I was born in 1974. To celebrate, McDonalds opened their first UK branch in South London, and Mohammed Ali beat George Foreman. I later told Mohammed Ali I would have preferred it if George Foreman had won that fight, and he developed brain damage by way of apology. Sadly, Britain was so taken with my birth that it forgot to keep control of Grenada, which accidentally went independant. But, on balance, the Queen said she’d rather have me than Grenada anyway, even though I pick my nose too much.
But the 80s weren’t a good time for knitting. People were just discovering the joys of metalwork – Fred West was idly doodling his first plans for a metal rendition of the word “cunt” that he could put above Rosemary’s side of the bed. In the 70s, he would have had to make do with making her wear a knitted jumper.
So I’ve not been weaned on woollens, you see. In fact, until my 30th birthday, if you’d come up to me and said “look at the knitcraft on that panda – there’s some flawless-ass stitchwork on that fucker”, it would only have been a disciplined upbringing that prevented me from whipping it out and pissing on your knees. Now I’m older, wiser, I piss on whatever knees I like, and strangely enough – I love the woollens. So where do I get my fix?
Naturally, I go to Arnold Hill Comphrensive School’s Annual Craft Fair. Look at that woolly shit, all piled up there. You know what I’m talking about. See that elephant with its trunk kinda coming out the top of his head? That’s EIGHTY PENCE. You try making an elephant like that for 80p. Even if you were to put its trunk in the right place, you’d be spending probably seven pounds on a ball of wool, some knitting needles, which as it turns out cost around twenty five pounds (unless they’ve discounted them to something gay like Â£1.79 to make me look like a dick). Then you’ve got to have lessons, and those old women do not go easy on you. My tutelage with Nana Harper nearly killed me, but now at least when I enter a pensioner’s house, we respect each other. Even though we know one of us has to die.
I nearly forgot! There was a tombola, too. You pull a raffle ticket out of the hat, and if you get a number ending with a 0 or a 5, you win! Does that sound too good to be true? Have you just relaxed every sphincter in your body with a frankly ill-advised delight? Well prepare to fly around the room like a fucking balloon when you see what you can win.
That cassette is a NINETY MINUTE cassette. What lasts for ninety minutes? Nothing! You could put everything on that cassette. Also there is a small bowl!
If there’s anything I’ve grown to love in my adulthood more than wools, it’s evasiveness about the number of cards I get for Â£2.50. Ask how many cards you get for Â£2.50 in WH Smiths, and they’ll winch a gigantic and unequivocal number one from the ceiling. “No need to be showy about it,” you’ll grump, and shuffle down the street with your hands in your pockets.
It’s not like that at the Craft Fair. Â£2.50 gets you mostly 10 cards. But that’s only the beginning. When Maureen got her daughter to pack the bags, she said “put mostly ten cards in those bags, dear”. This insanely relaxed attitude makes the child think – “hey, she said mostly ten – it won’t matter if I put mostly mostly ten”. By the time you’re two mostlies away from a number, things can get crazy. I swear, one day I got fourteen cards for Â£2.50. I walked home fast that day – I wanted to count my cards. There were fourteen!
Of course, there’s a downside to Craft Fairs, and that’s pornography. They’re absolutely littered with turbo-grade filth, and in the more sordid rooms you’re ankle deep in grunt-sweat.
Drawer Fresheners. Who doesn’t gasp in horror every time they open their drawers, at the violent stench of decay and the cloud of erupting spores? Drawer fresheners are a modern essential. But I can’t buy these! Not because they’re lavender – that’s my favourite! – but if I hang around this stall for even a fraction of a second, people will think I’m getting my cheapies from the “vintage” ladies.
I tried to brave the situation (I really wanted those drawer fresheners, I can’t explain), and ask innocent questions about the drawer fresheners, but I was so constantly distracted by the breast-outed lady that I found myself ejaculating the most brutish innuendos…
- Hello! Have you got anything I could slip into my drawers to deaden the smell of mince?
- Lavender… lavender… Oh no! I didn’t just say “Love in da lav, in da anus!” I didn’t say anus at all, twice!
- How much for unsafe?
Well, you know what it’s like. I can’t imagine any of you, as cheeky youths, haven’t pinched a policeman’s helmet to stop him doing a spunk in your mouth.
I was so fucked-up after my outburst at the drawer freshener stall that I spent some chill-time with a couple of dolls and a bear. Look at all the booties! Can you imagine the sense of achievment from making all those booties? I’d be like “I don’t want to go to the pub tonight, I’m going to stop in and look at my booties”. Then I’d be like “now, if only I could find something with the right size feet to put in the booties. If only atoms had toes.”
But that’s what the Craft is all about. You make shoes that someone wears, you are a cobbler. You make a six dozen booties that no fucker will ever want or use, then sir – you are a craftsman.
Look at the Lavender-filled crinoline ladies. They’re the fucking best – and don’t tell anyone, but I’m using them as drawer fresheners. This is a stroke of genius, I swear. Sure, they’re Â£2 apiece, and the drawer fresheners are like Â£2 for three, but look at the craft. These ladies are so full of art that they look like mice. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a metaphor.
Idiot Customer : I would like to make a complaint. This crinoline lady is a mouse.
Wise Craftsman : Aren’t we all like mice, in a little way?
Idiot Customer : No, I am a human being. That is absolutely the most unlike a mouse you can be!
Wise Craftsman : Look inside yourself, and embrace the mouse. But remember you are the kind of mouse who has money, and pays for things.
Idiot Customer : OH GOD THE CRAFT IS IN ME, I AM A MOUSE
Wise Craftsman : They’re Â£2 each. Â£20 for mostly 10.
Craft Fairs are amazing. Here’s a Craft Fair on the internet. That’s CYBERMAZING. (Check out the Rotamake 360 – if you are serious about your craft, then you would be some kind of elbow-swinging retard not to buy one).