Never On Saturday – 1
April 19, 2012 § Leave a comment
Old guys do not like accounting journals.
At the time I’d first believed this I sensed that the reason was most likely because such old guys had invested much of their lives in making them. And ledger with its quicker look-and-see summation facility was really where they wanted to be. IN some cases even onto quicker still balance sheet column layouts.
Yes, you have guessed correctly—we are hereby in the past and I, so much younger then and in need of study dough happy to take Nathaniel B’s £10 for a day ‘at the office’ tidying his books. Upon a desk as it turned out adjacent to a small heavily stocked storeroom in back of the dispensary. Alone, but with a view of passersby through two cannily hung mirrors, the one directly in front of me catching reflections from an angled other in the shop.
Not that one could see through the glass-panelled door with its brass-knobbed handles and steel bolts top and bottom to give pause for thought any wouldbe cash grabbers. Oh yes, before drugs and sniffs were to find ready willing and ables in free market London, cash was a king hit. Though not so much at Nat’s place for an entirely different reason. The dispensary was so busy most of the day that a criminal had more brains than fight his/her way to the counter and then face even worse on the way out 🙂 For the upon the door was hung the Saturday notice, as Nat called it. About a metre high and across the whole panel its large print read: Monday to Friday – Business as Usual – Weekend – Never on Saturday.
So there you have it.. past, me alone, on a Saturday, in a locked premise, on the Mile End Road. You may know the neighborhood, Nat’s set back on a wide pavement from tumultuous traffic noise headed into and out of the City. Opposite a whole row of Georgian style houses with narrow, iron-fenced fronts and stout painted wooden doors. Brass the IN metal of course!
Yet wait.. there’s a rattle out front.. I’m not alone. A can see a head, a man vigorous at the outer knob, wearing what today we’d call a beanie. I ignore him and slide the ruler down a line, key the figures unto a paper roll in the adding machine. Two lines later he had not departed and I began to wonder whether he could see me inside, perhaps by reverse through the mirrors. No, I told myself after a serious look he’d need giraffe attributes for that. Wide he was, long-necked he was not. Determined, or stubborn, he was. For sure.
“What is it?” said I bereft of patience at the door.
“Arrh there yarrh,” says he, a brogue evident and a ruddy round-faced bacon eater peering in through an entry side glass, “I was told ta lookup the apothecary whenever we was lost in this place.”
“Don’t you read, we are shut..closed.. NEVER on SATURDAY.. see!”
“Don’t you listen,” said he without a trace of rancor, ” I said we was lost and where I come from the apothecary knows everythin’.”
“I’m not the apothecary—the chemist—the pharmacist—the err—you’ve gotten the wrong man. Now move off—”
“Not the apothecary,” interrupted he and, ignoring my advice went on, “whararra then a burglar?”
“Not a burglar,” I got out and stopped to eye him over. When I spotted a small van at the kerbside of the pavements behind him. Someone there was calling him though I could not hear what was uttered. For a moment it looked as though he would go back to them and move on. Wishful thinking as it turned out as the ferocity of his next knob and door assault clear took away any initiative I had..
“Now look you, ya may not be the apothecary or the chemist or a burglar or whatever you say you aren’t but if I bring a copper here you’ll be whatever he says you are. And I’m not kidding. Hey, waitta mo, there’s a flatfoot just come round the corner..”
The rattle was mine now, the bolts top and bottom coming away in quick practised movements and the door opening a crack to engage bacon face in a full-on shouting match if I had to.
“That’s betta,” said he with a wide smirk, “betta by far. Look, matey, I, we don’t want no trouble. We just wanna get ta Upton Park for the home game and then it’s Hammersmith I guess.. Joe Loss at the Hammersmith Palais ya know. Tonight.”
He had taken a rise out of me all right and I was not about to forget it. Still, this information was a surprise and made the whole thing look even more genuine. I said, “Didn’t know West Ham had any Irish supporters.”
“Ohhh would you be surprised matey. Not me. Our youngster.. in the van. His day.. I mean this trip is for him.. we are with the Survey.. Ordinance y’know, HQ at Surbiton out west but we’re the up-and-down-and-all-around Snowdonia team. He’s bin tripod and backpacking for our surveyor. Done six months.. legs, arms, wrists strong assa orse now. Big day out, see. Earned it. Nothing like putting your feet up.. in a bed y’know—”
“Thattafact,” says I, getting the picture, “Lost on the big day, riight?”
“Riiight,” says he, smirk entirely wiped, “ya can help us can’t ya?”
“Yes,” said I, telling myself no way was I leaving Nat’s shop to oblige them outside. “You need a map—what’s funny?—” I added when he laughed. And then, suddenly, I got it, they were map-making men and lost was one ridiculous admission to make. I relented, asked him to fetch the driver and we’d work out a write down the routes. After I’d spoken to Nat on the phone.
“No,” said Nathaniel B, businesslike and firm, “not in the shop! Not strangers and definitely not more than you. Send them over here. Better still, send them to m’ brother’s next door. I’ll call the other side—the fuzz—and we’ll all see what they’re made of.”
Minutes later, the youngster from the van in tow, the driver and his mate were seen to cross the road and headed up into one of the Georgians…
Come back tomorrow night and try again for the next hilarious installment on Riley’s night out in NEVER ON SATURDAY part 2
And now, as I leave you, there is a …
A new Reuters/Ipsos poll out showed that women’s preferences of candidates remain virtually unchanged from the March poll. Women are still supporting President Barack Obama over Mitt Romney by a wide margin.
In this case, it’s a 14-point margin. Obama leads 51 to 37 percent among women, and he leads in all crucial issues with women.
Of course.. stands to reason… the Repugs War on Women (WoW factor) not only did nothing for the Repugs, but then they went and upped a so-called saint with initials M.R.
Corny I know but gottabe all mister, riiight 🙂