Saturday, 15 November 2008

Part Twelve - Sitarded


I’ll be honest with you, cancer fans, I have absolutely nothing to write about this week. There is no cancer news, and I was stalling this week’s entry so I could tell you about the acquisition of my sitar which I was supposed to be collecting in Edinburgh today - but this plan has hit a stumbling block. This is mainly because what was my sitar is now a million shards of ethnically decorated sawdust due to my dealer apparently choosing to package the instrument in a casing woven together with sea shells, spider webs and magic. Some people questioned the logic of buying a sitar from a woman who’s best idea for a stab at running her own business was creating a belly-dancing emporium in the centre of Edinburgh, and I will never doubt these people again. If you haven’t yet watched the video of Hilary prancing about her Bazaar, I suggest you look at this all-too-brief excerpt from the ‘Hilary Live’ DVD - now available in all good shops called Hilary’s Bazaar in Edinburgh:

http:// uk.youtube. com/watch?v=1Ou_C8udkoY (copy/paste that and remove the spaces that I've put in just incase she googles herself, finds this attack and sues me)

Would you give money to this woman? Perhaps I should be pleased that the deal had to be cancelled before I further fuelled her Moroccan hasheesh habit. Looking back, it was an odd proposition from the very beginning. Her first reply to my email said that she could offer me a £450 sitar for £300 because it was missing a string, but added that she would throw in an entire packet of strings with the deal. At this point, the more savvy amongst you may have begun to question the business acumen of a woman who introduces a 33% discount on an expensive item specifically to save her the effort of putting one string onto a sitar, but not me. I thought this was, without doubt, a cracking deal. However, living on the paltry benefits spat at me by our miserly government, even this offer was out of my reach.

I replied to inform her that I had a budget of about £200 - I wasn’t trying to haggle, I was just telling her in case she knew of any cheaper instruments. However, as quick as a flash, she replied to tell me that I could have it for this exact amount and that it would be in the shop by the end of the week. Having slashed her asking price by half just because I happened to mention a figure, I began to question the sanity of this woman. I could probably have offered her a small handful of magic beans and she would have skipped off, clicking her heels, genuinely believing in her frazzled and bewildered mind that she had made the deal of the century. Unsure as to whether she had the remotest grasp of what was going on, we settled it on a virtual handshake and I awaited its arrival in Edinburgh.

I had mixed feelings when her email arrived. She had inspired little confidence within me, and I was almost certain something was going to go horribly wrong sooner or later. I imagined that I’d probably open the sitar case to find that she had got confused and filled it with hundreds of Hilary Live DVDs. She opened the email with the good news of “The sitars arrived…”, before delivering the deflating blow of “…in about fifteen pieces”. Perhaps overoptimistically, she claimed that it could be glued back together but then dropped the bombshell that it “probably wouldn’t be a great instrument”. The scattered remains of it were offered to me for £30 which I decided was too high a price for what would essentially be an incredibly difficult jigsaw which, upon completion, would make the noise of an arson attack on an Indian restaurant.

Where this leaves my sitar hunt, I just don’t know. I seriously received an email from her this morning that said “I’ll contact you in a week when I’m back from the desert”. Please note the complete lack of humour or irony, she is literally going to an actual desert. With each email it seems less and less likely that Hilary is a real person, and more likely that someone is having a massive, elaborate laugh at my expense.

In less infuriating news, I’m now almost a proper journalist. The Glasgow Guardian - Glasgow’s student newspaper - have given me what will hopefully turn out to be a regular column. I’m not entirely sure why they’ve done this, I misspelled ‘Glasgow’ in my original email to them which is probably the equivalent of turning up at an interview as a potential firefighter wearing a hat that’s engulfed in flames. It will basically be a scaled-down version of this blog, so I’d appreciate it if some of you could suggest what your favourite cancer moments have been so far so I know which ones to reuse.

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