At some point in a shopping trip most men visit the safety seat, you know the ones, they are always next to the changing rooms. Groups of men huddle with their faces buried in their mobile phones as they wait for their better half to finish looking at garment number 726 before deciding that the first one in the first shop you went in was the right one. They are called safety seats down to two reasons, firstly your other half knows you are safely within earshot for approval and scrutiny and secondly they also know that being little boys that never grow up we are less likely to wander away into the crowds so for our safety they exist.
I sat there today, handbag in hand and pondered all this. I must point out that the handbag was not indeed mine as passers by may have thought but Jaynes who had left me entrusted with it (for safety on the safety seat) whilst she rummaged through a pile of clothes that she had taken into the changing rooms with her. Seated to one side was an elderly gentleman, he had no phone to distract him so sort of fell into a kind of stupor bordering on distress, I could tell this from his eyes that started to gradually close only to shoot open when he realised he was being shouted. Distressed he had missed something vitally important he would then over compensate with 'yes, love' and 'no, love' before returning to his stupor world as she whisked away to try on a trench coat or something. He was unfortunately a long way from his pipe and slippers moment.
I had other problems, I don't handle handbags easily. I mean I do hold them and I don't mind holding them it's just that I have never been trained on how to hold one and not look, how can I say this, frivolous. Anyway this one also clashed with my clothes making it stand out even more, pink is not very flattering when it's sat on your lap although it did make the underneath of my chin look ruddy, you know just like when you hold a buttercup underneath and it goes yellow. I say ruddy as that probably describes what I imagined I looked like with a pink bounce back but in reality I probably looked more like a underlit red faced drunk. The handbag was one thing but what concerned me most was this.
A bloody wall! I was sat on a seat (comfy) with my nose fourteen inches from a wall, I could barely get my knees in! The chair was also fixed in place so who thought it was a great idea? I looked like a bloody crooked flamboyant elf sat scrunched up sporting a pink bit of ladyware so I was even more amazed when an unknown young lady came out of the changing rooms and turned to me to ask 'Has Stephanie come out yet?'
Respectfully I put my handbag to one side and replied.
'Who the bloody hell is Stephanie?'
'Don't get your knickers in a twist grandpops!' and with that consummate wit she disappeared back into the changing room.
Grandpops!?! Have I really reached the 'look like a grandpops' age? I was sporting a pink handbag didn't that count for anything!
Jayne popped her head out.
'What do you think?' She asked using that steely voice that could change to ice cold revenge or all out war if I said the wrong thing about what she was wearing.
'Do I look like a grandad?' I said which was obviously the wrong thing I realised not nano seconds later as the temperature in the room dropped by twenty degrees. First rule of Shopping Club is always talk about the shopping items first.
Forty minutes later I was lumbering under the weight of bags very similar to a sherpa would up the side of Everest and over the road into M&S. The food aisle is always at the back in these places so it was no surprise to have to lumber a bit further until I was within a few feet of the entrance when from one side came a rather large woman with a trolley. Not sure if it was momentum or a dislike of lumbering men but she succeeded in careering into my legs. She stopped, I stopped and I was about to say something when I looked down.
Down into a pink bag.
Look down here.
No, further down.
Pretend you're me and look into the bag.
Now try and talk to the large lady that had run into you without conjuring up mental images for the bag contained several items that made speech impossible.
A naughty nurse outfit (XXL), some slippy cream and a back massager the size of an overgrown cucumber.
Oh, and a cock ring.
My flab was gasted, my innocence shattered, we were in M&S for god sake, I only wanted a bag of crisps!
I purposely went to find the changing rooms so I could have a sit down in safety. Jayne came over to me, 'How sweet, you have sat down to allow me to shop and I didn't think you wanted me to buy any more.'
'Did you see what was in that, that, that, ladies bag? Did you? Did you?' I was starting to gibber.
'Here, here' she said soothingly 'You stay here, I'll go and sneak a look.'
Minutes later I turned to a wide eyed Jayne sat next to me. 'She's going to kill someone isn't she?'
'Yes' I said 'I believe she is.'