The View from Parson Street Nose
By PARSONSTNOSE | Thursday, March 07, 2013, 09:30
I could see the accident coming and cringed instinctively, thanking the heavens I hadn't stepped off the bus a second earlier.
A woman at the front of the pack flung her capacious bag over her shoulder with such reckless abandon it walloped the woman behind her full-force in the face.
There was a long pause, then, as startling as a midnight car-alarm, the smackee began to wail, scaring the essence out of anyone within a quarter-mile radius.
"Sorry love," said the handbag hurler. "I dint think there'd be anyone b'yind me."
The smackee had her hands over her nose, emitting pitiful whimpers much like the sounds a peckish terrier will make at lunchtime.
"Your'll alright, aren't you, eh?" said the handbag hurler, patting the whimpering woman's arm.
Right at that moment the lights changed and the amassed crowd of gawping onlookers marched across Dalby Avenue heading for the precinct.
"Come on," said the handbag hurler, winching the smackee along with the crowd. "I'll buy you a cuppa in Catherine's, how're 'bout that? Not much a cup of tea won't put right, is there? Now d'you need a tissue or what?"
In the YMCA furniture shop a middle-aged couple and their adult daughter were wandering aimlessly through the stock.
"Look, Mum," said the daughter. "They had a chair like this one on The Antiques Roadshow the other week. It was easy worth a couple of hundred quid the bloke said, and look at the turns on them legs."
"Don't be daft, Tessa," said her mother. "They wouldn't 'ave real antiques in 'ere, it's all second hand off the charity."
"But what if they didn't know it was a real antique," persisted Tessa. "Someone may've got an antique one mixed up with the second-hand ones. This…" She stroked the back of the chair. "…could pay for my trip to Iron Apple with Mand."
"What's she going on about now?"
Tessa's father wheeled an office chair towards them. "It's not that Roadshow again is it? It'll be the Ming vase you bought in the Scope shop all over again. Whad'ya think of this, May? All right, innit? This'll do me."
"If you didn't fidget about so much, Ted, getting all excited on that Ebay of yours, you wouldn't need another chair – it's no wonder our Tessa's like she is."
I realised I'd strayed a little too close to the would-be Lovejoys and hastened away before they noticed.
One morning, I found it impossible to resist a peek behind me when a fearful crash echoed round the shelves in Wilkinson's.
A little girl was looking decidedly squirrely, edging away from a collection of baking trays scattered at her feet.
"What did you make me do that for?" she said.
"Don't blame me, Lara," snapped her mother, fixing her daughter with a steely stare.
"I said 'look at that pan', and as you know full well, my girl, you look with your eyes and not with your hands."
What wonderful logic.