Friday, April 30, 2010

I never heard him coming

“I never heard him coming, but I sure did hear him leaving!”
The man – by the name of Cecil (he didn’t look like a Cecil, more a Robert or David) – seemed to be talking to himself. He had on green wellies in contrast with a sharp pin-striped suit.
“Pardon?” I asked.
He looked up from pressing hard with a biro on several layers of purple carbon-paper – having realised that I had arrived and was listening to him. He should have put a proper bell on his door.
The door was called Cecil’s Sensible Emporium. It was normally deserted and I wondered how it ever made money. He had one assistant – evidently his wife – who stood stock still like a tailor’s dummy.
The shop sold useless or silly things, novelty goods, trinkets – and niche products without a niche.
“Yes?” he asked curtly.
“Have you a candle I can burn at both ends?” I replied.
He stared at me for a moment. He then put his hand under the counter and pulled out what looked like a firework – a rocket with a stick at both ends and two fuses.
“I said a candle...”
“Oh,” he replied. “Maude!”
And his wife (who didn’t look like a Maude, more a Jane or Gillian) moved for the first time and walked into the back of the shop where I imagined a storeroom to be situated. I listened to a lot of scrabbling noises, drawers being opened and shut. And curses under her breath that obviously carried further than she intended.
Being an impatient man, I decided to exercise a far too long sought after skill in patience. Two hours later, Maude re-emerged carrying a selection of candles, rattling them like thin wooden logs.
I chose one that I thought I could burn at both ends without compromising subsequent snuffing out. And I left the shop, as Cecil and Maude began to squabble. Their Sensible Emporium so-called was not very sensible after all, but being a sensible customer, I was probably a vital requisite for the shop to be a sensible shop. Sensible customers make for sensible shops, you see. And silly customers make for silly shops. Supply and demand.

Stories and readers, too.


Nemonymous said...

The above was written on 30 April. Objectively, I feel it has become a fable or metaphor for events in UK in the last few days.
Please see "Maggie Clegg": HERE

Nemonymous said...

As these commwents seem to be undated, I can confirm the comment above was written just now on 13 May.