I have been having some trouble with Old Minty lately.
We call him that partly because to get to the counter you have to lean over racks upon racks of mints, but mainly because whenever he nips out the back for a fag or a crap he locks the shop door and puts up a hand-written sign – "BACK IN A MINT".
I have a nasty feeling he has bought himself a box set of "Open All Hours" because lately he has taken to trying the hard sell every time I go into the shop.
The latest effort started a couple of weeks ago. I went in to buy a pack of baccy [one of his Polish “imports”. Heh!] when he asked me if I liked Chocolate Swiss Rolls. Now Swiss Rolls hadn't exactly been at the forefront of my mind when I entered the shop so I had to think for a moment.
"They're all right, I suppose" I told him.
"Would you like to buy some? They're on special offer?" He had a leer on his face that would scare the shite out of a nervous child.
"No thinks" says I as I ran for the door.
A few days later I was in the shop again, buying a pack of fags for Herself.
"Does Herself like Swiss Chocolate Rolls?" asks Minty hopefully.
"She's on a diet" says I as I had to think of something fast.
His face fell and I got out before he could think of the next ploy.
I braved the shop again yesterday as I needed a couple of things.
He called out the items as he entered the prices in the till.
"An Irish Times… A bottle of milk… A bag of sugar… And a box of Chocolate Swiss Rolls".
The crafty bugger has sneaked a box onto the counter.
"No box of Swiss Rolls" says I. "You put them there and I don't want 'em".
"Ah go on" says he. "Special price? Six for the price of ten?"
His maths is worse than his spelling.