Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Living in a Brogue State

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Living in a Brogue State

Article excerpt

Byline: GARY BAINBRIDGE One man's struggle with the 21st century Follow Gary on Twitter: @Gary_Bainbridge or email him at

YOU may remember a few weeks ago I encountered some difficulty with my footwear. If you don't remember this, I don't blame you. In a way I wish I could forget about my past too.

For those of you who weren't around, or have lives, essentially the problem was that every time I took a step my boots emitted a sort of distressed squeaky whistle, as if I had just trodden on a Clanger.

The cause of the problem was a hole in the heel, and the root of the problem was that I buy cheap shoes and am incapable of learning lessons.

I struggled on with the Clangerkillers for a couple more days, and then the sole started to come away from one of the boots. It was time for action.

These boots were now in such a state that if Russ Abbot had passed me in the street he would have offered me PS50 for them on the spot, as they were ideal for the new "Trevor the Tramp" character he was developing.

I had to buy new shoes. And I had to prove I was an adequate adult and ignore the siren call of the PS18.99 shoe merchants for once in my life. So I went to a reputable supplier of shoes, looked at the prices, and staggered, gasping, out of the shop, my sole flapping like a surprised Muppet's mouth. Surely there was a third way?!

That was how I flopped into TK Maxx. TK Maxx is so max, it needs two x-es to adequately express just how max it is.

It's hard to explain what TK Maxx is. It's a bit like one of those bags of biscuit misshapes, except instead of biscuits, it's clothes and household items, and instead of a bag, it's a shop.

And the items aren't misshapen, apart from the Crocs, but even they are supposed to look like that.

They stock end-of-line designer gear at knock down prices, but it's like a jumble sale.

You can only go into TK Maxx with the vaguest of notions of what you want, and have no expectations of with what you will emerge. It is the exact opposite of Argos.

I made my way to the shoe racks. I am a size 10, which is about the most boringly average shoe size a man can have. …

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