THIS IS LONGER THAN THE LAST ONE, I'M SORRY.
How weird is this? I DO think about things like this because, well? As cynical as I might be, you just never know. I HAD been hoping that the woman I got talking to at the bus-stop last weekend, the one with purple parka, would be there again this Saturday, although I'd never seen her before in my life, so why would she be there? It had been a random occurrence and that was that. Anyway, if she had have been there, and look! Let me make this very clear, I'm simply open to friendship that's all, and I liked her, I think. As I was saying, if she had been there I would probably mentioned it in my next blog and I was going to entitle said blog "purple reign". Never mind, it didn't happen and so, I sat and read my newspaper.
I always read the newspaper from the back first, I don't KNOW why, I just do and as I opened the back pages I saw the headline "purple reign". Can you believe that? Monty Don, a celebrity gardening pundit/journalist/writer/whatever had written an article about a flower called "Allium Hollandicum purple sensation". Purple sensation, now there's a thought. There was a picture with the story, the flower looked like a purple pom-pom about the size of a tennis ball, hoisted about one metre above the ground on a long thin feature-less stem and that was the headline, purple reign. I'm not superstitious, maybe it's part and parcel of being an atheist, a refusal to acknowledge anything that you can't see feel touch or poke a stick at, I but I DO wonder sometimes. Why THAT title? And why THIS Saturday?
Moving swiftly on: Or rather BUSING swiftly on, I made my way to my local Asda store. My shopping trip went pretty much the same as any other. Shop, queue,pay, pack my stuff into my tote bag, how boring my life is, only this time, I had time to kill, no I didn't, I just felt like killing time,and so I'd kill some time in the Express cafe'. I'm partial to a mug of Yorkshire tea and a Belgium Bun, To hell with the expense, I thought to myself, toss the cat another Goldfish, it's just a saying, okay? I went and waited to be served at the counter.
" A Belgian Bun and Tea please".
The girl promptly got my bun and cup, with tea-bag, you have to go to a table inside where there's an urn full of boiling water. You do the business with the water, help yourself to milk, and sugar, or not, whatever your taste, then you go find a table.
"That'll be two-fifty please."
What? It's usually two-twenty. I paid her the two-fifty and went into the cafe'. So, the price of a cup of tea had suddenly jumped from one-twenty to one-fifty. I knew this because when I checked to see if there were any Belgian Buns in the display cabinet on the counter, the price also was on display, one pound exactly. That meant the tea was now one-fifty. Oh well, whatever. I wasn't about to trash the place for thirty pence but it bugged me. As I tucked into my Bun I glanced at the till-receipt and it clearly stated the following; One Belgian BUN £1-00. One large Slush £1-50. That rankled, and by the time I was ready to leave I had decided, I was going to say something. No shouting, no swearing, no slanging match, I wanted her to know that she'd fucked up and for her to know that I knew.
Okay, we're not machines, we all make mistakes. I work in a freight haulage yard, I've known of stuff that was intended for delivery to the south of England being loaded on the night-trunk to Scotland and on the following day some poor sod in the planning department was on the phone doing some serious grovelling. Now THAT'S a fuck-up.
I actually wasn't getting angry over this, dis-appointed? Annoyed? Maybe. I didn't even want my misappropriated thirty pence back and I wouldn't give her the opportunity to make amends. I visited the counter on my way out. The young lady came counter when she saw me.
I spoke to her quietly so as not to be over-heard.
"You served me a Belgian Bun and a Tea earlier."
She smiled and nodded her having remembered.
"Well take a look at that". I said, handing her the till-receipt, "You have a nice day." And I walked.
What I MIGHT have said was "what the hell would I want with Slush? Asshole! But I'm not like that. The worm is still a worm and not for turning. Yet. Maybe if I lived another hundred or years or more I'd get to a point where I openly vented feelings of anger and frustration but nah, that's just not me I'm afraid.
I do wonder if she even looked at the receipt, let alone realised her mistake, and would she have cared anyway? Who knows? I'd love to think of her feeling ever so slightly embarrassed but people aren't like that nowadays are they.
I suddenly found myself thinking of something I did, must be what? Thirty years ago or more. I'd been standing in a bar, looking at the bottles of booze on the shelves, at nothing in particular but my eyes were continually drawn to a bottle of Blue Curacao, I love that shade of blue, and some how found myself telling the barmaid of my fascination and when I told her that I would like try it to try it she was so excited.
"I've waited so long hoping that someone some day would order it."
She couldn't wait to get it down off the shelf and pour me a glass.
"But wait!." said she.
"You have to sip it through crushed ice. Where am I going to find crushed ice? Stand there, don't move, I shall be back in minute."
She returned with a clean hand towel. put a handful of ice cubes into the middle it, twisted the towel into a small bundle and proceeded to whack it against the bar and in no time at all, voila, crushed ice. She scooped some into a small glass, about half filled it, and pour a shot of the blue liqueur over the crushed ice. Now that's what I'd call slush. I can't remember what it tasted like now, or even what I thought about at the time, only that I did drink it, must have tasted okay I think, and I never bought any more. Happy days.
Sunday should have been just another day at the office, okay, the cheap-store, "the plans of mice and men" eh? " Squeak squeak! " I always sleep well on Saturday nights, due to lack of sleep and aided by a few jars of cheap gut-rot Cider. Well this Sunday morning when I woke up, I looked groggily at the clock and seeing that it was only five minutes to nine, decided that I was in no hurry to move myself although, me being me, I didn't lie for long. So can you imagine the shock when I finally rose from my bed and seeing that it was almost twelve o'clock? Mid-day. I'd seen five to nine when it had actually been when it had actually been a quarter to eleven. The cheap-store closes at three o'clock. Yes I had plenty of time to get my shopping done but there was no time to dawdle. Sunday morning is "dawdle time". I like my dawdle time.
There where a few chores to be done, a quick tidy-up, a bit of washing up, find clean clothes, get myself a bit of breakfast, leftovers from yesterday, but all of this would have to wait until I'd brewed myself a cup of tea and followed that with a mug of coffee. Without those two beverages I simply cannot, WILL NOT, function. Well, I finally did my ablutions, got myself into gear and got myself to B&M. I wonder what the B&M stands for, I really must google that sometime, saddo that I am.
A strip of land, set with flowers and shrubs runs parallel with walk-way leading to B&M and as I walked I could see a young man with a boy, presumably his son, the boy looked about, oh I don't know, ten? twelve ish? And, as the father walked idly along, the boy walked some ten yards behind him, off the path, trampling landscaping and whatever lie under foot as he went. I doubt his father was aware even less, cared, of where his son was walking, or that he actually existed at that moment in time. The man, well, he didn't seem up to much as I approached him, he looked as though he'd slept in the clothes that he was wearing and neither he or his clothes looked as though they'd been washed this side of Christmas. I read somewhere recently that you shouldn't hold someone's origins against them but jeez! What a role model. It was a pitiful sight. His bootlaces weren't tied, why doesn't anybody trip themselves up by treading on their own laces? And then, maybe they do, whatever.
" 'scuse me please." I said brusquely as I passed him, giving him plenty of room. " Thank you."
I strode on and made my way to where trollies are kept. I don't know if man and boy were going shopping, I didn't see any more of them, I just did mine and went home.
Life, I supposed, and that set me off on another train of thought, bugger these Sunday shopping trips, but I've said enough already, I shall save it for another time.
As I walked back into town I thought about the gift book that I'd found at the bus-stop, that too can wait.