Thursday, February 05, 2009

Project Roller Disco

I am very cold. My neck is cold, and my ankles. The skin behind my ears, my eyelids and my elbows: all are deeply chilly.

This is due to finally having secured two days worth of employment! It is a very glamourous position, and involves standing outside Manchester Students' Union trying to force bits of shiny paper into the be-mittened hands of passing students. It is truly an exciting step on the career ladder.

The only thing that buoyed me about this potentially extremely miserable type of work was that yesterday my friend Aisling had been handing out these flyers, and when we saw her last night she told us that she had been invited to a roller disco as a result of handing someone a flyer! I was secretly hoping for a similar result. Actually, I was hoping for exactly the same result. I wanted to be invited to a roller disco. I would decline the offer, of course, but I really, really wanted to be asked.

At nine thirty I was standing in Ben's kitchen, sipping tea and staring forlornly out of the window at the wind and snow. I then realized that there was nobody else in the room to witness this spectacle of dejection, so I cheered up a bit. Then the cat came prowling in, looking for balls of paper to torment, so I quickly rearranged my shoulders into a slump and sighed plaintively. (I am not sure he noticed.)

By ten I was positioned at my post on the Oxford Road, wearing eighteen layers of clothing (or thereabouts) and clutching a bundle of flyers that said the words "Hot Jobs!" on them. On my back was a rucksack contained many, many more. The snow was still flit-fluttering down and landing in my eyes, but nevertheless I began to hand out my flyers.

By eleven I was feeling miserable. I had handed out loads of flyers, and said the words "hot jobs!" at people for an hour, and had not once been invited to any kind of disco. I was very disappointed. Oh, and very, very cold.

I slunk off into the union and bought a paper cup with some stuff in it that claimed to be coffee but which was really just brownish water. I sipped it and reflected on the bitter irony of the situation. Here was I, a graduate, working for £5.73 an hour handing out flyers for a graduate recruitment fair. It could, I supposed, be worse. I could actually be working for... (I glanced down at the flyer) ...HBOS. Ack.

Back on the streets, I upped the smiles, and attempted to look alluring from underneath my oversized hat and pulled-up-to-the-nose scarf. By this time I was also jumping about a bit, from foot to foot, as the cold had seeped into my bones and I needed to remind myself that I was still alive. A man stopped. Bingo! Roller disco invitation, here we come! The first thing I noticed was the overpowering smell of Special Brew, and the second was the fact that this particular Lothario was staring down the barrel of his late sixties. Nevertheless, he began to work his magic, and took one of the flyers from my hand.

"What do you study then, love?" His watery eyes attempted to focus on my face.

"Oh, nothing. I'm not a student."

He took a swaying step back and looked at the flyer, then back at me. "What is it you do, then? This is no sort of job."

"I, um. I'm a. Um. I'm a musician."

His red, veiny face took on a sceptical expression. "And what is it you play?"

I began to wonder when he was going to get around to asking me to the roller disco, but thought perhaps he wanted to get to know me first. Quite right, really. You can't just go around asking strangers to roller discos. Anything could happen.

"I'm a singer" I said. "I play cello as well, but..."

I trailed off as he twisted his features into a sneer and looked back down at the flyer.

"Right, love. Good luck with that love. Ha ha ha!"

Chortling drunkenly, he shambled off.

At lunchtime Ben came to give me warming broth, in the shape of homemade artichoke soup in a thermos.

"Nobody's asked me to a roller disco!" I exclaimed. "Although I did get chatted up."

He patted me on the arm. "Well, that's good, baby!"

"Although it was by an elderly drunk man who went off me when he realized I had no prospects. Does that count?"

He patted me again. "Yeah. 'Course it counts."

Satisfied, I drunk my soup.

By the end of the day I was no nearer to a roller disco, but I was considerably closer to a severe case of hypothermia. It has now been three hours since I came inside and I am still cold. All I can hope is that I warm up before I have to go back and do it again tomorrow.

Now I am going to go and fashion myself a badge that says "ASK ME ABOUT ROLLER DISCOS!" in hopes that someone does, and I can pretend that they asked me to one.

I'm not sure why this particular obsession has developed. I think perhaps that I like to have stories to tell about my experiences, and so far all I can say about this one is that I got really cold and didn't get invited to any roller discos.

Project roller disco re-commences tomorrow morning at ten AM, sharp.


Blogger Ys said...

Aww that sounds pretty bad: I hate being cold. And when I do get cold it takes hours to warm up again. I've been known to lose feeling in my feet when standing on the side of the rugby pitch!

9:32 pm

Blogger Red Shoes said...

In the words of Throbbing Gristle: "What a day, what a day, all day all day."

12:22 am

Blogger Clarissa said...

funny - all dog profile pics here!

8:18 am

Blogger screamish said...

roller disco roller disco! I did that once when I was 7 in Perth. I think it was a kind of orangey sparkley Boney M no doubt...

7:36 pm

Blogger Miss Devylish said...

You are the cutest. I would totally invite you to a roller disco even if I wasn't throwing one. xo

5:56 pm

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