Consider the MAMAAs; my Middle Aged Men Always Around: those friendly but ever-so-slightly creepy men who, despite my best, ‘sod the fuck off,’ body language, persist in hanging out at the Out Of Favour (OOF) shop for much longer than is really unweird to do so (given it’s basically a women’s clothes shop).
I use the term, ‘middle-aged’ loosely, because in reality they range in immature years from a thirty something Ukrainian ex-prisoner with intensity issues and small-man syndrome (he’s a hoot), to an eighty-something wannabe-Jack-the-lad who cruises around in his 1950s classic car to, “impress the ladies.”
This, oldest – and quite possibly least mature – of all the MAMAAs, is Hep Cat Pensioner.
Hep Cat Pensioner popped in yesterday (lucky me), looking particularly slick in a casual-but-crisp lounge jacket, perfectly pressed co-ordinating slacks and very very shiny patent shoes.
And he was extremely pleased with himself; he’d just met an acquaintance who’d informed him he was known locally as The Man About Town.
‘The Man About Town.’ Good grief.
Oh, but he loved it, and proceeded to bang on and on about being The Man About Town or some such deluded bollocks for about five hours (ten minutes in human time is about five hours in retail time).
|Picture: ArtsyBee, Pixabay|
Then, just as I was thinking what a pompous old ass he really was, he brought me down to earth with:
“……..Because you see, I’ve had some trouble with my old ticker”
And suddenly all the bravado was gone. He looked sad and a little bit scared, and I actually felt sorry for him. So I tried to cheer him up; keep him upbeat. I should have known…..:
“But you’re fit and healthy, aren’t you?”
“Oh yes. I’m fit and healthy. And virile.”
At this point there was a slight pause in the conversation whilst my head tried to persuade itself he didn’t just say what he just said, and my mouth hung open like a stunned fish. Eventually I managed the subtle but brilliant:
“Errr… I don’t want to know that.”
Which, of course, only made him worse:
“Oh, but I am. Absolutely. Virile”
And on it went:
“My wife loves it. She loves that I’m virile. It makes her very happy.” (Oh yes, he has a wife).
“Er……” (Oh please, for the love of god, stop talking).
But he was a roll:
“I saw [TBE’s real name] the other day” (TBE aka The Boss Erratic).
“Yes. She grabbed me and gave me a massive hug.”
“Corr; she’s a bit of a handful, isn’t she?!”
I think I might have opened my mouth to respond, but in the absence of anything remotely useful or insightful coming out (or any sound at all), just sort of, shut it again. Hep Cat Pensioner clearly took this as a sign I hadn’t got his meaning (I should be so lucky), and proceeded to, horrifically, clarify his remarks using the medium of mime.
“She’s just so…… (He appeared to mime the skill of juggling with footballs. I think)…. Isn’t she?”
And then he licked his lips. His octogenarian, thin, pale, lined, dry lips.
So this was it; the moment all my years of retail and acting experience (because it’s basically the same thing) had led to: this one small moment in time where I needed to gather all my strength and try really really REALLY hard not to say the word, “Ewwwwgh!!!” out loud. Instead, I think I managed:
“….is she….?” (A devastating feminist put-down, I think you’ll agree).
Just then, and with, near-perfect-but-actually-a-gross-conversation-too-late timing, his wife walked in. She’s the shy and quiet one, but one look from her and he shut straight up and followed her out of the shop like a little lamb. A miracle!
I did feel mildly guilty about not defending TBE’s honour (Ha! Like she has any honour in anything!), but, quite honestly, if she goes around hugging lecherous old MAMAAs (and she does: Hep Cat Pensioner isn’t the only one by any means), she’s going to get lecherous old rub-off, isn’t she?
I meant responses. By rub-off, I meant lecherous comments in response.