This week, and for the foreseeable future, I shall be mostly wearing black, mostly. Not out of respect for those long since dead you understand and not because I was retreating back to the happy days of Gothdom and all that terrific somberness and wonderful gloom filled malarky. No, I was wearing black for it's magical slimming powers. This was following a visit to the butchers, obviously.
I had bobbed into my local purveyor of quality meat and meat based products to purchase some of his marvelous black pepper sausages, for they are beefy heaven on a plate. I love a visit to the butchers, it's like a big meaty carnivorous candy store staffed by large men with ruddy red cheeks and fetchingly stripey aprons. But something was amiss. Instead of being greeted with the usual booming "Hello sir", from the burly master of the tenderloins I was instead squeaked at by a little fella. Oh something was amiss alright, amiss and awry.
Where was the beefy butcher with the slapped red cheeks? Eh? What had the two little fellas done with him? I was worried that I had stepped through a portal when I entered the butcher shop and was now, in fact, a giant. I sorta liked that idea. Obviously taking acid in the 90's still worries me to this day.
The answer turned out to be really rather mundane, as it always does. These were the sons of the butcher and they even had little butcher outfits on and little butcher hats on and they had rubbed blood on their little pale cheeks to mirror their dad's scarlet complexion. Awh, bless. Either that or there is some sort of genetic defect that runs in the family.
Anyhoo, he asked me what I wanted and I ordered my sausages and then some more sausages and some pudding. Butchers, even little fella butchers, have a fantastic ability to make you buy things you didn't even want. He chatted as he weighed and wrapped my splendid purchases.
"So....cold out today?", commented the little fella.
"Sure is......might brighten up later though," I replied with an uncharacteristic sense of optimism.
"Aye you could be right....a dozen of them pork and chilli was it?", asked yer wee fella.
"Yup give us a dozen......what the hell.....you only die once eh?", said I continuing the cross counter banter. This raised a chuckle from the wee fella butcher and from his brother who was loitering with intent beside the shoulders of lamb. This carried on for a bit with everything from the price of animal feed to who was likely to be headlining at this years Glastonbury festival up for discussion. It was odd to say the least as the kid couldn't have been older than 13.
"You're a happy lad", says yer wee butcher fella.
"No point crying about things now is there?", says I.
"No, no your really are a jolly chap. Not enough jolly chaps like you about and you're not scared of your dinner either are you? Here have some extra sausages", and with that he packs up my meaty purchases and throws in some more for good luck.
Now at first I thought this was a bit previous, did he have the authority to be handing out free sausages willy nilly to all and sundry. And what did he mean by jolly? Jolly is code for fat. You don't live as long and as plump as I have without being able to read the signs. The impertinent little git. He wouldn't be so bloody quick with the witticisms if his da had been a chimney sweep that's for damn sure.
Still, I took the free sausages, thanked him and cycled home manfully struggling with my Noah's Ark of delightful meat. When I got in I had a right jolly old fry up.
Pfft to jolliness and pfft to little fellas in butchers aprons.