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Wednesday, 10 March 2010


Sweet pikey Jesus in a plastic pram I hate Argos. If most high street stores are concerned with the shopper's experience, then Argos are aiming for an experience akin to being put in the fucking stocks and having the village peasants pelt you with their rickets afflicted, scurvy ridden children's snotty tissues.

You enter the Argos store, and are confronted with all the noise and chaos of one of those Moroccan markets Melinda Messenger or someone was always wandering around on "Wish You Were Here?" back in the day. Only those places never appeared to sell footspas, body jewellery endorsed by Katie Price, beanbags with Bob the Builder on, and, well, you get the gist, that sort of utter, utter Argos tat.

To purchase any of the Argos tat, one must follow a weirdly complicated procedure, which all the Bianca off Eastenders types chasing their offspring around the store seem completely at home with but I find quite the faff, compared with say, picking something from a shelf and paying for it at a checkout.

First, you must peruse The Catalogue, at one of its many stations around the store. The pages are laminated. And sticky. I think that's because children touch them, rather than a more sinister reason, however you never know with chavs, someone could be wanking over the girl modelling the scary facial hair remover machine, we just can't say.

When you have selected the tat of your desire, you must find the code associated with it in The Catalogue, and punch it into a little device. I guess this bit is fun for the chavs, it is a bit like having a job in a shop, and so novel. The device tells you if it's your lucky day, and they have any units of that particular tat in stock.

Then you write the code for your tat on a piece of paper (this bit is fun too, it's like being at the bookies, they even have those rubbish little blue bookies pens where you have to try nine before you get one that works) and take it to a counter where someone who breathes through their mouth relieves you of some of that incapacity benefit and gives you a little ticket with a number on like they have in delis.

The next stage in the epic quest to lay your hands on your tat is to wait patiently while another mouth breather goes out the back where all the tat lives to retrieve your coveted item. Can you imagine it, I bet it's a veritable Aladdin's cave of shit out there - I almost want to work there just to see what secrets dwell out the back of an Argos. Must be the size of a fucking aircraft hangar as well to hold all the shit in The Catalogue.

If you like, if this whole rigmarole has worn you out a bit, Argos thoughtfully provide some of those nasty red plastic chairs that make your arse go numb, you know, the ones from school, and you can sit on one of these while you wait. Be warned though, there will, again, be stickiness. Why are chav children so much stickier than other children? Does the diet of nuggets make them secrete some sort of ooze?

Eventually, the mouth breather will return from tat-Narnia with your item and you'll be free to go. You'll be back tomorrow to return it, because it will have something wrong with it - come on, if you had quality products would you prevent people from seeing them until after they'd paid?

In fact, the only product range proudly displayed in the Argos store is the jewellery. It's worth going in just to have a poke at that, because in the future this shit will be in museums and you'll have to pay to go in and mock it. For the younger pleb about town, there is an abundance of body jewellery, all with some spangly charms in the shape of bags and shoes and Jordan's tits. If you prefer the more classic pikey look to modern chav, they can also furnish you with one (or more - you can never have too many) of those frightening huge gold pendants that is a clown with rubies for eyes, and those big old hoopy earrings with the sparkly balls at the bottom. Incidentally, I've heard that in some cultures, the size of a lady's hoop earrings correlates to the number of squaddies she's fucked and therefore her social standing. Obviously there are also loads of sovs - that goes without saying. And those rings that say "MUM" or, even better "DAD" in "diamonds". Which are always the perfect gift. They also do wedding rings starting at seven quid.

Fuck, what am I saying - Argos is amazing!



  1. Funny thing: here in the Colonies we used to have a store like that. It was called 'Jafco' and was referred to as a 'catalog showroom'. Otherwise it was the same scheme, except then you filled out a paper ticket with the item numbers of the merchandise you wanted, and then gave said ticket to -- what a coincidence! -- some mouth-breather behind the counter who would go into their tat-Narnia for your goodies.

    Jafco also went out of business, as we Yanks prefer the 'big box' stores and like grabbing our tat off the shelves ourselves.

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