Tag Archives: Shining

An ordinary day in Borehamwood: I become trapped in my rubberwear

I live in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, which can occasionally have its moments.

Last night, there was the weekly ritual of spotlights on the skyline and distant roars as an eviction went ahead in the Big Brother house. The house is built in the former water tank at Elstree Studios, which is why contestants entering or leaving the house have to climb up steps, go through a door, then go down steps again – they are going over the side of the water tank.

Sadly, I moved here a few years after the late night fire at Elstree Studios when Stanley Kubrick was filming The ShIning – the heat from the fire caused his polystyrene snow to rise and float, causing polystyrene snowfall over part of Borehamwood.

But yesterday was an ordinary day in Borehamwood.

I went for my annual check-up at the optician. Every year, I think my eyesight has deteriorated badly and I may be going blind. Every year, they tell me:

“No, there’s not much change: it’s just your age.”

Next week, I am going to South West Ireland and a friend, who has been trying to persuade me for almost a year that my rarely-worn Wellington boots are two sizes too small (in fact, they are a little tight but perfectly OK) got me to go into a shop to try on some new, larger, Wellingtons.

“Your old ones scrunch your toes up,” she insisted.

My friend can be very insistent.

“It was bad for Chinese women,” she told me. “And it is bad for you.”

I went into the shop for a quieter life, though I was slightly torn between that and wanting to go home and go to the toilet.

I tried on a pair of grey Wellington boots two sizes bigger than my current ones.

“Too big,” I said, relieved, thinking this would free me for the toilet trip home.

“We will try them one size smaller,” my friend insisted. “That will still be one size bigger than the ones you have now.”

“They don’t seem to be in green,” I said weakly. “They are only in grey. I think they should be in green because we are going to Ireland. It will cheer the Irish up.”

My friend was insistent: “I will go get an assistant and see if they have a green pair.”

Unfortunately, they had a pair. I put the right one on. It was a little tight to get on but, once on, it was very comfortable.

“That’s OK,” I said, grudgingly.

I put the left one on.

“They’re just the right size,” I said, grudgingly.

I took right one off. A bit of a struggle.

I tried to take the left one off.

It would not come off.

My friend tried.

I tried again. My friend tried again.

It would not come off.

I tried again. And again. And again.

It would not come off.

My friend tried, pulling the toes and heel.

“Careful of the toes,” I said.

It was a bit sore on the toes.

A shop assistant tried.

The green rubber Wellington boot would not come off.

At this point I realised I still wanted to pee.

Rather a lot.

A second shop assistant arrived, pulling me nearly off seat when he yanked the boot at the heel and toe.

“Careful of the toes,” I said.

“We may have to cut it off,” the second shop assistant said.

“Well, it might not be necessary,” I said. “I had a circumcision a couple of years ago. I didn’t think it was necessary; the doctors did. I eventually agreed to it because the doctors told me it would be no skin off my nose.”

I looked at the shop assistant. He did not laugh.

“We may have to cut it off,” he repeated.

My friend nodded.

My toes were feeling sore.

“I have a high instep,” I explained.

“Do you want to buy them?” the shop assistant asked.

My friend and I looked at him.

“The boots,” he said. “Do you want to buy them?”

He was not joking.

“No,” my friend replied patiently. “He would have to sleep in them because he can’t get them off.”

A third shop assistant arrived and tried and failed to pull them off. My toes were getting sore; there was what felt like a bit of a sprain on the ankle; and, every time someone pulled, I was having to hold onto the sides of the seat to avoid being pulled off onto the floor.

I was now desperate to go to the loo and all that rubbing and sliding of my bottom backwards and forwards on the seat had now aroused the back-up of shit building-up on my colon or intestines or wherever-the-hell it builds up. It was getting quite insistent about heading for the exit in both retail shop and bodily terms.

“Are the Wellingtons waterproof?” I asked.

“Of course,” the shop assistant replied, surprised. He looked at me: “They’re rubber Wellingtons.”

The three shop assistants went away to get the manager. My friend tried again.

“Careful of the toes,” I said, holding on tightly to the sides of my seat,

By now, a nearby middle-aged couple had stopped trying on new shoes and were just sitting back watching our floor show with considerable interest.

“I have a high instep,” I explained to them.

“If the assistants can’t do anything,” my friend said, “I’m calling the fire brigade.”

I smiled, though I was thinking more of a warm toilet seat and sausages.

“I’m not joking,” my friend insisted – and I knew she was not. My friend can be very insistent. She took out her mobile phone. “You have your leg and your foot stuck in a Wellington. The fire brigade can cut you out. That’s what they’re there for.”

About eight seconds later, the manager and third assistant arrived with a pair of scissors.

I thought of toilet seats and the movie Murder on the Orient Express.

The train remains trapped in a snowdrift as detective Hercule Poirot tries to figure out whodunnit. When the case is finally unravelled, the snowdrift is cleared and the train is free to continue onwards. I have always thought the symbolism was wonderful. I wondered if, as they finally released my foot and leg from my rubber prison, I would piss down my leg and shit would explode out of my bottom.

I will spare you further details.

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