An internal memo from B&Q has been leaked, advising employees that “in light of the box office opening of the film of the popular novel 50 Shades of Grey” (I wonder if EL James now simply writes these press releases herself. They certainly have the same robust indifference to being succinct), “customers may be asking for certain items intending to fulfill unconventional sexual pursuits”. The memo urges B&Q’s employees to remember “B&Q’s commitment to assist customers in a polite, helpful and respectful manner.” It finishes with a helpful quote from a B&Q Spokesman*: “Customer satisfaction is always our number one priority.”
Although I can think of nothing I would rather do, had I made more money than anyone else ever, other than write tongue-in-cheek press releases for home improvement stores, in many ways E L James has once again opened things up for the rest of us. For a start, I had entirely forgotten that Valentine’s Day is naturally an opportunity for everything in the world to remind us that it is sexy. No longer will we have to make do with candles and chocolates and actual, real-world sex. Nowadays we can slog around IKEA, or B&Q, or buy a “commemorative” washbag or “sultry lightbulb” or whatever.
Listen, it’s not just me/ E L James. (The more I think about E L James, the more I feel convinced that she is a fully-formed AI media invention, sort of the author-version of Damon Albarn’s ‘Gorillaz’)
One of my friends is having her wisdom teeth out today, and I’m off to collect her afterwards. “Is everything going OK?” I texted her. “Yup,” she replied. “I’m in a private room with Angela. Angela has just told me I don’t have to put on the gown and funny pants yet, because I would be “too much sexy”.
Wisdom teeth removal: for those of us who just want to make an effort, this Valentine’s Day.
*E L James