Notes on an eccentric shopkeeper
And then, quite by chance, I ended up stumbling out of the bus, into an overgrown mini-park. A rusty red telephone box stood in the corner, shrouded by a tangle of messy brambles.
“Aha,” I thought, now I could call for help, but alas the iconic British telephone box has now been reduced to a simple defibrillator. This may save lives, but it doesn’t save me. Looking around at my surroundings, I decided to cross the road and test my luck at the local village shop of Wilbarston.
The shop, while looking slightly worse for wear from the outside, was crammed to the gunnels (a popular English phrase) with anything you could possibly need. At first the shop seemed to be vacant of any staff, but as I approached the counter, gazing at the various items for sale, a chubby, red faced man, sprung up from behind the counter a smile spreading across his face at the sight of a new potential customer. His sudden appearance startled me and I lurched back in surprise.
“What can I do you for sir?” he said in a strange high pitched squeak.
“Well, I was wondering when the bus to Market Harborough might stop by next?”
“Hmm, well that’s quite a tricky question, when do you want to go, this week or the next. Or maybe you want to buy some of our quality produce?” After a few minutes of talking to the cheerful shopkeeper, I still did not have the slightest clue, when exactly I might escape from this newfound “Paradise”, so I decided to try elsewhere.
“Are you sure you don’t want to spend any of your lovely money,” Called out the shopkeeper, as I began to make for the door.
“No thank you,” I called back making it clear to him that I was not buying into any of his bargains.
By James Lovell