It was market day in the town today, not that I ever use it, but it’s always nice to see the town centre buzzing mid week. You can buy just about anything from a size 30 dress to a battery for your watch. And no market is complete without the fruit and vegetable stall or the meat van.
And it was the latter that I felt most sorry for!
I have been to many a market over the years for one reason or another. There was always one in a street called Lower Marsh opposite The Old Vic. And being Londoners, they were very good with the chat. Some of the traders made it quite entertaining.
But back to the meat man in town today. There he was standing in the back of his refrigerated van, with meat piled high, giving it his all.
He wasn’t just extolling the virtues of the quality of his meat (nudge, nudge, wink, wink!), he was spouting recipes. Yes, he was telling all around how best to cook the meat; how to marinade it and serve it.
I didn’t have time to stand and listen to him. Actually, I didn’t have the inclination! I was merely walking past to get the one item I needed in town. So why did I fell sorry for him?
Well, the thing is, he had absolutely no one standing listening to him. Not a soul. He was doing no business. He may have had some great offers, but I didn’t want to go over and have a look. Stand there like billy-no-mates having a one-to-one with this back of the van butcher. That conjures up some strange images!
Undeterred, he kept on reeling off his recipes as every shopper, without exception passed by to the fruit stall or to the egg man. Actually, the egg man had some pre-packed meat on his stall and was selling more than the official meat man!
I continued my walk, passing by all the stalls, determined to get to my destination.
I was on a mission. She Who Must Be Obeyed likes a certain brand of chocolate, and there is one store in town which sells it a reduced price. However, they never have much of it so you have to get there early. And if I didn’t come home with the cocoa fix who knows what torture I would be subjected to.
A man should never come between a woman and her chocolate!
Fortunately, I was able to pick up a couple of bars before the box emptied. That should put me in the good books for a couple of days.
Whilst in the store, waiting to pay, the queues at the checkout started to grow. There were only two open, which was all they needed when I walked in. However, by the time I had managed to negotiate my way around the various produce stacked high causing aisle obstructions I’m surprised the local fire brigade permit, long queues had formed.
I wasn’t in a hurry; I had the precious chocolate, so I was able to watch the rest of the shoppers jostle for position in the two queues, trying to work out which was moving quickest. The lady behind me was saying in one of those loud under her breath voices that the shop owners obviously don’t believe in employing staff. Then she noticed two more members of staff turn up at the checkouts. So she quickly moved towards them, only to find out they were just training and couldn’t serve.
Needless to say, her place in the queue had gone!