Karen Fenessey's Tottenham Diary

16-08-11

LIKE you, I am appalled by London’s recent events. But it was only after reading Russell Brand’s hauntingly beautiful poem about the riots that I realised one woman is not an island.

Russell wrote:

As we sweep away the mistakes,
Made in the selfish, nocturnal darkness,
We must ensure that amidst the broken
Glass and sadness,
We don’t sweep away the youth,
Lost
Amongst the shards in the shadows cast,
By the new dawn.

If these words don’t get you thinking then you may as well join the illiterate Londoners, rampaging like a herd of bargain-hunter marmosets through the glass jungle of buildings.

I had to show these animals that scum can actually make it in the world and, like Russell, can even learn Latin. After getting my tetanus booster from a sympathetic out-of-hours neurolinguistic programmer friend, I went in.  

What a sad occasion marks my first trip to Tottenham: the place was virtually unrecognisable to me. The locals shuffled aimlessly through the disgusting streets, directly into the life-giving KFC establishment. Instinctively caressing my inoculation scar, I bravely entered.

The smell was unbelievable, like the Pillsbury Doughboy had got cholera and choked on his own vomit. I found myself in the queue behind a large ethnic woman and her young daughter. I felt a little hand tugging at my bag and my fist automatically punched. But I was humbled when I realised the tot was only trying to play with the little dog motif on my Radley. Of course she wasn’t trying to steal it: what would her mother do with such an item? Wear it as a hat? I wondered how she could smile when her mother’s bag was so embarrassing.

The pair received their meat scraps at the counter. I clasped my M&S Omega 3 salad box (which cost the best part of £5) and a tear came to my eye. I had the sudden urge to grab the tot, name her Hope and run far away to a place she’d be happy. I imagined her joy when I unveiled my glass recycling which contains around 40 empty bottles of Sangre de Toro Reserva and accompanying plastic bull decorations. A Radley would last her one day, but my little plastic bulls would keep her going till Christmas.

The mother turned around and I saw her face distorted with revolting marks. Was it acne? More likely, it was impetigo or some voodoo face technique as pioneered by Seal.

Terrified, I ran as far as I could before collapsing at a desecrated Superdrug. Gasping, I noticed something shiny under the debris. It was a perfectly preserved YSL Touche Éclat concealer wand – BNWT! My dreamy hand reached out. Russell had spoken: I knew what I had to do.

I skipped back to KFC, and planned my presentation to the elephant woman. Finally, she’d know what it’s like to be beautiful and a valid member of the United Kingdom. I’d tell her that bodies like hers are actually in vogue right now and she shouldn’t cover her massive buttocks and legs with silly tent skirts. How we’d laugh!

But when I got there, she’d disappeared. So now I am left with no choice but to demand  the public execution of whichever Labour MP told that ugly woman she could make it on her own as a single mother. With the help of a certain Mr Yves Saint Laurent, she could have used beauty to lure back the father of her child and, although it might mean less money and more nights in A&E, she would surely forget it all when, like Russell Brand before her, young Hope becomes the next Naomi Campbell.

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