Monday, 12 October 2015

PUSSY IN BOOTS - OR: THE DAY I ASTOUNDED SEVERAL WOMEN AT THE SAME TIME...



Here's a goody.  Long, long ago (but in the same galaxy), I toiled in the warehouse of my local BOOTS The CHEMIST.  In the pharmacy department worked a young lady by the name of ELIZABETH (surname withheld to spare her blushes in case she ever reads this, unlikely as it is), on whom I had a bit of a crush.  A mild crush - not one that would ever have compelled me to ask her out, but enough of one that would make me want to impress her, should the opportunity present itself.

Guess what?  It did.  Sitting in the canteen one day, I was engaged in a bit of casual conversation with Elizabeth and some of her pharmacy colleagues.  I no longer recall what we were discussing, but at some stage the extent of my knowledge of the subject was called into question.  "You don't know everything!" one of them said, which was like a red rag to a bull to me.  "Perhaps, but anything I want to know, I can find out!" I stated.

They called my bluff!  "Okay then, what's Elizabeth's mum's maiden name, and what hospital was Elizabeth born in?" one of them asked, rather smugly.  They had flung down the gauntlet and I had to accept or lose face.  "I'll find out!"  I declared to loud jeers and derision.  Now, on the face of things, I was in a bit of a bind.  Just how could I possibly uncover such obscure information unless I was psychic or had access to Elizabeth's and her mum's personal information files, kept in some secret government facility somewhere?  (I know, I know - watched too many JAMES BOND films.)

This was on the Tuesday or Wednesday, and they gave me until Friday to accomplish the task or admit defeat.  Any one else would have given up (scratch that - no-one else would ever have gotten into that situation to begin with), but your bold  host is made of sterner stuff.  I triumphed in my mission, wiped the smiles from their faces, utterly astounded them, and firmly established a reputation for being someone who didn't make idle boasts.  Intrigued?  Of course you are.

Okay, here's how I did it.  I'd heard that the lovely Elizabeth's birthday was near, and she'd once mentioned which area of the town she lived when we were having an idle chat one day, so I obtained her 'phone number from Directory Enquiries and rang her mother.  Pretending that I was one of the managers, I told her that the staff were planning to throw a surprise party for Elizabeth's birthday, and that we were going to stage a "THIS IS YOUR LIFE" segment so I needed a few trivial background details to cover her life from birth to the present day.  Did she buy it?  Of course she did - and even gift-wrapped it for herself too.

I asked a few innocuous questions, like what her daughter's favourite colour was, where she'd been born, best friend at school - and "Oh, what's your maiden name?"  Armed with the required knowledge, I waited 'til I had to take a package around to the pharmacy.  As I was leaving, I casually turned, seemingly like an afterthought, and said "By the way, Liz, your mum's maiden name is Blackstock and you were born at Rottenrow Maternity!"  My!  You should have seen their jaws hit the floor - in unison, too.

I 'phoned Elizabeth's mother back shortly after and explained my ruse - not out of guilt, but because I'd always intended to anyway.  She was highly amused at the daring of my subterfuge, and said "She should be glad someone would go to all that bother!"  (What can I say?  I had a tremendous 'telephone voice'.)  Elizabeth took it in good humour too, and I believe she was actually quite flattered.  I still never asked her out 'though.  Foolish youth that I was!

12 comments:

Colin Jones said...

Sherlock Holmes, eat your heart out. When I saw the title I thought it was going to be about a cat in a Boots store. I was in WH Smith's once and there was a little dog that refused to leave even though the staff tried to shoo it out - it was waiting for one of the customers who didn't know why it was following her, "I don't know whose dog it is" she said "but it won't leave me alone".

Kid said...

Poor little doggie. Hope it found its way home okay.

Colin Jones said...

Kid, since I made my comment you've added all that extra stuff to the title so now it doesn't make sense when I say I thought it was about a cat in a Boots store. Never mind, now that I'm here I'll mention the time I was in Greggs a couple of years ago and there were about six or seven pigeons inside the shop pecking at the crumbs on the floor - the staff were trying desperately to shoo them out but the cheeky b*ggers took no notice whatsoever and just kept on pecking away.

Kid said...

I'd extended the title before your comment came in, CJ, but you wouldn't have seen it until you clicked the refresh button or re-visited the post. I feel sorry for those poor pigeons because, in our shopping centre (which is roofed over), every so often a guy goes in at night after closing and shoots them with an air gun.

Arfon Jones said...

Good job sir! Well done!

Kid said...

As CJ, said, AJ - Sherlock Holmes, eat your heart out. And I didn't have a 'Watson' to help me.

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

But it could have went oh so wrong if "Elizabeth’s" mum had not been happy with your call and questions about her and her daughter (or the resultant admission it was nothing to do with a "This is your live" thingy) and she told you to “mind your own business” ;)

Kid said...

Nah, McScotty, because the few questions I asked were innocuous. Also, I've given the Readers' Digest version of events to keep things short, but the fact is, the pharmacy girls BET me that I couldn't find out the info, so they gave the 'challenge' their tacit approval by, essentially, daring me to try and find out. And, hey, I was only 17 and it was a bit of a game to me. There was never any sinister or creepy intent behind it. Now, how did you manage to send your comment from your hideout in Judith Ralston's garden?

moonmando said...

Just that final push and you could have bagged the said Elizabeth. Life might have turned out a whole lot different,(or worse) if you had.
Seems strange how the opposite sex can at a stroke alter drastically the course of ones life.
You might not have turned out to be the daring,dashing debonair type that you eventually morphed into... Hmmm

Kid said...

You're not foolin' me, ya wee buggah - I recognize irony when I see it.

moonmando said...

Irony! Never had to do it. I leave all my ironing to my missus...

Kid said...

She does all mine at the same time. I'm always 'round at your house when you're out at work. Those bedsprings of yours don't half creak, eh? (So she tells me.)

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