Our social life has flagged a little lately, what with one thing and another. So we decided to go shopping together the other evening. The cupboards were nearly bare, so it was the thing to do. I’m not getting days off at the moment due to our youngest daughter who’s my second in command at the shop being very poorly sick since February and the rest of the staff being about as good and reliable as minimum wage earners tend to be.
On the way to Lewes I was telling my little lovely wife about how I’d been pestered by the president of our local Chamber of Commerce to get someone to nominate me or even nominate myself for the retailer of the year award. Because I’d be a shoe-in to win. A prospect which horrifies me. I’d told him that I’d rather pluck my eyeballs out with a clothes peg and turn them into a crocheted tablecloth, which kind of gave him the correct impression that I wasn’t going to play along. He should have known, as he’s fully aware that in twenty years of having my lovely little shop I’ve never even attended a meeting. I was chairman of the trader’s association for a year in the late nineties but that was a stitch up and I vowed never to do anything like it again.
There are lots of reasons but the main one is that I have an intense horror of being in a social situation surrounded by hordes of people to whom things like personalised number plates spell S-U-C-C-E-S-S whereas to me it simply says I-A-M-A-C-U-N-T. Anita’s heard it all before and she was doing a lot of sighing as she pulled into one of the disabled parking spaces, mainly on account of the fact that the mother and toddler spaces were all taken. We’re both of the opinion that kiddies shouldn’t be taken shopping in the evening and anyway when ours were little we wouldn’t have expected special treatment regarding supermarket parking even if we’d been able to afford to run a car.
As we got out of the car an officious little man wearing a supermarket-issue high visibility jerkin approached and asked if we did in fact consider ourselves appropriate people ourselves to park in a space reserved for vulnerable disabled persons and did we in fact have a blue badge as issued by the local district council? I must have upset my wife for she looked at me and said that yes, one of us was eligible, one of us was a total social cripple it’s just that it hasn’t been officially recognised as a debilitating disease by the authorities yet. The man looked at me, I think he recognised me from the incident with the jar of anchoise provencal just before last Christmas. He nodded, wisely, and walked away.