I had arranged to meet my lad in a neighbouring town after he had finished work to go to the cinema together.
I decided to get to the town early by train so as I could have a mooch around.
My first call was to Argos to get a folding office chair for home delivery.
In my head, when I set out, I thought this would be simple and straightforward.
It had to go better than my last experience where I ordered three items from Argos for home to delivery to find them delivered over the period of a week and on three different days.
This time, it was only one item. What could possibly go wrong?
I ordered the chair and was told that it was not in their warehouse and so can’t be delivered but they have one upstairs I can take now.
What to do?
I’m there. The chair is there and they’re not going to deliver one and I want the chair.
I decided I’ll buy the chair and assume it will come in a discreet box.
Instead, it is handed to me in a see-through plastic bag.
Everyone can now see I’ve bought a chair.
I now can’t go shopping. I can’t walk into any shop carrying a chair.
It would look mad.
And I definitely can’t take it to the cinema with me, although bringing my own seat should give me a discount.
The only place it would look like standard behaviour would be if I carried a folding chair into a Wetherspoons.
The moment I leave Argos, I’m acutely aware that I look like a hobo who likes comfort or that I’ve stolen a chair and tried to conceal it in a plastic bag.
I discreetly tuck it under my arm like there’s nothing to see here. ‘No, no. It’s definitely not a chair!’
But, in reality, you can’t disguise a chair. You can’t put a jacket on it or a wig because it will just look like a chair in a jacket, wearing a wig.
I decided I’m going to have to run through the town to minimise my embarrassment and take the chair home on the train.
So now I am running through the town with a chair tucked awkwardly under my arm and not looking at all suspicious.
I wrestle my way through the ticket barrier and climb the stairs over to my platform.
The minute I arrive, I’m told the train will inexplicably leave from the platform I’ve just crossed from and now have to head back over the stairs, looking like a guy who’s trying to discreetly dispose of a chair in some terrible see-through wrapping.
The wrapping is covered with the words “This is not a toy.”
I wish it was a toy. It would be less embarrassing.
I board the train and put the chair on the seat beside me, like it’s my best friend that I’m trying to suffocate.
The ticket inspector decides that I’m the only person in the carriage that he doesn’t want to make eye contact with or engage with, in case my apparent weirdness is contagious.
I get off the train and take the chair home.
I now have to buy another train ticket to take me back to the neighbouring town with little time for mooching.
So, that’s what I did. I met my lad and we watched Top Gun which was really good.
And when I arrived home and finally unwrapped the chair, I found it was too low for my computer work desk.
Looking into my reflection on my blank screen, I could only see my hands and head, like a baby Tyrannosaurus Rex.
So I folded it away and placed it into a cupboard to use as an emergency chair to bring out for my non-existent visitors.
It’s not easy being me, it really isn’t.