Yesterday afternoon, bathed in the glow of a glorious afternoon, I found myself ambling down Old Street in London. In the heat of the sun, even Old Street seems to take on an air of almost seductive mystique. One can only imagine mysterious trysts played out over patties and cocktails in that bar on the roundabout, the close encounters outside Superdrug, the stolen glances in the slow lane at the Ironmonger Row Baths.
My romantic idling was short-lived as I was thrust headfirst into what seemed to be a parallel universe. It looked a bit like Earth, but something was amiss. It wasn't anything is radical as gravitational change, but the sensation that things weren't quite right was palpable.
It was this phone box that convinced me that somewhere between Eat and Pod I'd been suckered into a vortex, spat out in a confused and confusing world.
That's right—in this brave new world, curmudgeonly comedian, and star of Don't Panic: The Dad's Army Story, Jack Dee is a DJ. And he's the kind of DJ who plays at events run by someone or something called "House Vandals." Events called THUG @ WORK.
I was struck by a bout of extreme dizziness; rescued only by the solid frame of the phone box, my bonce cracking against the hot perspex. My mind was racing, how did I get here, how did Jack Dee get here, why doesn't the wider world know that this alternate universe exists and you only have to stroll to Old Street to access it?
In an attempt to retain an element of calm, I furiously googled "Jack Dee PR phone number" and hit the necessary buttons. Greeted with a minute's worth of slow beeps, I hung up, dejected and confused.
What felt like hours elapsed by the phone box, hours of thought and non-movement, hours in which I was gripped by an abject fear—that I'd never return to the "real" world where Jack Dee was just a bloke who looked a bit sour on panel shows and make droll quips about Facebook or taking the bins out or bath mats. That was the world I knew and I wanted to go back there. I didn't want this new world where Jack Dee plays slamming acid and naughty tech-house.
I don't know what world I'm in, even now as I write this.
Jack, if you're reading: help me. Tell me where I am. Tell me how I get home.