Mark, a 39 year-old plumber from Essex, decides this Christmas he’s going to get his wife, Maddy, a wonderful present. The kids have already been sorted, a stack of fantasy Harry Potter DVDs and violent Call of Duty games, which would worry any Child Services Officer but, for him, it shuts them up.
He walks into a fancy spa shop, and the lightly-tanned receptionist takes one look at his paunch, smirks and directs him to the service door for any deliveries. “No, love,” he says, shyly, “I want to treat my wife to a spa day. How much?”
Her smirk grows to the point of exasperation, grabs a nearby price-list and shoves it before him. “We do 1 hour, 1 hour 10 minutes, 2 hours or 2 hours 10 minutes, all based on competitive rates. You paying by card or blood?”
Mark, being the down-to-earth plumber he’s been since finishing his apprenticeship at 16, can’t make out the unusual dialogue he’s just been given. “Wait, what’s the 10 minutes for?”
“Listen, buddy,” her Notting Hill accent spewing deadly acid over his humble ego, “we ask if you would like that extra 10 minutes for one of our men to come over and ‘rub you down’, it’s a speciality we offer here at Drop Dead Awesome Spa Shop.”
Although afraid to ask, “And the blood?”
She looks left and right, leans forward and whispers, “It’s for our boss. He’s quite a herbalist, and uses fat boy blood to make potions he sells to our, more, ‘elite’ clientele.” The wink she gives and the emphasis on ‘elite’ with her two fingers in each hand unsettles him.
He looks down at the price-list, which by any standard could feed a third-world country in a single hour. Unsure of whether to proceed, he asks, “Do you do, say, Christmas specials for housewives who have to take care of kids all day?”
Suddenly, out of nowhere, 3 female assistants pop out from underneath the counter, all agasp at the request he had sent like a thunderbolt from Zeus himself, had he been on a bad hair day and wanted to smite someone. Like headless chickens, they flitted around the receptionist trying to understand what this monstrosity of a lower-class demon could walk into their church of Snoot, before collasping in a heap by the corner while a Phillipino boy stands nearby waving a palm fan.
He exclaims, “What the hell?”
She looks down at them, a dishevelled mess of bitchiness, and shrugs. “Oh, they’re just not used to ‘people’,” she makes the emphasis with her fingers yet again, “like you, that come in and asks such a thing. The most extreme we’ve ever had before was Donald Trump’s assistant who came in asking if Donald can buy a candy-bar for 99p. Personally, I know how you feel as I dated a lower-class boyfriend before I had an education, so I’m not so fazed.”
Her mobile rings and she answers. “Hello, Drop Dead Awesome Spa Shop, if you’re important how may I help?”
Days later and Christmas rolls by. Mark and his brood are sitting in the lounge after midnight, the kids ripping at their gifts like hyenas on an antelope, and Maddy walks in with a cake. “So Mark,” she sneers, “what you got me for this time?”
Mark looks up from his belly, all smiles as he hands her over an envelope and says, “My love, my dearest, here you go.”
Wide-eyed, she opens it up and finds a £20 gift voucher for Boots. “OH MARK, YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE!!!”