Friday, November 17, 2006


I went to school via the supermarket. I purchased two white shirts. They cost four pounds each. Imagine the implications of that. Four pounds for a white shirt, long sleeved, oxford weave.

A child worked for 30p an hour in order for me to be so comfortable. I made this up, but I believe it to be true. I feel conflicted. If only I hadn't put on 2 stone since my last batch of shirts I wouldn't have had to re-exploit the third world.

I am so overwhelmed by the mass of contradictions and arguments here that I can't bring myself to go on. Let's just leave it at that - I brought some sweatshop shirts and drove off to school.

When I got to school I unleashed my straining gut from the captivity of my old blue shirt and relaxed into my new shirt.

I checked myself out in the mirror. I looked good.

Then I went prowling for compliments. I stalked into the staffroom where my colleagues were talking and pulled exaggerated poses for a couple of ignorant minutes, then made coffee, all the while plucking at my shirt and over exaggerating my arm movements until I could stand the innatention no longer and burst, shouting "LOOKATMYSWEATSHOPSHIRT LADIES".

Finally everyone looked at me and said "Is that a new shirt David?" and touched my shirt and oooed and cooed over me. It was like being a chimpanzee for a couple of lovely seconds. Then they said "Where did you get that from David?"

I said "The supermarket"

They said "How much?"

I said "£4 - disgusting isn't it? I feel appalled, someone must have really suffered to get this shirt made for that price," - ethical hypocrisy being my greatest luxury, as this blog attests,

They all said "£4? I'll get one for Rik / Shaun / Ollie / Lewis etc."

So now I'm not only a collaborator, I'm also a perpetuator.

One of my colleagues was so happy with the value and quality of my shirt that she pulled down my collar to double check that I wasn't lying about the provenance of my shirt - "Is it really from the Supermarket? You liar David, you must be joking us, a shirt like that must be from Prada or somethin..Oh no, it really is from Deathsbury's"

Then our Deputy Head came into the staffroom and said "Morning David, lovely shirt, Really? How much? Gosh, that's brilliant. How funny for you to have brought such a posh shirt today, when the rest of us look so casual"

The sartorial success of my shirt holds hands with my newly born status of "bargain hunter" and jumps up and down on my liberal tendencies. I'm happy but I'm confused by Deputy Head's final ambiguity.

I look around, disorientated with elation and notice that everyone else is dressed in jeans and t-shirts or sweatshirts. Something is wrong.

"Did you forget it was Children In Need David?"

Everyone starts laughing.

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