Wednesday, 30 May 2012

I Should Just Stop Talking To People

Two incidents from this week which sum up my life.

The Incident with the Kid and the Scooter.
Coming back from the gym my timing was bad and I was faced with a barrage of kids on scooters all zooming towards me on the pavement. Before my injury I would easily have dodged them but I am still worried about side steps and sudden movement so I was nervous.

After they had all gone past I breathed a sigh of relief, not noticing the final one bombing round the corner. Before I knew it he was a foot from me, I had nowhere to go so I stuck out my arm and grabbed the handle bar, bringing him to a sudden stop which just avoided him whacking into my knee. He was looking at me in shocked silence when his mum came round the corner laughing into her phone, until she saw me.

"Oy, what you doing with my Sam?"

I tried to sound friendly, even though I was not happy. "Nothing. I just had to stop him from smashing into my knee. No harm done. I'm ok."

"You're ok? What about my boy? You can't go touching little boys." I could see where this was heading so I tried to keep calm.

"I didn't touch Sam. I just touched his scooter, to stop him hurting me and him."

"How do you know his name?"

"You just said it."

"I never. Have you been following him? Where do you live? What are you doing outside a school at this time? Haven't you got a job?"

I knew I'd best stick to the facts but I lost it. "No. None of your business. Coming back from the gym. Yes." She tried to intervene but I was annoyed now. "But the point is your son nearly scootered into me. I had a major, yes major, operation on this knee" I pointed at it for effect, rolling up my tracksuit to show the scars, "just a few weeks ago and the last thing I need is an out of control kid cruising into it. What's he doing on the scooter anyway? It's a leisure activity, not a form of transport. You should have been in control of him but you were too busy on your i-phone."

"It's a f@cking Samsung you pervert. (She turned to Sam) Come on Sam. (Then back to me) I've got my eye on you.(She even did the two fingers pointing into her eyes then back at me thing) I know where you live. I've seen you and your shit Renault."

She walked off. I don't have a Renault and I wanted to put her right but I decided it was best if she thought I was the bloke who owned the Renault.

The Incident with the Cereal and the Chicken Stock

Katie bought some cereal and when she opened it the plastic bag was already open and some of the cereal was absent. She'd bought it from a Tesco in town and so I was volunteered to take it back to our local one. You see the logic I'm sure.

"You can pick up some chicken stock from the butcher's over the road while your there."

I muttered something about having a job to do and that I was not her servant but she had moved onto something else, wasn't listening and so the task was mine.

I didn't take any money for the stock as I had the card that she'd bought the cereal with and thought that would be fine.

All the way to Tesco I was rehearsing my arguments ready for anything they might throw at me.

You need to go to the shop you bought it at > I bought it from Tesco. Is this not Tesco? I shall have a refund from here otherwise I will be standing on your front door for the rest of the day turning people away.

How do I know you didn't open it yourself, try it and not like it > Why would I waste my time with that. We always eat this cereal. We love it. Now give me my money back, or replace the cereal otherwise etc etc

We don't stock that here, we only do replacements so you'll have to go back to where you bought it > It is my right under the shopping act of 1972 to have a full refund if I am not happy with the product. Now give me my money back etc etc

There were several others but you get the picture.

By the time I got to the shop my head was fit to burst and I was ready for anything they could say. I walked up to the most important person I could find.

"Hello. My wife bought this cereal and when she opened it, it was already opened." My fists were clenched, I knew it would be a verbal battle not physical but I was a coiled spring.

Vanessa, assistant manager, took the box, looked inside it and looked at me. "Oh, that's not good. Do you have the receipt?" I did, of course. She studied it for a moment and walked away, reappearing a moment later with three shiny one pound coins.

"Oh, thanks." I walked out the shop stunned. She had flummoxed me with a judo like move, using all my strength against me. I'd got my money back but I felt like I'd lost. Half heartedly I shouted behind me: "Would a sorry be so difficult?" No one heard, the door had shut and Vanessa was straightening her 'employee of the month' picture by the door.

I had three pounds now which I hadn't expected and so decided to spend two of them on a Euromillions ticket. It was a £73m rollover that night. I went to the butcher's first.

"Hi. Chicken stock please."

"£2.40 please."

"Can I pay with card? I haven't got any cash."

"Sorry we only take cards for payments over £10."

I had £3 in my pocket but I had quite clearly said I didn't have any cash. I didn't want him to think I was a liar.

"There's an ATM at Tesco."

"Cheers. I'll nip over." I walked out the shop. Damn. I didn't want to get cash out, but I knew if I gave him coins he'd know I had lied. I hid round the corner thinking for a bit. Trying to work out how long I'd have to wait to make it seem like I'd gone to Tesco. Then I thought of a get-out plan. I rushed back to the butcher's.

Handing him my three pound coins I smiled. "Found them on the floor of the car."

He didn't care, possibly didn't even remember me, but he smiled, "amazing what you find down there. I found a carpet once."

I was pleased that my lie had not been discovered but a little disappointed not to be able to buy the lottery ticket. I walked out the shop, crossed the road and was about to get on my bike when I realised he could see me from his counter. I veered away from the bike and sat on a bench.

Shit shit shit. A web of lies. Lies, for nothing. Just as I was about to punch myself in the face a bus stopped outside the butchers, I leapt up, ripped my bike out of the stand and bombed down the hill. The wind was blowing through my hair and I felt like I'd actually won the lottery. I looked back on the experience and laughed at how stupid I am. All good stuff for the blog I thought. I opened the front door, parked the bike in the hall and then realised I'd left the chicken stock on the bench.


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