Well, it’s been bitter cold a few days ago. I know I was varnishing an external door.
I then thought for dinner I might fancy (It was my wife’s idea) making a hearty Spanish style stew. So I went on a hunt for chorizo… and found it at the Co-op which staggered me for it was the only “filthy foreign sausages” (insert Sid James line of choice) the Co-op did have among it’s bewildering variety of almost identical British (Gawd bless ‘er! etc.) mechanically recovered offal tubes (there’s a ref there and not a prize if you get it – well not from me, anyway) there was chorizo! My flabber was gasted. None of that other continental filth, mind. None of your French or German or Czech or Polish or whatever sausage (insert Sid James line of choice). Apart from their many other sins the Co-op is staggeringly parochial. On the little screens at the tills there’s loads of piccies of “jolly natives” with their new water-pump but (with the exception of chorizo) nothing else paid for by buying Fairtrade tat or buying bottles of “ethical water” (why does that always remind me of homeopathy?)
And, yes, I am aware the British sausage industry (insert Sid James line of choice) makes lovely sausages too but those were not represented. Just umpty varieties of bog-standard “bangers”* of the sort I only ate as a student and only when I was on my uppers. Fortunately not too often. Anyway I got chatting to J who works there and is by far and away the most competent member of staff. He used to be a pub land-lord but… Well, I dunno – what with pubs closing 16 to the dozen and all – but he’s a shelf-stacker now. He’ll never make management because I suspect he is regarded as “not a team player” which is HR talk for, “shows initiative and is capable of thinking independently”. The way to get ahead in such organisations (I saw much the same when temping for the Government) is to just keep your head down and schmooze. Never, ever suggest a better way of doing things it shows your line-manager up. I did once and was “pruned”.
Anyway he told me a story… He’d recently apprehended a shop-lifter. The shop-lifter had gone over to the freezers and purloined a tub of Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream and had concealed it down the front of his trousers**.
“Is that stolen goods in your pants or are you just pleased to see me?”
J told me something else bizarre too. Apparently ice-cream sales rocket in the last half of December. I found that odd considering what I was making for dinner that night.
*Insert Sid James line of choice. etc. This is getting tired, so I’m retiring it.
**Oh, go on, that is very “Carry On”. On pretty much the coldest day of the year he had put a tub of ice-cream next to his genitals. Perhaps he was planning on wooing a lady? Well, I guess the poor mare would have been disappointed as the Barry White was playing and the lights went low. Unless he’d previous half-inched a magnifying glass and tweezers. Some how I doubt he had the fore-sight. He might have had a cryogenic foreskin mind