversation is short. In fact expect to conduct your entire transaction entirely in silence.



B&Q-

If you can't get to a DIY specialists you'll need to visit the soulless equivalent. Still they stock more tools than you can think of, so don't delay get in there and start test swinging hammers.

When to visit- Any given Sunday. Pack the Mrs. of to the garden section and head straight to power tools or timber.

What to discuss- You can blag a bit more here. You won't be shunned so much. The chances are that, unless you're talking to an old boy, the assistant is likely to be blagging as much as you. I had a 15 minute discussion regarding chuck sizes once after test drilling a cordless Bosch power drill. No one, ever, knows anything about chuck sizes.



Cricket equipment retailers (the last remaining sports shop)-

These tend to be only found in quite villages, yet have a steady stream of dedicated clientele. The heady combination of wood and leather make them confounding yet brilliant places to visit. Arguably it's also the last remaining sports shop, that actually sells sporting equipment (albeit in a narrow field).

When to visit- anytime you need any cricket related equipment, or want to discuss the latest happenings in world cricket.

What to discuss- Cricket mainly. You can try and blag some knowledge here, but be warned if you are buying, the chaps behind the counter will have all of your money and some. Don't let their bushy eyebrows fool you, they're like sharks around blood.



Trophy Shop-

Usually quite dark shops, and sometimes you'll find a cobbler moonlighting here. Before you will be an array of trophies, from the massive Karate Kid-esque ones, to the piddly little 'you took part' ones.

When to visit- when you need a darts trophy engraved, or just fancy a talking piece in the downstairs shitter.

What to discuss- Conversation here is similar to the DIY specialist, although there is no need to blag anything. Typeface and font size are usually as far as you'll get.



Fishing Bait Shop-

Damp and smelly. These Aladdin's cave of angling contain everything you require to attempt to catch fish. A myriad of weights, lures, and hooks await, all nicely complimented by a generic topless girl calendar behind the till.

When to visit- when you want to go fishing.

What to discuss- all things fishing. Fish sizes, bait types, and local catch sizes.


Mechanics Garage-

Grease and oil, radio 1 very loud, and a generic topless girl calendar. Intimidating unless you know precisely how your car works.

When to visit- When your car is fucked.

What to discuss- Just try to get in and out without getting your trousers taken down too much.



The writer of this blog is taking part in a ludicrously long charity walk for Asthma UK. If you're feeling generous you can kindly sponsor him here.

By The Man Blog.









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