I’ve just eaten a fish and chip lunch procured from the splendid chippy in East Ardsley village. Although frowned upon by my cardiologist, it’s an occasional treat I afford myself every now and again. The white fish, enveloped in a flavoursome crispy battered coat and fluffy potato chips a life affirming luncheon combo.
My mum also thoroughly enjoyed her portion of a meal my late dad sometimes dubbed ‘land and sea’, or from time to time ‘fish and nerks’……. Well, she delivered an underwhelming “They were nice, Gary” upon completing her food anyway.
Not overly gushing praise, admittedly, but I took this as an appreciative gesture from Mrs S. A lady who if she’d been in the middle of a confused dementia episode could’ve commented in several muddled ways. Including ungratefully admonishing me “Why did you get me fish and chips?…. You know I hate them!”…… Which she doesn’t…… And didn’t say anyhow, so I’ll move on.
Not that you can put much store in Maggie’s mealtime critiques. Even prior to dementia’s unwelcome arrival, uttering “That’s nice!” was mater’s default stance when reviewing the grandeur of most things. Be that food, flora and fauna, or hollow-point bullets.
Footnote – Incidentally, my mum’s never owned hollow-point bullets (that I know of anyway). That being said, if she ever possessed the aforementioned projectiles it wouldn’t be unfathomable for her, through an amalgam of rose-tinted specs and a pinch of barminess, to describe them as nice.
Anyhow, I arrived at the chippy a few minutes prior to it’s 11.30am opening time, taking my place in the queue behind a fella I’d age in his 30’s. This curious chap appeared deeply agitated as he impatiently hopped from one leg to the other – Fidgeting interspersed with him sporadically walking back and forth to the eateries locked door, checking the time on the chippy’s clock.
At 11.27am, still in a state of overt restlessness he, a tad aggressively I thought, asked me “What time do you make it?”
Upon my response of “I make it 11.27…….. It’s not due to open until 11.30, mate” this irked fella tutted, sighed and returned to agitatedly hopping from one leg to another, similar to a toddler stuck in a queue for the bathroom.
“Are you hungry, mate?!” I misguidedly quipped, endeavouring to ease the fellas agitation. He didn’t respond.
Shortly after that awkwardness, the chippy’s door was unlocked, and before the lass behind the counter had opportunity to turn on the shop’s neon ‘Open’ sign, this fella was stood at the till spot relaying his ‘land and sea’ order to the slightly startled girl.
Although not an overly dramatic episode, while it played out in front of me I couldn’t help but wonder what the hell’d manifested such open irritability. After all, the shop wasn’t even due to be open during the times he shuffled, tutted, sighed and clock watched in the chippy’s car park.
If you’re reading this mate, I hope the food made up for your agitated impatience in the few minutes before the shop was due to open…… If you enjoyed your meal as much as I appreciated mine I’m sure you’ll think the wait was worth it.
What did GJ Strachan take from this minor drama?…… Well, it has to be that it appears the cliche we Brits love queueing isn’t always strictly correct.