At least once during the average working day I will heed the call of the chocolate. Usually around the mid afternoon point I will get the urge to consume a quantity of cocoa based confectionary. My hit usually takes the shape of either a Yorkie or a Dairy Milk bar. My supplier is just around the corner, barely 50 yards away, and exists in the shape of a little downtown newsagent. His proximity means I can sneak out, score some choc and be back at my office desk before anyone even knows I am gone.
I have the procedure down pat.
And by and large it works well. Except when the normal shop assistant has the afternoon off and is replaced by Jabba The Hut. I don’t know what Mr Hut’s problem is (apart from a low metabolic rate, an underactive thyroid gland and man-boobs that could envelope Katie Price) but he plainly doesn’t have the energy or the enthusiasm to “customer face” effectively.
He refuses to move out from behind the till.
And when I say “behind the till” I really mean behind the till. He wedges himself in there so tightly that the cash drawer must create an S-bend in his colon every time he rings up a sale and his back must bear the imprint of shelf after shelf of Benson & Hedges.
Worst of all is when it comes time to pay for a purchase. I select my bar of choice. I drop it onto the counter to indicate that, yes, this is the bar that I want to get orally intimate with and I hold out my loose change (being mathematically astute enough to work out in advance how much money I must hand over to him to avoid accusations of theft). At this point the normal shop assistant – if she were present – would stretch out her hand also. We would bridge the counter with our arms and meet half way above it whereupon I would place the money easily into her hand.
Not so, Mr Hut.
His hand stays more or less adhered to his gut but as a small concession forms a small palmy plateau into which I am expected to drop my hard earned wonga. I have to practically bend myself double over the counter to achieve this. Anybody passing by would think I was making a pass at the big moody brute. He then compounds this act of rudeness – for that is what it is – by scooping my change out of the till and again offering it to me in the same agoraphobic manner. I have to reach over, one leg out like a snooker player playing a bridge shot and try and retrieve my rightful change at full stretch. As I do so my hand grasps unwholesomely close to his cardiganned moobs.
I have been tempted to throw my money at him or even to drop it onto my side of the counter... but I suspect it and he will merely sit there glowering at me until I rescind and push it closer to him.
I could go elsewhere for my chocolate treat, I suppose, but nowhere else is as close or as convenient. My afternoon sneak-outs would be in danger of being rumbled (if I haven’t already rumbled them myself with this blog of course).
And I daresay some of you might suggest I just give up the afternoon chocolate scam altogether – much the easiest solution... and better for my health and my wallet.
But really! Give up chocolate?
Are you effing crazy?
Come on, people. Serious, workable suggestions only, please.