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January 30, 2007

Getting BK from Wee-Wee Reggae Man's cousin

On Friday we were hob-nobbing it around London doing the tourist thing in Leicester Square, which meant getting a healthy dose of unhelpful British customer service. As an example we felt our appearance at the Empire Leicester Square was an imposition on the staff.

"How much is a bottle of water?". Sullen reply "1.95". Silence. Nothing happens. "Can I have one please?". Silence. Bloke looks vacantly at me. "Do you have a cold one?". Slowly, with an air of resigned menace and not a sound, he retrieves a bottle from the fridge behind him. "Cheers...thanks....bye" and so forth.

The worst, though, was in the Burger King at Leicester Square. I know, I know, but we like to have a junk food "treat" every now and then, and we used to practically live on Burger King for lunch when we worked at Soho, so it has a nostalgic edge to it. Even though 15 minutes later we always feel sick and think why did we do that?

Well, when purchasing our Burger King this time we got into the queue that seemed like it was being operated by Wee-Wee Reggae Man's cousin. Well, he looked similar to Wee-Wee Reggae Man, with a broken set of mangled teeth and an idiotic grin. This inept fool took about five minutes to take the order in front of us.

Bloke: "Can I have a Whopper, small fries, onion rings and a coffee"
Wee-Wee Reggae Man's Cousin at Burger King: "A whopper meal?"
Bloke: "No, a Whopper, small fries, onion rings and a coffee please"
Wee-Wee Reggae Man's Cousin at Burger King: "A Whopper and fries?"
Bloke: "...and onion rings and a coffee"
Wee-Wee Reggae Man's Cousin at Burger King: "A whopper, small fries and onion rings. Anything else?"
Bloke (now getting exasperated): "And a coffee"
Wee-Wee Reggae Man's Cousin at Burger King: "A whopper, small fries, onion rings and a coffee?"
Bloke (sarcastic): "You've got it?"
Wee-Wee Reggae Man's Cousin at Burger King (indignant): "Yeah. I've got it man"

For the record, I should explain who Wee-Wee Reggae Man is.

He was one of Reckless Records most regular customers in Soho, who turned up most days. You could smell him before you saw him, and as the gentle waft of wee-wee filled the shop, the staff would mysteriously scatter in order to avoid the short-straw of serving him.

Wee-Wee Reggae man used to buy old scratched reggae 7" singles.

One at a time.

And then, without fail, he would bring the record back the next day, saying he didn't want it anymore.

He just didn't seem to understand the concept of purchasing a record, and so after months of exasperation trying to explain, it eventually became unofficial shop policy to just let him use the store like an reggae 7" library, borrowing one single per day, as it was less hassle and time consuming than arguing.

Occasionally, with a more expensive item we might enforce the proper return exchange policy. With no chance of getting proper ID and an address out of him, we just created an account for him under then name "Wee-Wee Reggae Man" and got him to sign receipts with that printed on it. He never noticed.

Unlike the man whose account said "Wig wearing wanker", but that is a story for another day.

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