Oh My Fucking God

My mouth hung open. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I closed my eyes tight and shook my head. For two seconds. Two seconds only, then I opened my eyes. What a thing to hear! What a fucking thing! Getting to work I’d expected just a standard day, but then to hear this… well. I stopped doing all the stuff with my face and listened to see if the guy had more to add. I hoped not, I didn’t think I could take it, not without going insane!

The guy smiled at me.

“Paula!” I shouted over his head and she looked up. “Guy here’s having a barbecue!” I nodded an appreciative face at the guy with the chicken and sausages and bread rolls. He half-turned to Paula but gave up. Luckily, as it turned out, because she was taking the piss now. If we weren’t careful somebody was going to snap. She was waving a tea-towel at her face as if she was a Southern Belle. I barked a laugh.

“For real?” asked Paula still wanting to be a part of it and the guy in front of my counter shuffled nervously. His smile wavered. “A barbecue!” she flapped the tea-towel harder and placed the back of a wrist on her forehead.

“Yeah, a barbecue, isn’t that right? That’s what you said?” I asked the guy. “I did hear you right?” I pointed at each of my ears with each hand while wearing an unsure expression on my face. He nodded slightly. “I thought so,” I said, relieved I wasn’t imagining things. He was holding his wallet and he looked at it. He so desperately wanted to pay and be gone and cook his fucking barbecue. Not yet. “Cooking food outside, eh?” I marveled leaning on my elbows on the counter and gazing out into the sunbathed car park. “Just like on the TV.” Out of the corner of my eye I saw the guy steal a glance at the car park and then back at his wallet. I whistled. After a few moments I stood straight. “A barbecue…” I said and shook my head. “Imagine that!” I near shouted, startling him, and then I had to really struggle not to laugh. I rung his stuff in. The guy paid and left. “Good luck with the barbecue!” I shouted after him with both thumbs up. Go on, you fucking dummy, I thought. Paula was laughing and then I erupted.

It was 22 degrees Celsius. First proper hot day.

A fatter man came in and walked around the shop with a basket. I watched him. He filled his basket with chicken, sausages, bread rolls and yes, even coleslaw. He placed his basket in the basket bit of the counter and smiled at me. I smiled back.

“Time to fire up the old barbecue,” the guy said with smile.

My mouth hung open. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing