Day before yesterday I took meself up the shops - huzzah for me! Admittedly, it took over an hour what with having to have a little sit down on every other person's garden wall. Still, I got up to Holloway Road but by this time I was knackered and found (miraculously) an empty bench for a jolly good sit-down and a foot rub.
So there's me sitting one end and then this bloke and his dog come along and sit on the other end. He looked like quite a 'well to do' sort of fella but his dog was one of them right out Mutleys. Nothing wrong with the animal, very nicely behaved, but not a looker and definately of the Heinz 57 Varieties-type breeds. Had a big body and a small head and looked (a bit) like a donkey.
So, the bloke sits down to have a fiddle with his Blackberry/iPhone thingie.
Then a really old boy comes along and sits in between us. He says: 'Hullo, love' to me, looks at the other bloke and smiles.
So far, so good.
Next thing you know, a bunch of lads (a likely looking bunch to be sure, but by no means Lord of the Flies material) come walking past us.
One of the lads shouts out:
'Oy, mister, I like your dog.' All the lads start sniggering.
And the bloke (whose dog it is) looks up and he's livid! He wags his finger and shouts back:
'Don't you "mister" me and you can keep your mitts off my dog.'
Me and the old geezer looked at each other a bit 'Hullo?' cos the man was so angry. Perhaps loads of people had cast aspersions on his dog and it was a touchy subject for him. So one of the lads shouts back:
'Wouldn't touch yer dog with a bargepole.' And the lads wander past, laughing.
So, the old boy says to the bloke: 'Kids, eh?'
And the bloke goes: 'Kids? The very sort of urchins who stole my cat.'
And I said: 'How'd they steal your cat then?'
And the bloke looks at me like I'm mental, and says: 'The usual way of course.'
So I said: 'Oh. I didn't think there was much of market in cats.'
And the bloke said: 'I don't believe there is. As I told the police, I considered it a personal attack on me.'
And the old boy, who was looking a bit perplexed, said: 'In my day, a personal attack meant fisticuffs, touch of the old 'boof, boof'.'
And the bloke said to him: 'Unfortunately my cat was the only one on the premises.'
So the old boy said: 'They punched your cat?'
And the bloke said: 'No, they pinched my cat.'
Anyhow. The bloke with the hideous dog and the pinched/punched cat wandered off.
The old boy said to me: 'Do you reckon he was the full schilling?'
I said that I had my doubts.
The old boy said: 'Cor, you get all sorts down Holloway.'
I said, too right and all. Then the old boy heaved himself up and said he had to get cracking cos his missus was expecting him back with the shopping. And as he left he patted me on the shoulder and said:
'Do you know, dear, I'm 82 years old and in all my days I have never seen anyone punch a cat. You can't believe a word anyone says these days.'
Well. That was one of the odder conversations I've had all month. It was almost a relief to get into Morrisons.