Friday, 25 August 2017
04:15 puttering lights...
The other day, Scrobs needed to go out and get some bread for lunch, as Mrs O'Blene was planning kippers, and that elegant, delicious comestible requires the stuff of life straight out of the oven!
Now Waitrose here don't have on-site ovens, but the bread they pop out on the shelves - at least at our branch, is pretty damn good, and while we would love to remain loyal to a local bakery, there are times when even a small loaf from there doesn't get used up, sometimes goes hard quite quickly and we just hate waste.
So Scrobs enters the door to be greeted by an immediate 'Cooeeee' from a super-elegant Gloriette, who has just arrived in a fragrant cloud, as well as her white Audi TT and is studying a shopping list about three pages long!
Now as many people know, Gloriette is one of the most gorgeous visions one can ever dream of, and indeed, her ever-loving spouse, Elias Sagtrouser insists that it is only a dream. He makes exceptions to old mates like Scrobs, who is allowed one more grasp and a few pecks, but no more, and who am I to try and overstep the mark!
'Gloriette, love of my life, you look stunning'!
'Oh same old, same old, how are you Sweetheart', she murmured after the first obligatory squeeze and peck. Eyes by the carrots turned to the skin-tight jeans, casual top and perfect turnout.
'Oh fine thank you - er - Is Elias with you'? Scrobs muttered more in hope than enquiry.
'No it's a BBB day, so he's out and about. Meccano and Toniatteline are here somewhere, but I'm having a few hours off to have my hair done'!
There was a lot in that statement.
'First, Light of my Life', Scrobs started, 'you need go no further with the hair business, as you're already looking stunning, second, why is the shop at Sagtrouser and co, Suppliers of bricks, paint and electric angle grinders, left unattended then, and what, finally, on earth is a BBB day'!
(This was going to be a long shopping escapade, and a quick check on the Fitbit watch confirmed that there was ninety minutes only, which would probably be enough.)
'Ha ha ha, but thanks for the comment about the 'Barnet', Scrobs (Gloriette never forgets her London upbringing), secondly, we always leave Jeremiah on the tills when we're out. He sells more Rawlplugs and screws than anything when he's on duty'!
This was indeed a trading experience which I'd never heard of before, so enquired further.
'Rawlplugs and screws - why those'?
'Well every builder always wants a stock for that odd job, and Jeremiah always assumes that they'll need some more each time the customer comes in the shop and adds them to the account, so we get through cases of the things! It's a great money spinner' The customers love it, especially as Jeremiah is six foot seven inches tall!
Scrobs peered absentmindedly at the heaving shelf of French cheese and wondered whether he was in the right business after all...
'OK, but what does Elias mean by a BBB day then'?
We cruised past the chicken portions and sliced ham.
'Simples! It's the end of the month, and a time when in the old days, he'd have to go out and collect overdue payments, cheques and cash! The baseball bat was always left on the dashboard as a 'persuader', and never failed! That's why he now drives a Range Rover, I have my Audi TT and that's all because somehow the money arrived when we needed it, not when customers decided to pay it'!
'Our thick politicians could learn a thing or two there', I absently said, allowing a slight brush against a tanned bejewelled forearm and adding yet another expensive piece of smoked salmon to the trolley, which was filling up at an alarming rate.
I noticed Gloriette peering at me more than somewhat in the reflection of the frozen fish, and she suddenly turned and enquired, 'You're looking a bit peaky Scrobs, If you don't mind me saying so'!
Twelve fish fingers and a lemon cheesecake tipped into the trolley.
'Oh I'm absolutely fine you lovely lady, it's - er - just the '4:15 puttering lights' have started again!
'WHAT ON EARTH DO YOU MEAN'? She yelped, grabbing my arm, and several heads turned in our direction, so I reopened a freezer door for some more French fries to avert the gathering interest.
'Well, the nights are drawing in aren't they. It's still twilight at 4:14 am, and cars need lights to get around'!
'That's true I suppose, but why does it cause you grief then'?
We spotted Toniatteline staring at a lurid row of magazines which all seemed to display hugely developed girls and boys in various stages of undress, while Meccano was rummaging around in a shelf of pictures of shiny cars and lorries with fat wheels, and they both were lost to the world.
'Oh it's not grief really, my love, it's just that every morning, my elderly friend next door has a newspaper delivered. Years ago, I'd occasionally hear a car coming out of the lane opposite, and stop, with its engine running. If I was awake, I'd wonder why this happened at the same time every day of the week, and always thought it might be someone rolling a fag, or checking a mobile'.
'After a few years of this, one early morning, I was up letting JRT out as she'd heard something in the garden, and the car arrived as normal. JRT started to bark, which annoys Mrs O'Blene, so I rushed out to get her back in, and saw a shape trotting from the car to my neighbour's house. The engine was left on and ticking over, but he didn't make a sound either'! It had never occurred to me that this was the newspaper delivery man, doing what he does best...'!
'Hmm, so it's JRT's fault then is it'?
'Aw no, but during the summer, the van doesn't need lights, and they don't shine in our bedroom window and wake me up! They're just starting to do that again now, as I'll never get back to sleep after that'!
'Scrobs, you are impossible'! Purred my perfumed chum with a huge smile, and we headed off for the tills.
Scrobs stared down at the basket, now full of bags.
'That will be £112.45 please Mr O'Blene! Would you like a coffee? Have a nice day'!
And I only wanted a small bag of mixed bread rolls...