“Hello, viewers. Welcome to the Shopping Channel and the Jewellery Supershow, with me Annabella Gem. We are a genuine reverse auction. One of the few on television. This week we are showcasing our Christmas selection, and we have some real bargains on the show. And you’ll love what I’m going to show you first off. It’s a very special matching set – a bracelet and a necklace encrusted with all kinds of semi-precious jewels.”
I’ve been doing this for just three weeks and already I’m a star with this new start-up company, but my pay cheque hasn’t come through yet. Though they tell me it’ll be a lot when it does. For the moment, I’m having to get a bus or a taxi home. I wish I had a boyfriend with an expensive sports car. As I finger this impressive necklace I think how different it is to the piece of paste that Tony gave me years ago. We always met after he’d finished his shift as theatre usher on Thursday matinees because he got discounts on the shows that night. He was very tall and could find the best empty seats. But he would never pay for a taxi home. He always dressed nicely, but eventually I found out that’s all he was: just a self-centred show-off. No commitment to what I wanted to do. Soon he became a couch potato, ordering pizzas and eating them in front of the TV, dropping smelly cheese and tomato onto my nice sofa.
What’s Floyd the floor manager signalling to me, now?… Ah, the latest bidding for me to announce.
“Normally, viewers, these would sell for hundreds of pounds, but we’re going to start them at eighty-nine ninety-five. Only eighteen left and they’ve all got to go. Look at the bracelet. These are quality products. These are what everybody wants for Christmas. Already there’s only sixteen left. Now we are going to reduce this price. Whoosh! Sixty-nine ninety-five for a matching set of a silver bracelet and necklace with genuine gemstones. Look! There’s not one stone in there that isn’t flashing!”