On Sunday I went down to Leith to see my friend Lainey run in her first half marathon. Thirteen miles is a truly grueling endeavour, but luckily there was plenty of sustenance around – all the essential carbohydrate, protein, lard and gristle an athlete needs.
I don't know what it is about running events that make me want to bawl like a baby. I don't care much for the sinewy professionals; it's the ordinary folk that tug at my heartstrings. I watch out for the really old, the really slow, the really wobbly and just let the tears stream behind my sunglasses. I wonder about all those different lives and stories, how they came to run in such a long race, what it means to them. You can't help feeling good about humanity.
Lainey finished in fine style and we were so bloody proud. I didn't cry all over her as she was salty enough already!
All that armchair athletics had me totally bursting for the loo so we went over to the Ocean Terminal shopping centre. All three levels of retail paradise were clogged with proud runners and their shiny medals.
In the ladies, I was washing my hands and reflecting on that touching sporting spectacle when a woman staggered out of a stall. She had very pink cheeks and was wearing a tracksuit and trainers.
I beamed at her, my eyes still glistening with tears from before. "Well DONE!" I said cheerily.
She shot me a bewildered, what the fuck, you freak look and quickly made her exit.
That's when I noticed all the shopping bags. Oh. She was not a runner. She was just a lady doing her shopping, who happened to have pink cheeks and a casual sporty style.
Anyway, I forgot my embarrassment when I spotted the most genius contraption on the wall.
A hair straightener for hire! Just insert a £1 coin! This has to be the most marvellous innovation in public toiletry since those chew-able balls of toothpaste.
Straight hair is very important to chicks in this country. It needs to be straight, it needs to be flat, it needs to be scorched into submission. Which is easy enough to achieve at home, but there's always the danger your work will come undone the minute you step out into the weather. But thanks to the Straight 'N' Go, no girls-night-out needs to be tragically cut short by frizzy locks.
LASS 1: Omigod, I've got a kink!
LASS 2: Dinnae worry doll, I've got a pound!