“I’m not kidding. A million dollars. The night would come and go but the money could last a lifetime. Think of it. A million dollars. A lifetime of security… for one night. Don’t answer right away. Just consider it; seriously?” – John Gage, Indecent Proposal.
‘Look over here darling, there’s a mug that has the word Bell-End written on it.‘ It’s moments like these I live for. Being indiscreetly crass at an unacceptably loud volume to embarrass my girlfriend. To be honest that happens without me knowing quite a lot of the time, but it’s much better when I’m aware. For me anyway. Here’s what happened when we frequented the Best of Britannia on Sunday.
I love Lesser Spotted Britain. A brand entirely dedicated to pointing out the hilarity in having a town named Keith. Honestly, even if a Keith had founded Keith, even if Keith was not only the only Keith in Keith, but the sole population of Keith, surely Keith could have shown a little more imagination than naming the town in such an eponymous fashion.
I spoke to a gentleman about vintage safes. Really cool retro looking safes. After five minutes of interrogation I realised they weren’t safes, but ovens. If you’re reading this, sorry Daniel, I’m sure you found our little exchange an exquisite waste of your time. Still, the safes/ovens looked awesome.
I spoke to a guy that made wallets from wood.
‘This is Snakewood.’ He said, urging me to run my hands over the polished grain.
‘Is that a thing?’ I asked.
‘Bet your arse it’s a thing.’ He says stubbing out a cigar on his tongue. He pings a cork using the tip of his thumb as leverage and poured a brownish liquid into a cut glass tumbler from a bottle that had a skull and crossbones label on the side and nothing else. (Ok so I’m dramatising the scene here, but go with it, no ones getting paid for this).
Turns out he’s right. Snakewood hails from a small, relatively rare tree found in the forests of Central and South America. Initially deep red in colour, snakewood changes its stripes upon being exposed to air, which makes the wood eventually turn reddish brown. An extremely dense hardwood, snakewood can be somewhat challenging to work with.
‘This kicks arse man, how much do you want for it?’ I ask, scrummaging around in my hip pocket for a stray fiver.
The man empties an entire glass into his gullet and spits between my feet. He looks over at my Annie, lets out a lascivious grunt, turns to me. ‘Snakewood ain’t cheap my friend.‘ He looks back over at Annie, lights a match from his stubble, blazes up an R&J, ‘But everything has a price, ain’t that right sweetheart?‘
Sorry I digress. Only 10% of that actually happened. I actually spoke to the designer Mark Antony and his Mum, both thoroughly nice people, neither smoked cigars in my presence.