Mr Schadenfreude Socialist is in again. He’s definitely my most frequent, and tedious, MAMAA (Middle Aged Men Always Around). He keeps banging on about his cherries. And his veg.
Apparently his cherries are bigger and more numerous than anyone else’s. And people would marvel at the size and freshness of his vegetables if only he was given the chance to show them off.
He sells bread and cakes on a market stall (what were you thinking?) and frequently, and, it seems, gleefully, ‘takes down,’ any sweet little old lady who dares to question the freshness of his buns.
Over-sensitive about his buns he may be, but this isn’t his dream. Oh no. as he will tell all who care to listen (or are trapped, like me), his dream is taking over the local fruit and veg stall. It’s in his blood; in his psyche. He has a feeling for leeks. And other plant-based edible material.
He did used to work on the local veg stall. But he got the sack. So he took the boss to a tribunal. He lost, although I am reliably informed – by him – that his losing may have had something to do with telling the Judge how to do his job (in his most patronising, sardonic and snippiest voice, I imagine………….Oh dear God, I know these damn MAMAAs far too well).
And so here he is, sitting astride a back-to-front chair like some cocksure Midget King of his teeny-tiny captive realm, ranting on endlessly about how he could run the economy/ the government/ house building companies/ parking systems/ market stalls/ little retail shops and cafes infinitely better than the idiots currently doing it; or anyone else for that matter. On and on. How does he even keep living? He’s not drawn breath for the last hour.
But wait; he’s getting up! Can he actually be leaving?! Yay! He’s going to leave! It’s only been an hour and twenty minutes…
Hang on….what’s this? Uh oh; no… He’s not heading towards the door, he’s heading towards the loo. No. No.
Oh God no.
This is a bad thing. A really bad thing, because; 1) it’s not a customer loo. It’s the staff loo, and yet he acts like it’s there purely for his own personal use; and 2),.. er,…. how shall I put this: he’s got ‘form’.
One sunny day not that long ago Mr SS asked to use the Out Of Favour (OOF) shop loo (Facebook followers with good memories might remember this post). The OOF shop is small. It is one, small, room. The loo is behind the counter.
He went into the loo. I remained standing by the counter. I was thinking (as usual) about how everything in the shop was broken: the mannequins, the coffee machine, the fridge, the drains…. The drains? Why I was I thinking about the drains? The drained weren’t blocked, were they? So what made me think of blocked drains? What would be the first indication something was wrong? A sort of drain smell…a sort of smell like… like….
Mr SS has been in that loo for a long time……
Surely not. Am I imagining this? Nobody does that, do they? In a shop the size of a postage stamp?
But yes, definitely. Unmistakable.
I moved away, into the middle of the shop. Nope, still no good, it followed me. And then quickly: horribly, alarmingly quickly the whole shop was filled with essence of, er, drains. Thank god there were no customers in at the time.
I legged it to the front door, yanked it wide open and hung in the doorway, inhaling pure, sweet, fresh air, whilst imagining all those bacterial microbes, all those little invisible pockets of poo, landing quietly but decisively on all the lovely new clothes in the shop.
And I waited.
Five minutes. Ten minutes.
After what seemed like an age he sauntered out of the loo as if nothing had happened. He seemed not to notice I was levering myself against the door jamb in order to hang my face as far out of the shop as I could (I still don’t know whether this was a good thing or not; him not noticing. Leaning out was a good thing. Definitely a good thing).
Then he left. Unfortunately, the smell didn’t. And so there we were; The Smell and I.
Almost immediately, one of my loveliest and chicest regular customers walked in.
I tried very hard not to look guilty, but I was filled with a sense of dread that she’d be enveloped and almost suffocated in the same way I was, and - as inconvenient as it is - it seems there’s a very subtle difference between the facial expressions of, ‘guilt’ and ‘altruistic dread’. Too subtle; at least on my face. I’m not sure I pulled it off.
So now I’m paranoid every time Mr SS uses our little loo. But what to do? Do I move in closer to, ‘get a sense of activities’, or move further away to be in the safe zone? (Note to self: there is no safe zone). Do I pre-emptively open the shop door and freeze the bollocks off everyone inside, or risk it and wait until we’re all surrounded by the warm fug of……of…..???
Urgh. I don’t know. I can’t think about it properly. What would you do?