Today is February the 4th 2014 and as I put on my FB status this morning, that means....absolutely nothing. Just another day except I was somewhat disappointed as I believed it was pancake day and I was wrong. As it turned out, the day ended up being a tad more exciting than I thought it was going to be.
At lunchtime I drove off to a nearby town to look for some obscure magazines that I wanted. I chose W H Smith as it has an array of reading material and one off quirky rags for one’s whimsical reading pleasure. The shop had gone through a refurbishment and that meant that the endless magazine shelving had been changed around and things were not as they once were. I hate that.
I walked up and down looking for the periodicals I required and got momentarily distracted by odd magazines like ‘Crocheting for Pets’ ? Really? And ‘Do you want bigger breasts?’ I faltered for a moment but didn’t think the the pages of said magazine stuffed down my bra were going to get me to the double D status I would expect at £3.99. On and on it went and I wondered how some of these magazines stayed in business and more importantly, how many weirdo’s lived in England. It didn’t take long for me to be reminded.
Unable to locate the title I wanted, I decided to go in search of an assistant to get it for me as I muttered,“This is bloody ridiculous,” under my breath in that great British way.
I approached the till where the only available store person in the whole shop was serving two girls in their twenties. I waited patiently behind them as one does, whilst they bought their sweets, Take a break, a packet of chewing gum .. Or was it chewing tobacco? I’m not sure, a lottery ticket and 79 scratch cards. All of a sudden a big security guard walked in off the street from ANOTHER SHOP and said in a mean and gruff voice:
“Hello girls, I’ve just followed you from Boots The Chemist and this isn’t the first time is it?”
“ YA WOT?” Said the ringleader, flicking her tightly bound, scraped off her head in that oh-so-flattering way, jet black almost blue it’s been dyed so many times, ponytail behind her.
“ You have been using counterfeit notes in most stores in this town for weeks now as well as stealing goods from many others. NOW LOCK THE DOORS!” He turned his attention quickly to the frightened assistant who did nothing about the doors but got straight on the internal phone in search of her elusive co-workers.
“I..I... don’t have the keys.” She said timidly as she hung on the ever ringing phone.
The security guard blocked the door by standing with outstretched limbs in front of it.
“ The police are on their way girls and you are under arrest!”
Don’t mind me, I thought as I stood there wondering why I was always in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The first girl made a run for the door shouting at the security guard to “Get out of her effing way.” He grabbed hold of her arms and pushed her back into her friend which I thought was very brave of him as I wouldn’t have wanted to touch her. Not even with latex gloves on.
“DON’T ****kin’ touch me!!!” She yelled viciously.
“NOR ME” Her friend piped up (sporting the very same hairstyle - brownie points for individuality and style.) “I’M PREGNANT!”
The girls contorted faces, spewing the most imaginative expletives, looked around for alternative exits. I dropped initial eye contact with the ringleader as I didn’t want to be shanked next to the current display of red Valentine cards.
The doors were locked and I became hostage number one of the local WH Smith.
I decided that I would try and bring some normality to the current situation, you know, like if someone’s following you and you turn round to ask them the time it brings them back down to earth and they dont rape and kill you. Allegedly.
“ Excuse me.” I said to the shaking assistant, “ I’m unable to find The Writing magazine, The Poetry Society and Wallpaper magazine for global contemporary design. Could you tell me which section they are in?”
She looked at me blankly. Clearly this was far from her level of normality and my psychological skills were falling flat.
The girls broke free of their space and began to run amok around the shop discarding their contraband.
“DON’T LET THEM PAST HERE!” Shouted the guard. “ THEY’RE TRYING TO DISPOSE OF EVIDENCE!”
Ooh.. I hope they drop a few fifty pound notes in the magazines I want, I thought. Because technically that wouldn’t be my fault.
They ran all around the shop trying to get out and away from Mr. Security. Up and downstairs they trundled, practising full volume cursing like modern day harridans. I decided that this would be a good time to say goodbye to friends and family via text in case I got brutally wrapped up in a free for all brawl and met my impending doom.
“Caught in a newsagent lockdown. Serious hostage situation. Am likely to get beaten up by ringleaders bottle of Lucozade or possible stolen manicure set. If I die, remember I love you all and be sure to move far, far away from this shit hole.”
Then the police arrived. All fluorescent yellow and sirens.
The doors were opened and I breathed in the sweet, fresh air of freedom and survival.
The girls didn’t go easily. For one, their leggings were too tight which didn’t offer ballerina style fluidity. They fought and spat and screamed their effing innocence with every step of their plastic wedges, kicking the books and magazines from the shelves as they were led by their shiny cuffs and ponytails to the flashing cop car.
And would you bloody credit it, as I looked to the floor at the scattered merchandise on my way out, I spotted the very magazine I wanted kicked conveniently in my path.