It always makes me laugh when this happens (well when I say 'laugh' I mean in very pissed off kind of way - I don't burst out in hysterical peals of joy gushing 'oh how wonderful! We'll have to live on bread and that half a jar of capers at the back of the fridge for the rest of the week! HOW HILARIOUS!).
No I (sort of) laugh because when your card gets refused at the check out, the cashiers still seem to become mightily embarrassed about it on your behalf. It's like the last taboo. I mean they will scan your purchase of lubricant jelly and a large cucumber without even raising an eyebrow, but your card gets refused and they are blushing the colour of a beetroot.
They come over all 'I'm REALLY sorry, the machine just won't take that card! Silly old machine! It does happen all the time you know. Probably just the computers! I'm SO sorry - have you got another card?'.
I always want to shout 'NO HONESTLY IT'S FINE. Really. I just don't have any money to pay for this food with. I know you are clearly cringing on my behalf but honestly - you needn't worry. Compared to the rest of my life THIS IS NOTHING. I have had far dirtier laundry aired than the state of my current account. Have you read my blog?'.
Anyway I had no money and I needed some so on Sunday I did a car boot sale.
Oh deep joy.
That strangely British tradition of getting up at 5am to hump a load of old tat to a field somewhere so people can haggle with you over a 50p computer mouse.
Well I made £60 so it's lobsters in the kids' lunchboxes from here on in but my oh my can you do some interesting people watching at car boot sales. I could probably write a short novella on the subject but I shall (for all of our sakes) summarise the day as follows:
- No. of men spotted who, if I was single, I would have contemplated a romantic interlude with: Nil (there was one brief moment of hope when I spied a guy who looked a bit like Slash of ex-Guns n Roses fame but on closer inspection he had brown front teeth and barely reached the height of my nipples - a deal breaker on two counts so he was out. Plus I have the feeling that the real life Slash doesn't hang out at car boot sales. Probably.).
- No. of women with very ample bosoms wearing Lycra-strapless boob tube style tops which offered vastly insufficient support: circa 77 (most of whom seemed to lean over my boxes whilst threatening to unleash their 'puppies' at any moment).
- No. of toddlers seen being shoe-horned back into buggies whilst screaming 'NOOOOOOO' and sobbing 'DAT ONE, DAT ONE' whilst pointing at the ice cream van/stall full of toys/fairground ride: 199 (and I was so grateful mine wasn't there to be one of them).
- No. of cases of sunburn spotted so severe it appeared as if the person had been lying under the grill: too many to count.
- No. of dirty old men who asked me if I'd used the toilet seat I was selling: 1 (and 1 was enough - and he bought it for a quid, crack and all, so I was fine with that. When I say 'crack' I mean there was a crack in the toilet seat. It didn't come with any other kind of crack thrown into the deal).
- No. of sex books which fell out of the bag from the loft and I had to withdraw from the stall because I just could NOT stand there and watch old pervs leaf through them and then look up at me and then look down at the book again. Not for 50p anyway: 3 (I should add here I didn't even know we still had these sex books. They stem back to my days at Uni and a foray into obtaining books from book clubs under false names whilst living in temporary accommodation - I think is technically known as 'theft' - anyway when we graduated, I ended up with all the sex books. Bravo).
- No. of times I plan to do it again before Christmas: zero. Next time I'm sending my other half and he can blog about it....