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MilkI was in the bubble bath again having a cracking soak when I had the sudden rumblings of a good idea (in truth the bath is the origin of a lot of my ideas, both good and bad ones).

The water was getting cold, I would have to get out soon I was thinking, there was no hot water left dammit, yet, this idea, it was a biggun, it was massssmwhwhwhwhahhahahaaasive, it was, honestly, honest-to-god-betsy (who’s betsy? Dunno, but ask her, and when you do ask her if she prefers it to Betty, as Betty Rubble from the Flintstones does, she goes nuts, NUTS if you call her Betsy by mistake, I was there once, she had a reallll sh1t fit I can tell you, I can tell you because I was there, when we look back at all of this in a 50 part miniseries of World History (in Colour) I will be one of the interviewees “oh yes” I would prolly be saying “I was there and you can quote me, Barney came in, said ‘Betsy am home’ and wow, you could have cut the tension with a bassoon,” then it would cut to some out-take of the Puffin-cum-blender, and then, wait, what? Where am i? echo…. Echooooo….echoo…..quack quack (they say a duck’s quack doesn’t echo, they wouldn’t say that if Betty was there, crikey, Betty, she was terrifying once you got to know, when you got to realllly know her.

I had to get out the bath in the end, but the idea was still there, it was festering, it was brewing, it was growing, like a big big growy thing. I went to buy some milk, that’s the kind of thing that always shoe-horns these ideas right out.

The man in the convenience store, which trust me is anything but convenient, I mean they sell biscuits that are out of date, hand-made sandwiches that not even a hyena would sniff at, and thousands upon thousands of different brands of beer, which is great if you like to drink a case of beer a night and vary your beer-tasting once a week, but for simple groceries like onions & potatoes and the Evening Standard? forget it mate, get in your car and drive ten minutes down the road for luxuries like an onion your majesty, we only sell sarnies (that diseased foxes make with their wily tomfoolery ways) the Sun newspaper (you will like it or lump it son – oh sometimes we have the Star, and always the Sport, always son), and of course, many different varieties of beer (all the colours of the rainbow), the kind of beer that you only see fixed firmly in the grips of mad crazy people that frighten us good-natured friendly people on the last train home, you know what I am talking about here – Special Brew drinkers, thicker than golden syrup (NOW new improved flavour with the bonus aroma of roadkill), anyway… the convenience store man got up off his stool (I had disturbed him from an episode of Friends, it was clearly an important episode – perhaps a season finale? I knew this because as he came walking the heroic marathon distance of three metres from his stool to the till, his eyes did not waver from the screen, he didn’t even look at which milk I had bought, he just held out his potentially gangrenous hand in offering, I could have been holding a handwritten Shakespeare sonnet ready to give to him and he wouldn’t have known, Ross was about to say ‘I do’ to Rachel, so clearly this was the wrong moment to interrupt or help him with his small business empire,  I underpaid him by 20p and left quickly.

Walking back from the enrichment of the inconvenient store interaction I fished out the mobile (they’re getting big again aren’t they, small then big, big then small, big then bigger – mine is now more camera than phone) and made a quick assumption of who would be best to consult the idea with at such a fresh hour of the morning. Most of my inner-circle of fellow nutters are in bed at 8am, quite right too, except for one who works nights and he’s usually well special brewed by this fair slip of an hour! Absolutely typical, no-one to debate what could possibly be the most revolutionary idea since the concept of dvd extras (I was being sarcastic naturally, the day that a dvd extra exists that is actually worth watching I will eat my Sooty whole). Twenty minutes had passed now, and I was beginning to doubt my idea, it was waning, the shining beacon of hope, seemed now only to glimmer like the possibility of Jar Jar Binks ever returning to the screen. However, the thought that brought the adrenalin flooding back was that – they scoffed at all the greats didn’t they, didn’t they, ask Galileo, he was the king of scoffed-at-ness, and Newton of course.

Newton (Sir Issac to his friends) was an utter genius and lived in unenlightened times (they couldn’t find a torch, sorry, jeez, I would delete that but errr won’t). It seems looking back now that the only way for these guys to find out how things work was to go forth and find out for themselves. For example Newton, like many of us, wondered what would happen if we stared at the sun for hours (! – we’ve all been there…. haven’t we?). He got up one morning (probably went to buy some milk from the inconvenient store) and went out, found a comfy spot, sun, stare, done, brilliant. He went temporarily blind. When his sight returned he wondered how far back a needle would go if he put it in his eye, he took the needle, eye, and voila – nothing happened (except probably that he had to take the day off work or something – hello University? Newton here, umm listen the thing is, I can’t make it in today… why you say.. um well, I was wondering what would happen if I stuck a needle in my eye and…. Oh Newton you are a one (they probably didn’t say). Point is, they laughed at Newton for inventing spectacles, or whatever it was he was famous for inventing, and am sure they will laugh at me to my solution of world peace.

I spoke to my friend – let’s call him Bozzer, and he totally agreed this idea was the stuff of legends.

So, here it is.

World Musical Chairs (or WMC for short) – when you turn (let’s sayyyyy) 30 years old you have to swap places with someone totally random for a week, the person you swap with could be anyone, it could be David Hasslehoff, the man from the inconvenient store, my pal Bozzer, anyone, anyone at all.

WMC would make the world a more understanding place, the whole exchange program would be complete roulette. You would be switching places with a mystery person so you could score big and could be a world leader, you could be Batman (he is real), you could be David Schwimmer (or Swimmer if you didn’t wanna sound fancy). Imagine after the week of being someone else how infinitely more interesting you would become, you’d have a story for life (not just for Christmas, or Schwistmas if you are David Schwimmer).

Who were you when you did WMC? Oh I invented the Earth, that’s all.

After speaking to Bozzer, I poured the milk over the ever-faithful Shreddies satisfied with my solution to the world’s problems, and was pleasantly satisfied that I swindled the inconvenient store out of 20p when I suddenly realised something was dangerously wrong, very wrong … I spat my Shreddies out all over the lounge rug (the poor cat, Priscilla, got in the way of course at the exact wrong moment)…. the milk was off, very off, the inconvenient store man had the last laugh obviously, but I shall seek my revenge ho hooohhh yes, as soon as the next episode of Friends is on, I’ll be back, I’llllll be back ahahahhahahahahahha.


2 thoughts on “The Inconvenient Store

  1. Hi Martin, Thank you for following me and mentioning me in a tweet. I’m following you in kind. I look forward to discovering your site as you write your 2nd book. I’m writing my 8th book (a variety of genres) and blogging The Anatomy of Writing a Novel, as I write my 2nd novel, a sci-fi story. My first sci-fi novel. This is the story of how people rid the world of violence and created a life of peace on Earth. I’ve written the first 6 chapters so far. I look forward to receiving your posts on the progress of your 2nd book. Good luck to you! Sincerely, Shelley

    1. Martin Skate Martin Skate says:

      Awesome Shelley, and thank you too. My 2nd book also has a touch of the sci-fi 🙂 & thanks for following.

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