Everything is getting more civilised

A man, in a somewhat embarrassing shirt
Walking down Regent Street to Piccadilly Circus I saw a vision of social improvement. A vision of the way that over time, we treat people around us with more civility, with greater dignity and respect. I saw a man wearing a luminous tshirt and a stupid hat, both emblazoned with the words GOLF SALE.

Clearly while I’ve been away from London, things have taken a turn for the better. In the bad old days, some poor sod would have to stand out in all weathers, clutching a placard advertising the proximity of cut price golfing equipment. Shoppers, commuters and street urchins alike would shove past him, as his frozen face conveyed a look of utter horror at his predicament. His was a thankless and onerous task, having to support a grim and probably quite heavy sign, in the fairly forlorn hope that somebody in need of knock-down plus fours or some nee balls would come past. After all, who goes to Oxford or Regent Street, home of most of London’s classiest shops, in search of discount sand wedges?

Since the Golf Sale man was a permanent fixture for as long as I can remember, I suppose it must have been worth somebody’s while, but they never wore the expression of a man enjoying job satisfaction.

Now though, this man’s enlightened employer has realized there’s no need for a sign. Instead of wasting valuable capital expenditure on a quickly depreciating broom handle and some soggy cardboard, he can just give somebody a horrible hat and tshirt, and reap the same advertising benefit.

Maybe he doesn’t have to pay the Golf Sale Man at all. Maybe our putter-proselytizer is so proud to wear the logo that he does it for free. Or perhaps Golf Sale Man’s clothes have been stolen by the aforementioned urchins, and this hat and shirt is the best he can hope for.

Whatever the reason – reduced fatigue or gratitude at the generosity of the Golf Sale Proprietor, Golf Sale Man seemed quite happy as I passed him. Perhaps it was due to the invention of this hands-free advertising medium. Golf Sale Man is now free to eat a kebab, phone a friend or attempt a Sudoku puzzle while doing his job, rather than wasting his days holding things up.

Truly, we live in the best of all possible worlds.

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