‘Shelf Life’ by Simon Parke

Edna and Margaret: my favourite customers: mes clientes favorites :

     Hurry takes us out of the present, and makes monsters of us all. But, thankfully, Edna amd Margaret are never in a hurry. They are two sisters in their eighties and they visit the store about twice a week. One carries the basket, and the other decides what goes in and pays for it at the tills.
“Didn’t see you last time,” says Edna, catching me gazing out of the window. “You been away – or just skiving?”
“You know I always try and avoid you,” I say. I’m always rude to those I’m fond of.
“You rude young man!” exclaims Margaret, in delighted offence. “Where’s the manager – I want to complain!”
“The manager? He wouldn’t talk with you – you don’t spend enough. You have to spend over twenty pounds to qualify for decent customer service here.”
“Ooh, the cheek!”
Margaret and Edna were in retail themselves, know the game and, as we compare managers of the 1950s with now, we discover that nothing much has changed. They had some shockers, too.
“Mr Bryant was the best, though,” says Edna. “A very firm man. You didn’t take liberties with him – but when you needed help, eh, Margaret?”
“Oh, yes. When you needed help, he was wonderful,” said Margaret. “No, he was.”
And Edna and Margaret are wonderful too; my favourites, in fact.

Taken from: ‘Shelf Life’ by Simon Parke (http://www.simonparke.com/). Available on amazon.co.uk (www.amazon.co.uk).


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