I was out earlier today, doing some semblance of running on one of the local trails and afterwards I decided I would treat myself to some high calorie convenience food, y’know, to counteract the good healthy benefits of All That Slogging.
I circled around Tarbert’s 1 way system so I could park close to the shop and duly went in looking for one of the two Holy Grails of junk food: The dark chocolate Bounty or the biscuit n raisin Yorkie bar! Now these two delicious beauties are normally in short supply in the average corner shoppee but I’m finding that they are available all over the islands, much to the chagrin of my ample buttage.
So I’m in the shop, dressed head to foot in polygiene wicking material and with a good spattering of mud and coo sharn on me, but no matter. It’s blawin a hooley outside and slashing down too, so there are a number of folks procrastinating in the store, pretending to be deep in tough decision about whether to buy the Stag bread or the MacLeans loaf. With all the coffee shops closing for the end of season this is what a day out consists of in Tarbert!
As I’m weighing up which should win out of Giant Cadburys buttons or Family -sized Minstrels, I spy a youngish lad with one of those big hole gauge ear-ring thingies. I always personally thought these things were a bad idea; quite novel when they first appeared on my local scene about ten years ago; how cool will they look on a 60 year-old Grandpa, with mad droopy ear-lobes is another matter. Anyway! Since I’m bored and loitering with the rest of the punters, three things cross my mind (1) the old very judgemental person in me thinks “I bet he’s not from The Island” [because *nice island boys go to the Free Church and don’t have piercings & tattoos] (2) the slightly younger part of me thinks “but I bet he probably likes some decent music” [because boys with tats n piercings are *always into Punk or Metal] and then (3) the philosopher in me thinks about how it would be great to have a music friend on the island, or even just know some people who liked the same music as me. All the while I’m standing with these Giant buttons, melting in my hand, looking like a total spungle. *I am the Queen of the pigeon-hole generalisms today!
I immediately feel guilty for thinking these things, so I hustle up to the counter whilst avoiding eye contact with the lady from the caravan park, who frowned at me whilst I was feeding her Heilan Coos sliced bread the other week (she went with the Stag scones….). I decide last minute on the red Bounty and put that and the half melted buttons and a few other things at the till, as the big earlobe guy totes it all up. I avoid staring at his earlobe, pay with exact change like the proper weirdo I am and rush out of the shop feeling really quite bad about the whole visit.
Now I drive home at the tail end of a stupidly long line of traffic arriving down the A859 and plonk my goody bag of atrocities down, ready for a big choccy munch. Alas and alack, no effin way, the Bounty is not in the bag! I check the car….nope, I bet that bad boy has not made it off the shop counter! I am a sick seething anger of hysteria. Over two hours in the wind n rain and No Holy Grail Chocolate! For Friths sakes.
So I call the shop – like the weirdo I am – and demand to know where my chocolate is. Actually it went something like this:-
Me: is that the Tarbert shop?
Me: are you the guy with the beard and …..unusual ear-ring?
Shoppee: No (seriously. No other words were said)
Me: well do you think I could speak with him please? I left something behind in the shop earlier. [The phone goes down]
Shoppee person 2: Hello there!
Me: Hi, I bought a dark chocolate Bounty earli….
Shoppee person 2: yes, yes, I have it here. When will you be back for it?
Me: I could come by tomorrow
Shoppee person 2: Very good. I’ve put it under the counter for you
Me: Are you working tomorrow?
SP2: No, but not to worry, I have put a stick-it note on it “Runner Girls chocolate: don’t touch”. Should be quite safe.
He sounded well pleased with himself and I have to say, I quite liked being called Runner-Girl. I will check tomorrow and hopefully it doesn’t say “fugly burd who shouldnae be eating anything except lettuce, dust & air”
…..and he’s definitely from The Islands.