It was supposed to be fun.
It was just for the summer.
They promised sun, sea, sand and…., well if not exactly that then young men.
And what was got? The worst gig in history.
Now, first things first, the sun doesn’t always shine in Seattle, in fact, even in Summer, the sun doesn’t shine that much at all in Seattle.
There’s plenty of sea in Seattle. Oh yes, sea, sea, sea, but no sun and no sand and no one you’d want to … well, no eligible young men.
There is a seafront though. Sorry, waterfront.
By which is meant miles of concrete slab with semi converted fishing piers, punctuated with half hearted attractions and populated by bored tourists and grungy locals.
There are though fish: fish to fish in the sea, fish to watch in an aquarium and fish to eat in fish and chip shops.
There’s a lot of fishy stuff going down in Seattle.
And in the midst of this piscine paradise, there was she, me that is, on Pier 59 between the ‘Crab Pot Seafood Shack’ and the ‘Prospectors’ Place’ bar.
There was I: Queen of Candy at the Seattle Seafront Sugar Stop.
I kid you not.
Each morning I am hoisted into position, wedged in a workspace approximately two feet square between the seedy sources of unsurpassed satisfaction for the sweet-toothed folks of sunless Seattle and their hapless visitors.
Before me a cornucopia of the crudest two cent candy you’re ever likely to see: jellied cola bottles, fake marshmallows (how can you fake a marshmallow?) tropical fruit salads (that have never been within a thousand miles of the tropics or a piece of ‘genuine fruit’) white chocolate flavour, chocolate-shaped, not actually chocolate things, and lots of pink stuff that tastes of fairy farts.
The joy continues.
To my left a ‘Slushy Joy’ station, anyone remember them?
Here a variety of radioactively coloured, toxic tasting, ominous, luminous secret recipe syrups can be summoned into unholy matrimony with smashed ice in the blink of eye to procreate a cold and vile semi-frozen form of fresh torture in flavours such as ‘Pink Litchi’ and ‘Kaleidoscope Kiwi’.
Across from my half melted glacier, the piece de resistance: an ‘I can’t believe it’s not white chocolate’ not white chocolate fountain. Unceasingly slurping a steady scalding sludge of saccharine, corn starch saturated fats , flavours and stabilizer , it is a monstrous and furiously unpleasant smelling, almost volcanically menacing presence.
Between fire and ice you might say.
At this stage I must tell you that it is true what they say, the body does become accustomed, and half hour with this odour and I could smell as little of my surroundings as the proverbial sewer man can of his…
That would be of course if I were left to my own devices and their excreta. Sadly, the Seattle Seafront Sugar Stop, nestled between the Crab Pots Seafood Shack and the Prospectors’ Bar is immediately adjacent to the shared restrooms of these venerable institutions.
I’m not sure if anyone has ever actually wished for the smell of human waste, but when you have experienced the wafts of calypso haze industrial detergent as employed on the half hour, day and night, for the cleaning of said restrooms by the Crab Pots Seafood Shack and the Prospectors’ Bar at Pier 59 on the sunless Seatte waterfront alternating with the aroma of a fraudulent white chocolate fountain, the chocking scent of cheap two cent candy and the radioactively radiant aroma of ‘Pink Litichi Slushy Joy Ice Drinks’ a little human waste would be a blessed relief.
It was the worst of all dead end imitation summer jobs.
It had no opportunities whatsoever for progression or indeed toilet breaks.
Frankly, it stank.
Britney Spears Fantasy it turns out is a sunless, airless, joyless synthetic concoction of a scent.
It is the odour of half-evaporated sugar-saturated alcopop-induced teenage puke melded onto manmade luminous pink fibres and shone on too brightly with a harsh fluorescent light.
It is a fake white chocolate meets genuine industrial tropical fruit flavour bulk bought bleach meets all too real vomit of a fragrance.
In short is it a smell without any, I repeat, any redeeming features.
It doesn’t even have the dignity to disappear that quickly.
It claims, officially, to smell like a cup cake.
It claims, officially, to be a love potion locked up in an attractive bottle.
I can only hope that someone has found an equally attractive fattice bottle big enough to lock up the perfumers of this love potion in, permanently.
I claim, officially, my right never to have smell this again.
I wouldn’t perfume a permed and pink-rinsed pet poodle with this atrocity.
The Perfumed Dandy.