I work Saturdays in a shop on H____ Road in Hull. Let’s call the shop Oddbury’s. Every Saturday I write down the funny things I hear. These are real conversations with real people about the things they’re buying and what they mean to them. Names have been changed to protect people’s identities. Paul is my co – worker.
Saturday 13th February 2016, 11.12 a.m. Jim 62, works in a secondhand electricals shop, Jennifer 38, single mother and Paul 59, shop assistant
Paul alerts my attention to a car that has pulled up to the kerb opposite the shop. The driver is wearing a crash helmet! Jennifer gets out of the car and enters the shop, still wearing the crash helmet.
Jennifer: (muffled because she can’t be heard due to the helmet): do you sell sanitary towels?
Paul: Look out, it’s The Stig. Is this a robbery?
Jennifer: what? Oh this? (She wrestles the crash helmet off with some difficulty).
Jim: (to Paul) She could pull my helmet off.
Jennifer: I always wear a crash helmet in the car now since I got shunted up the back end last year.
Jim laughs at this and repeats: shunted up the back end!
Jennifer: Yes. It was at the roundabout near the Humber Bridge. I was waiting and then I set off to go and then I stopped and then… it just all went wrong. A Mercedes drove straight into me! Bang! Whiplash. And I cut my head open on the steering wheel. I was in hospital for a week.
Jim: my wife’s in hospital at the moment with a bad back.
Jennifer: Is she really? Oh the poor woman. Oh it’s a terrible place, honestly, it’s… the food is horrendous. But a bad back. That must be simply awful (makes sad face).
Paul: my ex wife was in hospital once with that – a bad back.
Jim: They call it sciatica. That’s what the doc says it is, sciatica.
Jennifer: Oh god! My Nan had that! She was really in quite a bad way and she got taken into hospital. I went to visit her on the ward but it was a very disturbing experience.
Jennifer: Yes, one of the women on the ward was shouting out constantly. Just shouting and shouting, she was really distressed. And then she took her clothes off and bit one of the nurses!
Jim: A sciatica ward?
Paul: Are you sure that wasn’t a psychiatric ward?
Jennifer: Oh yes. That was it. A sciatictra ward.
Jennifer bought a pack of sanitary towels. Jennifer says: I know a lot of people think I’m slightly eccentric but I’m just me. I’m just a bit different and there’s nothing wrong with that. I was checking my make up the day that guy drove into the back of me so I suppose it was my fault but since the accident I’ve suffered with anxiety. I won’t drive anywhere without my helmet on now. I think it should be made mandatory. I honestly do. You wouldn’t be able to ride a motorbike without a crash helmet. A car’s no different. Apart from you’re inside the vehicle rather than sat on it.
If you liked this week’s you’ll love the last two in the series! You can read them here: