dear readers, himself is a happy man. yesterday he had bacon for breakfast for the first time in ages. there has been a hiatus in the bacon supply. or what the legal profession calls a lacuna. this sorry state of affairs has resulted from herself having been without her big shopping buddy. mr next door generally accompanies herself to lidl, which as regular readers will know is where the peeps do their shopping. he is the perfect shopping buddy. he knows a bargain when he sees one, unlike herself, who is what is known as an inexperienced shopper. this is not from lack of practice but from lack of attention to detail.
in some shops there is a type of special offer called 'buy one, get one free', or bogof'. herself is in the habit of buying only one of such items. this would not be so bad if the one she bought was the free one but she inevitably buys the one you have to pay for and forgets the free one. lidl does not tend to have these sort of offers. i suppose it is so cheap that if they knocked any more off the price they would be paying you to shop there. but they do have great reductions on vegetables and all sorts of other things. i am not a great one for vegetables myself but the peeps seem to enjoy them. the problem with herself is that she has a great fear of numbers. this makes her very poor indeed at noticing the signs that tell you about the bargains.
mr next door has been under the weather lately so herself has had to shop alone. she has missed her big shopping buddy. as she does not eat meat she has no idea what sort of bacon to choose, or indeed what sort of chops or anything fleshy, so she leaves well alone. himself has had to content himself with the vegetarian breakfast option of fried eggs on cheese on toast. this is just as full of calories but without the meaty flavour that himself loves. young dave and i love it too as there tend to be juices that get poured over our grub on bacon days.
mr next door, while still a bit wobbly, is now available for shopping buddy duty. my boy was also roped in to help carry stuff. all went well on the way round the shop. bacon was found, vegetable bargains and all manner of goodies. herself and my boy were just starting to unload things onto the conveyor belt when mr next door was accosted by a man with an unintelligible accent. from what herself could understand he was from south africa and was the owner of a fertiliser company. herself's grandmother was from south africa so you would think that the accent would not have caused a problem, but this man was something else in the incoherence stakes.
herself watched aghast as mr next door was drawn into a very long and convoluted conversation about the state of the world economy, the decay of the british banking system, the gold standard, the history of south africa, how to cook various dishes, the best method of fertiliser manufacture and no doubt much else of great import.
my boy by now was needing to get out of the supermarket. his tolerance for the beeping tills is fairly low at the best of times but the 'being accosted by strangers' thing set off his fear. he started pulling at his hair and generally looking pale. herself decided drastic action was needed and called across to mr next door, while pointing at my boy. the unintelligible stranger saw the expression on herself's face. after letting out a deafening bellow of a laugh he said to mr next door,
"looks like your wife is trying to get your attention!" all the people in all the queues looked around in the hope of having a diversion in the form of a domestic dispute. mr next door is an imposing figure at the best of times and coupled with the unintelligible stranger and an agitated lady the scenario had the makings of a fun time.
"oh, no, she's not my wife," said mr next door, with scant regard for volume control, "my wife's at home. but don't tell anyone!"
herself could see her morals were becoming slightly frayed in the eyes of her fellow shoppers.
"he's my next door neighbour," she explained. the disapproving looks became, if anything, slightly more disapproving.
"let's get out of here," said my boy, through gritted teeth. he was clearly not relishing the idea of the question of his paternity coming up.
in the car my boy said that he thought the unintelligible stranger was making up the bit about owning a fertiliser company.
"he drives too crappy a car to be the owner of a factory. its an old peugot 106."
"maybe he keeps the cadillac in america," suggested mr next door. my boy folded his arms and wiggled both hands. herself asked if he was ok. my boy has many nervous twitches, although this was a new one.
"its the international sign for bullshit." said my boy, showing her the horns and the other end.
i suppose that is one sort of fertiliser...