The man, the myth, the Mungo, was born into the World on the 12th March 1983. Basingstoke was the place which couldn’t believe it’s amazing luck — and let’s be honest, it was about time it had some luck, never mind some amazing luck — and it was to be a day which changed the world forever (and made Basingstoke 5% better: something which up until that moment had been considered impossible by people like Einstein, Stephen Hawking and other clever so and so’s). For example, after that day, words would be invented by Mungo which had never existed before and jeans would be worn extremely tight in conjunction with all kinds of other funky garments that very few other human beings in the world could pull off without looking completely and utterly stupid. (While fashion and looking cool are things everyone agrees Mat excels at — man, just see for yourself! — it is universally agreed he needs to work on his spelling and punctuation, preferably before he drives me completely insane and I start using those words and my editors fire me and I get banned from ever writing again.)
A poet and a genius at explaining things in a totally unique way which I’m sure would baffle all the world’s geniuses put together — a fine example of this would be the time he told me that his body felt “tedious” and he was filled with “tedium”. I still have absolutely no idea of what he was talking about and the beauty of Mungo’s mind is that I probably never will — Mungo is the manager of the Oxfam, Mill Road branch (Cambridge), and a damn good one at that, as well as a fine friend. I’m no expert on managers, but even I know that they don’t come much more loyal or hard-working than this one. While I’m at it I should take a moment to mention the staff and the people who come in to say hi: they’re always friendly, kind and considerate, and go out of their way to help you get your hands on just what you’re looking for (and I should know: thanks to them I am now the proud owner of a small painted owl with a wonky left eye and menacing expression, and a miniature frying-pan that’s good for nothing culinary, but might be useful if I ever get mugged while out on one of my late-night bacon-cooking expeditions).
If you’re after some quality second-hand goods — jeans, shirts, a jumper with a tiger on or a leather jacket which hasn’t seen light since Bill Clinton was being a very naughty boy — then Mungo is your man. The shop is also badly in need of more volunteers, so if you fancy giving them a helping hand then feel free to ring them on 01223 321 921 and ask to speak to Mungo (or, if you’re feeling a bit more formal, Mat. But not Matthew. He hates that and he’ll think you’re really weird and that’ll be it: not a good start). Alternatively, if your idea of a good time is steaming second-hand clothes like a demon — a really hygienic happy demon, other demons need not apply — or singing along with Mungo and his loyal volunteers to all kinds of music that you’ll never get to hear while working at, say, Marks & Spencers, then I think I can safely say that you have found your vocation.
Do YOU have any Mungo related stories to share here which the world simply has to know about? Maybe you partied with Mungo hard one time and life was never the same after, and now you’ve got Mungo-fever which takes over your body whenever you walk down the street and makes you feel the need to buy a pair of super-tight jeans? Or perhaps you’ve always looked up to Mungo, or watched him from the shadows as a child just like the lyrics of that Tina Turner James Bond song, and you simply can’t hold it back any longer?
Either way, the people of Planet Earth demand to know how Mungo dazzled you with his amazing dance moves, or inspired you with good advice like only a monk could. All the comments will be passed onto Mungo direct, so make them count!
Lastly, remember, Oxfam Mill Road is always pleased to have you, so don’t be shy about dropping by!