Monday, 27 January 2014

The Town Stentor

A couple of weeks back - the date doesn't matter much - I was browsing the books in one of the half dozen or so charity shops in town. It was unusually empty; the only other folk were a shop assistant and an elderly lady with a youngish man in tow. I know assumptions can be wrong, but I took him to be either a carer or solicitous nephew. The two of them were sorting quietly through the quite large selection of music CDs on offer when, without warning, the elderly lady, with a voice like a foghorn, asked the question:

'YOU GOT ANY BRIAN POOLE AND THE TREMELOES?'

I think the shop assistant was as taken aback as me.

'Erm, not unless it's there on the shelf.'

'OW ABOUT PAUL MCCARTNEY AND WINGS? OR THE HERBRIDES OVERTURE BY MENDELSSOHN?'

'I don't know. Only if they're there on the shelf.'

Solicitous nephew, in an attempt perhaps to curtail these stentorian interrogations, said,

'They've got The Batchelors.'

'WASSONIT?'

'It's a compilation album.'

'OW MUCH?'

This attempt at engagement didn't last long.

'YOU GOT 'OLST'S PLANETS?'

But the elderly lady didn't wait for the answer. She had decided to change tack. She asked solicitous nephew,

'YOU 'EARD OF ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS?'

'Yes, I have.'

'YEAH, ALVIN..."PUT THAT PISTOL DOWN, MA.'

'It might not be the same Alvin...I don't remember him being armed.'

I could happily have listened to this all day, but I had things to do.

A couple of days later I was in the bank, and there they were again; elderly lady and solicitous nephew. I arrived to witness the tail end of her transaction.

'GOT A RECEIPT?'

Solicitous nephew: 'Here it is, look.'

The long suffering counter clerk put on her best smile.

'Thank you, madam,' she said.

'THANKS LOVE. GOT A RECEIPT?'

I haven't seen either of them since. I'm hoping they're no longer stalking me.

***

Stop press: I encountered stentorian lady and solicitous nephew again in Sainsbury's on Thursday. Mrs H was with me. Now she knows that this blog post isn't a work of fiction.

Stop stop press: I found a CD of Mendelssohn's Hebrides Overture in a different charity shop today.

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