All was going well. The lady who handed me my thinly veiled lard was even polite. I was furious. I don't go in to this shop to be treated with kindness and good grace. I go in to be shown just how wonderfully rude this island's population can be.
|DIM BEAUTY AND HER PROUD TOPIARY|
There she was chatting to her colleague as I approached. She was blissfully unaware that some bloke wanted her to do her job.
She had hair, lots of brown hair. It cascaded down her furrowed brow like permanent streaks of poo in a pub toilet.
She had managed to put lipstick on despite having no lips, some achievement.
The only saving grace for this girl was that she had heroically tried to grow a Movember, admirable. Small black hairs stared back at me from her lipless mouth
Her colleague stood there like Presuming Ed, saying very little but managing to look sinister all the same. I got the fear.
I gave her my best slanty head raised eyebrow am I on a hidden camera show look but to no avail.
She blanked me better than my priest used to do in confession until I said I have been having inappropriate thoughts about Mandy Watson, whereupon the curtain would fly back and his hoary head would be inches from mine.
She stood there telling Presuming Ed how her friend had got drunk the previous evening and got off with her ex - a chap called Spinny or something. Sounded a bad lot whoever he was.
I coughed but that just seemed to annoy her so I stood and stared. Spinny had done the deed and effectively wiped himself off and left apparently.
This conversation went on for more than a minute and I thought no, this will not do.
As it approached what looked like a conclusion when someone flicked Presuming Ed's dimmer switch on and she mumbled something about ovens, I took my phone out and pretended to have a conversation.
"Look," I said, as pointless as that is to someone on the phone. "It's still weeping from the end. If anything it has got worse."
The harridan behind the counter was now staring at me with her one good eye, the other one seemed to be trying to climb into her ear.
"£2.86," it said.
I ignored her opening gambit. "Yeah," I said into my switched off phone. "Even when it's rampant it is still weeping, Lord alone knows what that stuff is. What? No. I didn't know it was llama. If I had known it was a llama I wouldn't have gone near."
"Excuse me, that will be £2.86"
I looked at her, she looked at me and for a brief moment there was connection. A human moment in an inhuman shop.
"Yes, I will get to you in a minute. I'm on the phone. It's important. Yes doctor I have been using the cream but it is hard to apply at work without people getting suspicious."
"You need to put the phone down. There are people waiting."
"Rather like I was then while you chatted to Presuming Ed."
I replied: "Are you just getting all the questions out there in one go in the hope you will like one of the answers?"
"What? That's £2.86."
"I'll get to you soon. Right then doctor I need to go as there is a queue forming. No not on that, here in Greggs and that could affect the space time continuum or people might get cross or something."
I put the phone down and smiled sweetly at the orange bulb-faced shrew as she repeated that my horde was £2.86.
"Is there no one you need to tell about Spinny, you could use my phone to call and tell them."
"Whatever," she said. "£2.86."
"Well can I get replacements please as these are now cold?" This so obviously untrue as, cooked with slivers from the heart of the sun, they are not edible for at least 45 minutes after purchase.
"No, they are fine."
"I don't want them then. Thanks." Off I walked.
I picked up my phone, as I slowly walked out. "Hello Spinny mate, how are you. Heard you bedded that ex of yours last night. So you've stopped being gay then?"
And I was gone, hungry but Greggs are like disappointments, there is always another one just around the corner.