The high street is dead, long live shopping

The hell of the high street.

The high Street is an awful place, dirty and depressing, the standard council herringbone brickwork stained with spat out chewing gum, dog shit and human blood. I used to lay herringbone brickwork whilst the Fatty would sit watching in his BMW smoking Henri Wintermans, now I avoid herringbone like a granddad in the BNP, it even pains me to park my car on the stuff.

herringboneSwarming with aggressive parents, scruffy old bill and teenagers high on fast food, the simmer of high street violence never seems to be far away. I’ve never been able to reconcile those tensions with shopping for a new Merino wool jumper (Mandy calls it Mourinho wool, like the football manager). The high street has come to represent everything negative about our society. Cheap, pushy, tacky and just a little bit desperate.

Disappointment is never far away on the high street. Like Woolworths, a shop that sold shit from the dregs of the sweat factory at which even Poundland would turn its nose up. Woolworths entire business model was based around its strangle hold on the CD singles market, and when that dried up the shop that sold crap went bust and was lamented countrywide by petty thief journalists who thought it was funny to steal from the pick and mix.

HMV. Piled high with furry iPhone covers and discounted box sets of The Office from ten years ago. The shop floor scattered with tedious mainstream comedians and yawnworthy BBC Dramas. Homeland? No, and unless you like Mumford & Sons there’s no point asking for any music, remember that? Music.

You don’t have to be that sour faced bitch off Dragons Den to see that HMV on the way out. HMV Reminds me of a piece of advice my Grandma gave me many years ago, “You can’t polish a turd Alan, no matter how hard you try”.

As for Blockbuster, why? I could wade through the KFC debris on the high street and stand in line for a film, then watch the first half before the scratches on the DVD force it to stop. I could trudge back down the high street and actually have to walk past McDonalds in real life and get another copy that won’t be available because I had the last one.

Or alternatively I could just press a button on my remote control from the comfort of my own home and the smug of my open fire, safe in the knowledge that I can watch a film with no other human being involved in the transaction. And I think I can live without the ‘BOGOF’ deal on eight liters of unbranded ‘Cherry Coke style drink’.

Then on to Jessops. For some reason I always felt like a criminal when walking into Jessops, which is a bit odd because I’m neither from Braintree nor do I listen to gangsta rap. If I could stand the security guard glaring holes in the back of my head whilst I look at the accessories locked in a cabinet then I might get some assistance, which could be hit and miss. Occasionally helpful but basically relying on the personality of the individual serving you rather than any kind of commitment to customer service.

Mobile phone shops take disappointment to a new level, such is the level of suspicion in these places that even the toy like plastic replica of the handset is attached to a wire to prevent theft. What a load of shit.

I honestly don’t give a shit about any of these shops going bust. Our public spaces will be a much better place without them.

The reality is, the World Wide Web has saved us from the tedious disappointment these high street shops had to offer. I’m proud of all those developers that took part in their demise.

There’s more choice online, it’s cheaper, there’s more stock and far better advice.