Let me say here and now that I hate shopping. I don't want to generalise but my alleged wife and daughter live to shop. If something doesn't drop through the door or get left in the garage, behind the dustbin, deposited with a neighbour or both return home, bones creaking under the weight of all the purchases they'll never use - or even open, then for them, the day has been a waste.
I always find what I want on the net, discover where it's being sold for the least amount of money, then go and get it - just it, then return home delighted with a truly rewarding day. Boring? Probably, but that's just me and my limited expectations fulfilled.
On this occasion I broke my own rule. I went shopping. It's Easter and there are any number of shops begging to give away their entire stock for almost nothing, so avarice overtook common sense. I also wanted to discover the answer to my telephone problem for which the call centre could not assist me with since none of them apparently speak English; or at least a version I understand. But first I went into a watch shop.
"The battery has run out on my watch."
"I can fit another one for you," offered a keen young man, whom to my elderly eye should still have been in junior school.
"No thanks," I said, because whenever you put a new battery in a watch, it's usually been lying in the shop since 1850 and only lasts about two months and they usually muck up the waterproof seal upon fitting it, "have you got any automatics?"
A fairly simple question I would have thought, but the infant's face clouded, mouthing the clearly alien words silently.
"You know, one of those watches that doesn't have a battery but doesn't need winding up." I waited, stifling a smile as the youth's brain churned. "I quite like Seiko," I said helpfully.
"Ah, yes," he smiled after another minute or so, "we've got some Seiko Kinetics." His grin widened. "They're all powered by the sun, so even at night they're still charging."
Maybe it was his first day on the job but his smile wavered somewhat as I sidled from the shop and went to the place I wanted to go to get the answer to my phone problem before the shopping binge commenced.
They all spoke English there, thus I launched into my question, the one that's been bugging me for weeks, to a polite and attentive staff, and left the shop ten minutes later as no one knew what I was talking about but suggested an alternative answer that obviously a retarded microbe could have come up with. Dump the phone and buy another. It's only five hundred quid with a paltry two week wait until it's delivered.
Back to the Net for me.