I love charity shops. There I’ve said it. Amongst the detritus people rightfully jettison from their lives (Ally McBeal box sets on VHS for example), in a charity shop you can often find treasures like a miniature drum kit or the soundtrack from Xanadu on Vinyl.
I also find it’s more rewarding to clutter your house up with recycled, second hand items that have some individuality and history rather than blindly consuming mass produced tot, after all, the human race must have accumulated enough reusable junk over the course of its history to more than satisfy future generations. Plus of course, all the proceeds go to charity which is also obviously a good thing.
But I’m not here to discuss my penchant for musty tweed jackets; I’m here to discuss a new sport that’s gripping the nation.
What is the sport in question I hear you say? Well, it’s called 'Spot the Da Vinci Code'.
The rules are as follows
'Spot the Da Vinci code' is a sport for 2 or more players that takes place in a charity shop. The aim of the game is to be the first player to 'spot' a second hand copy of the 'Da Vinci Code' by comedic author Dan Brown. The winner of the 'bout' or 'chukka' is declared when one of the players reaches 100 points.
Points are awarded as follows:
· Once a player has 'spotted' the Da Vinci code by Dan Brown, he or she must declare the fact to the other players by saying 'Look I've spotted the Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown'. The book is then independently verified by the other players to ensure it is in fact the Da Vinci code and not a different Dan Brown title (Angels and Demons or Digital Fortress for example). 10 points are then awarded to the player and the game continues until all copies of the Da Vinci code in the shop have been spotted. If all copies have been spotted and a player is still yet to reach 100 points, the game moves to the next available charity shop.
· If 2 or more people spot the same copy of the Da Vinci code simultaneously the 10 points are shared amongst the players equally.
· In the unlikely event of a draw, all players should contemplate why they are wasting their lives playing this game and go and do something more constructive.
Now I've been playing this sport for 3 years (I'm still undisputed world champion), and I can honestly say I have never failed to find a second hand copy of the Da Vinci code in a charity shop.
Why is this you may ask? Why is there such an overabundance of ‘Da Vinci codes’ in this cruel world? Well, I think it’s because the Da Vinci code became too popular for its own good. All of a sudden, against their better judgment, everyone had a copy.
I bet you had a copy, and like secretively gorging yourself on leftover pizza slices from your neighbours’ bin, you became ashamed, disgusted with yourself that you’d given in to the fad, and so you took your tear soiled copy of the Da Vinci code down your local charity shop with your Ally McBeal box set on VHS and you gave it away, thinking you were doing the world a favour.
But no-one’s going to buy the Da Vinci code are they? Everyone on the planet has bought a copy and given it to a charity shop themselves already you small minded fool, so what’s going to happen to them all? Can they be put to good use? Facing the uncertainty of an environmental and financial crisis as we undoubtedly are, the question must be asked; can the unwanted spawn of Dan Brown help?
I think they can, here are some suggestions:
The Da Vinci code powered car
Instead of burning fossil fuels to power your automobile, burn the Da Vinci code (I’m not condoning book burning, I love books and hold the written word as sacred, but in this case, as it’s for the greater good, I can let this one go). The tax for the Carbon produced can then be billed to Dan Brown who would be indirectly responsible. Don’t worry, he can afford it.
The Da Vinci code currency
As conventional currencies such as the Euro become obsolete, a world currency can take its place where copies of The Da Vinci code can be exchanged for goods and services.
The Da Vinci code home
Houses for the homeless can be cheaply built using copies of the Da Vinci code that are compacted together to form rudimentary bricks.
But while the bigwigs in government continue to ignore the aforementioned obvious solutions to the abundance of ludicrously mediocre thrillers in our charity shops, we can at least take solace in the sport of ‘Spot the Da Vinci code’, a ray of sunshine in our otherwise bleak lives.
I’m looking into starting a national league, if you’re interested please let me know, places are still available.