The Little Cheese Shop
Yesterday I filled in at the shop for Lydia who was a bridesmaid at her friend Hannah’s wedding; I really hope that the sun came out in time for her and that it was a splendid and joyous occasion!
I would like to recount a tale, an incident that occurs on an occasional basis and is always perpetrated by men.
As some of you know, I am in the final throes of my dissertation which has become a temporary focal point of my life and very stressful and STILL not finished! I had printed out a hard copy of a draft to review whilst in the shop, it’s not like we get five customers in five minutes when in walks Suspect Customer, let’s call him SC.
He spends a few minutes making a big effort not to communicate whilst searching the fridge cabinet, critically pretending, trying and succeeding to not see something. This non verbal communication alerted me to the gold encrusted yak toe cheese syndrome.
Eventually, after completely ignoring or acknowledging my offer of help, not looking at me he says, ”have you got any gold encrusted yak toe cheese made by bare breasted one legged Nubian maidens working in a Welsh Enterprise Grant hut in the mountains?’
Ok, so he didn’t, but he might as well have done. It is always a request for something we patently don’t have. Like Lancashire (er, you are in the wrong county, matey), or Stinking Bishop or Yarg or White Stilton or some esoteric blue cheese.
So, recognising his ilk, I decide not to invest in too much time on this one, though idly wondering about the availability of Welsh Assembly grant schemes that might support such an enterprise, farming yaks and the availability of Nubian maidens at the job centre and would they be entitled to more pay because they only had one leg, I trotted out, my in usual friendly and occasionally charming manner, ‘no, so sorry, we tend to sell only the cheese that we make ourselves’.
‘Oh’, he says, continuing the theme, but badly, ‘you don’t seem to have anything with beer in it’.
‘We have this’, I say, picking up a small piece of cheese with beer in it.
‘What I really meant was cider’, he says hastily, probably thinking damn, I’ve lost!
I smile, knowing his game, that he has to ask for something we patently do not have, his self importance increasing at each five second interval so he can prolong and savour, enjoy the experience: making me apologetic, the effect he has on other waiting customers who leave after a sympathetic exchange of glances. I want to mouth, ‘come back later’, but no, this man is King in his own mind for just a couple of minutes, in our cheese shop. And then there is the final goal of attempting to make me feel utterly inadequate for running such a rubbish, appallingly stocked cheese shop that failed to cater for his urbane and sophisticated tastes, but he has shown me the error of our ways and is a happier man now.
I say, ‘oh goodness, you are right, we don’t, well, I must look into that one, what a great idea’.
SC looks smug and leaves. I look back down on my 33 double sided pages. Game over. Next!