Valentine's Day makes me reach for a gun

Share
The horror is almost upon us. Next Monday, it all happens. The St Valentine's Day massacre. Already the shops are filling up with red and pink objects, in grim warning of the madness that is upon us: Red hearts. Pink soap. Red velvet greetings cards. Pink champagne. Red boxes of heart-shaped chocolates. Pink ribboned nameless things...

"Already I have had floods of inquiries from punters about St Valentine's Day," says one greengrocer who prefers to remain anonymous. "`Have you got anything pink or red?' they say. `A bunch of red fruit or veg as a change from red roses?'

"`Well', I say, `I can give you some rhubarb. Or some pink grapefruit.'

"`Wonderful!' they say. So I've got 40 kilos of rhubarb and a hundred pink grapefruit on order.

"One bloke came in and asked if I had any heart-shaped vegetables. I told him: `The odd potato is heart-shaped.'

"`I'll have a dozen,' he said.

"It's madness!"

And it's deep red, heart-shaped madness!

"Yes, it's mad," says a butcher who doesn't care if he remains anonymous or not. "I've had people from early January asking if we do any heart- shaped pieces of meat. `Well, we do ox heart, if that's what you mean,' I said.

"No, that's not what they mean. Heart isn't heart-shaped, apparently. Won't do at all. Looks like an operation gone wrong. What they want is a steak cut in the shape of a heart, for cooking pink. So that's what I do. More and more every year. It's madness."

Yes, it's definitely madness, according to Dr Hertz van Rental, a psychiatrist who specialises in post-Valentine stress disorder and hates to remain anonymous.

"I have identified several new syndromes caused entirely by St Valentine's Day. One is pre-Valentine anxiety, caused by worrying whether the sufferer, typically female, is going to get any Valentine's card at all. One is post-Valentine anxiety, caused by getting a card but not being sure who it is from, and suspecting even, if the sufferer is female, that her mother has sent her a Valentine's card just to make sure she gets one. Another form of this is caused by getting several cards and not knowing who they are from!

"The strain of having unknown admirers is unbearable.

"There is also post-Valentine stress, in which the sufferer typically dreams he or she is being crushed to death by wobbly pink things, or being pursued by a pink or red monster called `Tiggly-Wumps' or `Your Sweet Thing'. And increasingly, I find that restaurateurs are having anxiety attacks when it comes to St Valentine's Day."

"You can say that again," says a restaurateur who would like the name of his restaurant prominently displayed, so let us call it Wood's.

"Valentine's Day is the most depressing day of the year, especially when it is on a Saturday, when it's going to be full anyway.

"But whenever the 14th falls, you get a room full of silent couples going lovey dovey to each other, which is as dreary as you can get. Ambience? Forget it. Last year wasn't quite so bad, actually. One couple had a huge argument, which everyone else listened to, culminating in the woman storming out and driving off in their car, followed by the man on foot. Unless, of course, it was a well-rehearsed plan to avoid paying..."

This column is dedicated to the memory of Reinhardt Schwimmer, a Chicago eyeglass fitter. Schwimmer was fascinated by gangsters, and on 14 Feb 1929 went along to Clark Street to hang out with the Bugs Moran gang. Before lunch, he had been machine-gunned to death with six genuine gangsters, and thus suffered from St Valentine's Day even more gruesomely than the rest of us.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letter from the Deputy Editor: i’s Review of the Year

Andrew Webster
RIP Voicemail?  

Voicemail has got me out of some tight corners, so let's not abandon it

Simon Kelner
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all