Polythene Pam

November 26, 2018

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Another Black Friday passes me by uneventfully. It would do. I don’t subscribe. Complete tosh. Controlling the public, stoking up the masses to buy crap they don’t need with money they don’t have but that the Man will lend you. Fuckers. Aside from that I was watching my newly painted shop dry and wouldn’t let anyone in even if they had begged me.

Big retailer margins must be huge. It’s around 25-30% in Small-Guitar-Shop-World on new gear. That’s after its gathered dust on a shelf for eighteen months.

The World’s problems will not be resolved by just recycling. We need to stop buying tons of new stuff. Now there’s a coincidence. I just happen to sell, by and large, used stuff. What a stroke of luck.

There you go https://www.nottinghamcityguitars.com/shop/ knock yourself out with a quality used or maybe even vintage instrument. Fender, Gibson, Gretsch, Rickenbacker, Trussart, it’s too complicated for a technophobe like me to link to that lot, but they are in there, just rootle about.

They are all lovely, pre-bashed and scratched, worn in, set-up and fully guaranteed – what could be better?

I’ve got a mate, yes one, he does all sorts of stuff. Has a quiet contract with that massive company named after a rainforest and river– in Brazil if you’re still struggling with that concept. I swam in it once. Got pink dolphins too, or did have until they all choked on plastic bags.

Fucking hot and sticky, Brazil that is not the Amazon, that’s just wet – Oh no! Said it now. Great place to go, Christ the Redeemer is just awesome, well as far as statues go. I didn’t mean to go all Ned Flanders. One of the best statues I’ve ever seen. You get helicopters flying down below you, have to reach the base up a bloody great hill on a little train. I’ve no idea how they built it. Can’t see the join and it definitely wouldn’t fit on the little train.

So, The Contract, all the returns, the stuff you don’t want ‘cos it’s too tight, wrong colour, wrong tone, or you’ve used it just for the one night, cleaned and cleverly repacked, sent it back. Got your money credited in a heartbeat, absolutely fabulous service. So all this good, still new proper stuff, gets sent to Grizwald to be destroyed in a secret location. Can’t say where, just another of those grey ubiquitous big sheds you drive by every day. You would never know what lay beyond.

It’s not just the Monster-River-Company, many other big retailers are up to the same tricks. End-of-lines, superceded by a new design – no longer hit the shelves as “SALE” items – instead just whizzed off to be incinerated, crushed, mashed up and landfilled. I’ve seen 100’s of sets of kids clothes, winter coats, high fashion sheep skin boots – oh that’ll be Ugg then, allegedly, all sent off to be burnt. Pallets of iPhones, hairdryers, chocolates, laptops…….it’s a logistical nightmare coping with the volume of stuff through the gate. All palletised and delivered on curtain-siders.

Shush keep it quiet. It’s fucking diabolical. People have no money and cannot clothe their kids properly, buy them Christmas presents, and these fuckers just burn everything AND pay Grizwald to do just that. What’s more the overhead cost of this huge operation is all built into the price you pay for the tat you’ve just clicked on.

Politicians don’t give a fuck, it’s just not a vote winner, still verging on hippy / Greenpeace / Save the Whale philosophy – well they bloody well should. This planet’s fucked all because we buy too much and then lob it straight in the sea when we’re bored or it’s broken.

Now here in good old Blighty we all do our bit, recycle that plastic – which bin does it go in? Have you checked that little triangle with its number code?

Little? It’s bleeding microscopic, strangely like it doesn’t want to be seen. Can’t mix the numbers up, 1 through to 7, or it all turns to mush in the mix.

Have you ever been to a waste transfer station? Like Hell on Earth. Proper Mad Max stuff going on. Every kid in the land should be sent there on a school trip, for two reasons :

1. To see what happens to all the shit we chuck away.

2. To try harder at school ‘cos you don’t want to end up working there, trust me.

Wagon after wagon disgorging tons of foul mixed up debris. I just remember all the half-eaten pizzas – weird that. Don’t people like pizza? Why only eat half?

I went to a rendering plant once. A hot summer day. It was surreal, like I really had entered a land ruled by Hades. The place was huge and deserted. I just drove this red pickup right through the gates and wandered about. Pipe lines and vats, vessels, tanks, gantries, steam. Terminator could have been filmed there. Eventually I found an office in the middle of a giant shed. I can see it now, clear as day.

I walked in and there was a prim woman sat at a desk right in the middle of the room, typing, surrounded by dozens and dozens of hanging fly papers. She was no help. I walked out and a wagon pulled in and tipped a fucking dead elephant straight in front of me along with tons of body parts and offal – you couldn’t make this up. The driver wore white wellies. He didn’t help me either. I think the load was supposed to drop straight into this bunded tank but most of it missed and slithered all over the floor. Fuck knows who cleared that lot up. What a job. I left.

Can you still buy fly papers?

Have you seen those lorries with the sign “The meat in this vehicle is unfit for human consumption” No shit.

You usually smell them approaching. The Dead Dog Lorry. Can’t even remember why I was there, another life, but it makes you think twice about soap – that’s what it’s used for apparently, and pet food. Mad Max ate dog food, dirty bastard.

So at the risk of boring you, try and shop local just a bit, don’t be wasteful and buy a used guitar. You just know you need one more to play even better. As I’ve said before – you don’t own it. You are just the Custodian, it will pass on, after you. Recycling at its best and most efficient and when’s anybody ever found a guitar inside a whale? https://www.nottinghamcityguitars.com/shop/

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