This housing estate's roads and closes are all named after trees. For example, there are Walnut Avenue; Hazel Grove; Ash Grove; Rowan Road; Laburnum Close (which on the other side, reads 'Laburnam Close' - a schizophrenic Town & Country planner, obviously). And, thankfully, there are lots of trees about, which is always a delight to me, although not to Mr P who suffers terribly with hay fever, and whose eyes look like pickled eggs in the summer months. The houses range from those designated for the elderly to townhouses to semis (such as ours) and a few detached. Due to the wildly varying prices, there are people from all walks of life living around here.
To the rear of our property is a row of shops. I have mentioned the colourful characters in the past, but it never ceases to amaze me who you can bump into over there (not Jonny Depp, most unfortunately...). On Wednesday, I visited the Post Office to withdraw some money. As usual, there was a queue of blue-rinsers who fumble with surprise into their bags once they reach the window, as if they are shocked to find themselves there and have suddenly forgotten what on earth they have come for...
As I stood patiently, a young 'lady' (and I use that term very loosely) entered the shop pushing a buggy containing a snot-nosed baby, and dragging a 7-year old boy and toddler. I knew she was coming to the post office because I heard her telling her child a mile away. She stopped traffic. She was the inspiration for the Fog Horn. She genuinely was not shouting at her children; she simply yelled instead of talking.
Everyone in the shop stopped, aghast, at the noise which emenated from her vocal cords. My ears started to bleed and I got a fit of uncontrollable giggles. To try to stem my hilarity, I stared at the CCTV cameras and attempted to look as though I was about to stage a stick-up, imagining the hurly-burly of Cheshire Constabulary coming to take me away...It didn't work. I had to cross my legs as I thought I might wet myself. The faces of the other customers were pictures.
As I arrived at the window, the female teller rolled her eyes at me and shook her head sadly. She asked me for my request and I waggled a finger in my ear, and asked her to speak up as I had gone a bit deaf...By this stage, the woman had left the shop (and an audible vacuum). Had she still been there, I wouldn't have cracked this joke, as she was a big bruiser and would have snapped me in two. I quite like the arrangement of my body as it is, to be frank.
I got my money and then moved to the shop counter to purchase my cigarettes. An old bloke was in front of me, spending his pension on Lucky Dips, Thunderballs and Scratch Cards. He was taking forever, but he ponged of Famous Grouse, so perhaps he was just half-cut. Suddenly, the 7-year old boy returned, barrelling down the shop to the counter, picked up a Twirl and waited to be served. He was only there for about ten seconds when his mother 'said' from the door.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"
"I'M GERRIN' SERVED!"
"WELL 'URRY UP, COS I'M BURSTIN' FER A WEE!!"
Mmm. Nice. I was thrilled to have been treated to that gem of information. At least it was a Number One. I shuddered to think what she might have divulged had her bowels been moving at that point...
There was a tangible sigh of relief went around the other customers as she left the premises. Half an hour later, as she arrived at home, a mile away, I heard her exclaim, "AAH! F*CKIN' 'ELL, THAT'S BETTER..."