“You should pop in and see my shop,” my friend says.
“I don’t know,” I say, squirming. “I get embarrassed easily. It’s just… a bit… embarrassing. You know. Why can’t you sell tea, or stationary? Or mend shoes?”
“Look Huw,” she says, “You don’t have to buy anything. I just want you to see the shop I own. It would mean a lot.”
“But why does it have to be a lingerie shop?” I ask. “You know that scene from Father Ted? Well, when I go to big department stores, that’s what happens to me: I inadvertently orbit the ladies underwear section like some sort of perverted moon. I can’t go into Marks and Spencer for a sandwich at lunch nowadays because I just find myself gawping at all the huge pictures of Claude Makélélé’s wife in her smalls.”
“I don’t know who Claude Makélélé is, but you won’t get lost; it’s only a boutique.”
“Well, that makes it even harder to pretend I am only there by accident. But,” I concede, detecting a raising level of frustration in my friend's voice, “I suppose I could nip in.”
Later on, I buy a newspaper and position myself in a vantage point which will let me see when the street of my friend’s shop is as empty as can be hoped for. I see a window of opportunity and make a dash for it, entering the shop at speed and colliding with mannequin attired in some sort of saucy negligee. The two of us waltz for a moment, but I stop it from crashing to the ground because I am smooth like that.
4 weeks ago