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Laurence Inman’s Blog



Woolworths Closed in Kings Heath

Laurence Inman used to have a Woolworths on his local high street. Now it’s closed, he reckons something more sinister is afoot.

Something is afoot up Kings Heath High Street.

The old Woolworths is no longer a tatty (and getting tattier) backdrop for the burger man. A gang of blokes has been round and put up one of those walls made of plywood. They’ve attached those outdoor lights along it. And there it stands, very much as if something is being planned, something which will have far-reaching consequences for the people of Kings Heath slash Moseley.

I call up my old mate Reggie Mendacity at the Council. He’ll know what’s going on if anybody will.

‘Hello. You’ve reached Reggie’s office. But I’m not in. If it’s urgent, I can be reached at the usual place. Byeee.’

I schlep over to the POW in Moseley. There he is, crouched over the eezi-soduko in The Sun and a pint of something comforting.

‘Ah Laurence! Have you come to be NTR ?’

‘Remind me.’

‘Nice To Reggie!’

Several pints and chasers later I ask him straight out.

‘What’s happening with Woolies in Kings Heath.’

‘Oooh. Big plans for that site. Very big indeed. But rather than me telling you, let’s get the organ-grinder over here to give you the whole banana tree.’

He pressed in some numbers on his mobile. In what seemed like seconds a huge ugly man in a long black coat appeared in the doorway.

He looked like Virgil ‘The Turk’ Sollozzo in The Godfather. I wished he’d looked like Tom Hagen.
‘This is Ronnie The Dog,’ said Reg. ‘Ronnie, Laurence. Laurence, Ronnie. Reggie, Laurence. Laurence, Reggie. Ronnie, Reggie....hang on....I’m Reggie.’

‘Pleased to meet you,’ growled Ronnie. ‘Always a pleasure to meet Reggie’s friends. Has he filled you in on the plans for Woolies ?’


I glanced round. Reggie had disappeared. Then I saw his legs sticking out from under the table.

‘That site has been acquired by Rottweiler Holdings Inc., of which I am the CEO.’

‘Oh, no.’

‘We intend to let the people of Kings Heath be the first in the world to experience the joy of a startling new concept in food technology.’

‘Please stop.’

‘You gain access with your credit card. £10 for adults. Kids free. And then, you just wander around and eat as much as you want, of anything on offer. It’ll be like an InShops for fat greasy carbs.’

‘This is incredible.’

‘All types of international cuisine. Pasta. Pizza. Chips. Curry. Curry-flavoured pasta. Chip pizzas. The combinations are endless.’

‘You really mean it.’

‘You’re guaranteed to weigh four stones more than when you went in.’


‘It’s the future. The middle-classes are dropping all that organic, free-range crap down the pan, where it belongs. Why, only the other day I heard two blokes in Iceland arguing about the effects of Post-Hegelian phenomenology on the Romantic Movement. This was over the tikka-flavoured onion rings (2 packs for 50p)’

‘And what are you going to call this venture ?’

‘Wait till you hear this. It won’t be Woolies....’


‘Or Wellies....’

A terrible presentiment was forming in my fevered brain.

‘It’s going to be WOBBLIES!’



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