In the middle of a busy Henry Street on a Friday afternoon the passing shoppers and shop assistants making their way home were treated to a display of enraged histrionics from some wee man at the front door of Arnotts’ department store. He pulled off his jumper as though it was on fire and started flailing it about his head and person as though defending himself from a swarm of killer bees. It was a sight to behold, and I know this because that angry we man was me. As you can probably imagine, there is a whole story to this, and it goes something like this:
My living room and kitchen are way too dark, and – seeing as I don’t have a housekeeper or a lay-about Slovak housemate to do these things for me – I was forced to go out into the world and find decent lampshades. The ones that I have are the problem. They take shade to a whole new level; keeping most of the lightbulb’s luminosity behind them and leaving me in the darkness. Nowhere in town has lampshades it turns out. Well, they have lampshades, but nothing that would come close to solving my shady problems (nothing will fix most of them by the way). Most places had those dank-looking frustum shaped things and I don’t want anything like that. I’m looking for a globular, light coloured shade that will fill my life with light and joy. Simple.
Other places had one of two options, which I shall call the psychotic serial killer model and the Elton John; the former as blank and pitiless as a blind date with Ted Bundy, and the latter a rambunctious Christmas Eve with Elton John and David Furnish. What I’m looking for is something in-between – maybe a tad more to the Elton John, but in-between nonetheless. I’m looking for the John Wayne of lampshades (having now googled “John Wayne home interior” – just to be sure – I am happy that this is the one on which I have set my heart); light, airy, no frills.
Arnotts on Henry Street has a lighting section. Of course it does. Arnotts is a sensible sort of place surely, with a whole aisle of John Wayne and George Clooney lampshades. Actually, no, it doesn’t. What it has is the fecking Ernest Hemingway – complete with a setup of writing desk and Lilliput typewriter, for the sensible price of €600… six-hundred bloody euros!
At this point the music of the 7th Cavalry March screeches to a stop in my head… six-hundred euros for a lampshade – a fecking lampshade. I don’t even like Ernest Hemmingway. Well, let me tell you, the bell tolled, and unless I didn’t get out of that jumped-up home store smartish-like there was going to be death in the afternoon.
To put this in a bit of context, the people who are prepared to splash out €600 on a lampshade should be aware – or should be made aware – of the number of people who sleep in Arnotts’ doorway every night of the week. This is a country that very recently had to go crawling to the IMF – the lender of last resort to the Developing World – just to get out of the mess it had gotten itself into, and here are these half-wits (people who got richer during the “downturn”) spending a months’ rent on a lampshade. It would make you wonder how much these swine are willing to fork out for their lightbulbs.
Anyway – and to cut a longer story short – I made a dash for the front door and threw what might only be described as a psychotic serial killer moment in full view of the whole city. Come to think of it, I think I might just get the Ted Bundy one. It was only a fiver after all.