“10 Richmond King Size Please”
“I’m afraid it’s all in 1p’s and 2p’s.”
He buys 8 Carlsberg, 10 Lambert and Butler and some sweets.
“That’s £10.23 please sir.”
He hands me a twenty. I run the counterfeit pen over it, because if I bank a fake it turns up again in my pay packet come Saturday. I key in “2000-ENTER”, the till opens, and I take out a fiver, four pound coins, a fifty pee, a twenty pee, a five pee and then…
“Here, I’ll give you 50 just to make it easier,” he says, handing me 50p.
Easier for WHO, you bastard?
“Hello love, I’ve just come for me wines.”
“You are wrong on two counts, madam. Firstly, I do not love you, indeed your very presence offends me. Secondly, you have not come for ‘wine’. You have come to purchase, as you do EVERY COCKING DAY, two large bottles of Lambrucini, a drink so cheap and nasty that even people who drink Lambrini look down on it. Give me the money and fuck off, you harridan bastard.”
Before we start, let me make it clear I hold no animus against Polish people. I am strongly pro-EU (well, anything that pisses off the Daily Mail and my ex-mother-in-law has to be good, right?), I have in my time been beaten, shunned and arrested for anti-racist rants and activities…I ain’t a Nazi. I welcome our Polish brothers and sisters, their charming kids, their inexpensive plumbers, and their delicious Sklep (which I believe to be some kind of stew, but I’m not altogether sure).
But this bloke…here it is. Word for word.
LONG-SUFFERING OFF-LICENCE DRONE: Can I help you sir?
RESENTFUL POLISH DUDE: Why is no Tyskie in fridge?
L-S-O-L-D: Uh…dunno. We just put what they tell us to in there. People at head office decide, probably after lengthy negotiations with their equally revolting counterparts from the beer companies, you know, the sort of high-powered, small-dicked twats who afterwards go for expense-account dinner at Frankie and Fucking Benny’s and behave like they know what good food is, then one of them offers to show the other lot “the sights” of Runcorn or Ashby-de-la-Zouch or Radlett or whichever pointless, futile little shithole their HQ is in, which turns out to be a branch of Revolution and The Most Depressing Lapdancing Club In The World. And then they send us a diagram showing exactly where the Stella goes. And Tyskie wasn’t on it, so it doesn’t get in the fridge.
RPD: IS BECAUSE YOU DON’T LIKE POLISH, RIGHT? HAH!
L-S-O-L-D: Uh….we have Okocim in the fridge.
RPD: I UNDERSTAND. [Pause and stare at me like he’s going to hit me]. 20 Pall Mall Red KING SIZE!
L-S-O-L-D: Here you go. £4.10 please sir.
RPD: [Throws right money down] I tell my friends. RACIST.
L-S-O-L-D: Thank you, come again.
OK so it wasn’t exactly word-for-word. I did say the last bit in the Apu voice though. Maybe I am a racist. Would The Simpsons ever have got away with making Apu a comedy Indian if they’d been British?
“How much is a case of Carlsberg?” he asks. I count to ten in my head, then reply, “£10.99,” and gesture towards a stack of six cases of Carlsberg, on which hangs a sign bearing the gnomic and impenetrable riddle, “CARLSBERG – FULL CASE £10.99”. He tuts.
“It used to be £9.99.”
Yes, it did. It also USED to be 25p for a litre of petrol. It USED to be £25,000 for a 3-bedroom semi with front and rear gardens. I USED to be able to do it seven times a night. You USED to have a wife, until she got sick of being married to a skinflint alcoholic and left, leaving you with nobody to annoy except the poor bastards who work in the nearest off licence. BUT NOT ANY MORE. So unless you’re going to fire up your Tardis and fly us both back to the glory £9.99 a case days, it’s TEN NINETY FRIGGING NINE.
He buys a case anyway. But he’ll be back next week. And he’ll ask again, and I’ll tell him again, and he’ll tell me how much it used to be again, and it’ll be the same every week until one day I twat him round the head with the non-inflation proof lager and do a wee on his comatose form right there in the shop, the bastard.
To be continued…