So, Saturday rolls around and Cesca and I jump in the car at a god early time in the morning and rush all the way around the M25 to Basildon. It is too early in the morning for me to get up any head of anger and a strange killing calm is evident in the car as we drive. I think Cesca has come just to make sure I don’t shoot anyone, but she is relaxed as she thinks that for me to be really really angry I need to be awake. Hence, she has got us moving before I got a cup of coffee. In actual fact my level is up to the Hulk in one of his planet smashing rampages. Cesca should be worried because I have a secret weapon ready.
Amtrak is in a Trading estate near the motorway and following the traditional British formula of these things, it is best described as a real shit hole of epic proportions. A hive of scum and villainy with rubbish dumped everywhere and evil looking warehouse frontages with pokey little offices. We park up and I practice my look; The Look:
The Look is one of practiced pure malevolence.
It is The Man With No Name pissed off,
“You gonna draw those pistols or whistle Dixy?”
Kaiser Sosa being in a line up,
“Hand me the keys you fucking cock sucker”
Butch being called “paunchy”,
“What did you just say?”
My wife knows it as “my killing look” and gives me a little kiss on the cheek to calm me down. We leave the car and approach the door, where I knock. This is ignored. So I hammer with my first which makes a ungodly noise. The door opens I come face to face with my nemesis; the lady from the phone calls. In real life she is even more repulsive looking than in my imagination, I shudder to think of what her painting in the attic looks like. She is old and fat and mean. She eyes me up and down and jerks a thumb signaling that we should join a line of quivering members of the public all waiting, endlessly waiting, for their packages.
I save The Look for later and sheepishly join. Not a word has actually been said.
This line was an amazing experience. Everything in this office moves at a glacial pace that would have tried the patience of a Buddha and had Gentle Jesus biting his knuckles in frustration. It actually gave me a moments glimpse of the of the afterlife as only Limbo could be more endless and painful. In fact, I think the pope is wrong, people don’t go to Limbo; they simply come here and wait in this office.
Finally, she rolls around to looking for my parcel’s information on the system. After the consultation of her computer she pronounced her favourite catch phrase, “We don’t do night deliveries”.
My wife almost ducked. You see, I have been a martial artist for 14 years; I have 2 national titles and 1 international title. For my black belt I broke three bricks using my hands and feet and spared against two other black belts at once. I am also 6ft 2 and 18 Stone and thus can loom when I want to.
I didn’t react outside of my head. In my head Bruce Lee unleashed the whoop’ass. I saved The Look and merely grunted. After all this is all much the same as usual for me and I hadn’t had any coffee or breakfast.
She continued and explained that since Watford had to authorise any delivery changes and they are ignoring ALL methods of contact, she has loads of deliveries stacked up waiting to go out which can’t. Head office had informed her that she was not to send the package anywhere until such time as a FAX was received from the long lost customer service department of Watford Electronics.
Hell may well freeze first.
It was at this moment that I could have pointed out that she had told me herself that it would be there Thursday without fail, so why did she do this if she KNEW she wasn’t going to send it? OR that perhaps she should have advised me this 15 days ago and I could have come down and got it sooner? Or that she doesn’t answer her phone or FAX or even open the door to anything less than the knock of Cthulhu?
Frankly, I couldn’t be fucked . If I had to spend another moment in the presence of such evil I would be forced to do the honest thing and take her out the back and put two bullets through her lungs.
I gave her The Look and she shuddered. Moving very slowly I leaned slightly over the desk still looking her straight in the eyes,
“Can I please have my parcel now?” I asked very quietly.
“I..I will just go get it”, she says and hurries off her chair and out of the room.
Clint Eastwood eat your heart out!
“Thank you,” I answered standing back up and my wife hugged my arm.
Ten seconds later…
The door opens and my PC arrives in my presence. The pure shining light of its beauty banishes the dim shadows of the room away like a new star had been born in the night sky.
Without a word I take it home and unpack it. My wonderful wife goes and makes me some coffee.
It works first time and it is beautiful. I relax and all the weeks’ of stress bleeds out of me and away.
I load up F.E.A.R. (the best game of the time. Ed) and auto detect the performance settings…
They ALL come back MAXIMUM!
Xmas is saved! I cancel the order for The Kraken and sit down to play. 17 Days late, but worth it in the end…