One of the unfortunate side effects of this time of year is finding yourself queuing at Argos; standing like a stranded penguin at Collection Point A, B or C, waiting for one of the backroom boys to hoof your internet-ready-teasmaid-DVD/Blu-Ray player out of the warehouse and onto those cheap looking shelves at the back of the counter that look like they were found in a skip outside IKEA.
It's amazing what you can overhear as you wait for your product to arrive for the clientele of Argos is a bizarre mix of every social strata known to mankind. I bet even Prince Wills pops in every now and then to take advantage of their AA battery multipacks.
So I am waiting. Trying to look like I don't shop here very often at all. And I hear a youthful voice piercing the "rhubarb-rhubarb" of the shop's natural ambience.
I raise an eyebrow and half turn.
There is a boy who looks like the fruit of Fagin's loins sitting on one of the chairs. He can be no more than 10 or 11 but plainly has the vocabulary of a teenage barrow-boy. Hearing an impatient sigh to my right I deduce that his mother (25 going on 47) is stood next to me at Collection Point B.
The call comes again and I briefly wonder whether the boy is merely pointing out an Empress's new clothes (but can see no evidence of public nudity) or is insulting a mortal enemy after swearing off four letter words.
His mother, turns and utters his name like it is itself an expletive.
Kevin clearly hears the warning in his mother's voice and changes tack.
Oh joy, I think. Sex education at the junior school level is plainly working. Let's talk about sex (baby). Let's talk about all the good thing and the bad things, etc, etc. It is after all what Collection Point A was made for.
The word penis is intoned a few more times, steadily rising in volume, like Master Pottymouth is the high priest of the great god, Nob before his mother finally kicks in with an unspecified threat.
"Kevin, if you don't shut up..."
Kevin shuts up. Though not before positing the argument that, "What? They're just words."
And for all I found his shameless genitalia obsession a little disturbing and worryingly unwholesome I have to concede that he has a point. They are just words. But I wonder what he was trying to communicate with them? What meaning lay behind them in his mind?
A cry for help?
A call for information on this topic, please mater, for it fascinates me deeply?
Or just a sad cry for attention to someone who can't even focus on her son long enough to formulate a decent cause and effect response to his inappropriate behaviour?
Who knows. My goods had arrived by that point and, it being Argos, I figured it was all bollocks anyway.