As most of you will know, I'm a mild mannered chap.
I'm easy going and generally take life as it's thrown at me without complaint.
There are times though when even my considerable patience is tried to breaking point.
I was down in the village yesterday. I mentioned to Herself I was going down and she asked if I could get a pack of Nurofen Plus as we had run out and they are handy to have around in case of emergency hangovers and the like.
I tied Penny to the door handle of the pharmacy and entered.
The place was packed. I don't know why but everyone in the village seemed to be there. Maybe there has been a local outbreak of Ebola or maybe it's just seasonal hangovers but everyone seemed to be in dire need of medical aid.
I joined the queue.
Next thing there was a tap on my shoulder and I discovered Matty was behind me. Now Matty is one of those people I avoid like the plague [Ebola or otherwise] because he insists on waffling on about sport. Apparently he had been to the races and was bursting to give me a blow by blow account of every fucking race. My patience was beginning to run a bit thin.
Then some kids started messing with Penny outside the door. I'm wary about Penny mixing with kids as sooner or later teeth are going to come into play and I don't want Penny to be bitten. So here I was, stuck in a queue with one eye out for queue jumpers and another eye out for Penny's safety and being regaled with stories about fucking horse races.
By the time I got to the counter my piss was beginning to simmer. There was a stand-in bloke behind the counter who I had never seen before and he asked what he could do for me. I asked for a pack of Nurofen.
Sweet sufferin' Jayzus but he started into that Nanny State shit.
I don't know if other countries do this but here it is mandatory for every pharmacist to give a customer the third degree if said customer asks for anything which may contain Codeine.
He asked me who the tablets were for. I said they were for me as it really was none of his fucking business.
What was I going to use them for? Killing pain, I replied rather testily as at this stage I was about to blow a gasket.
What other medication was I on? Fuck but he was really annoying me by now. I wasn't going to blather on about my medications in front of the entire village and I told him so.
How many did I intend taking? I just looked blankly at him. There is no answer to a fucking stupid question like that.
I know he was just doing his job and technically it wasn't his fault but at this stage I was fully prepared to shoot the messenger.
"Look" I said, "I am a fucking grown man and I know all about Codeine and if I want to pop Nurofen like they were fucking Smarties then that's my fucking business and not yours."
Well, actually I didn't say that. It's what I nearly said.
What I actually said was that I knew all the shit he wanted to tell me and to just give me the fucking tablets because he was giving me a headache.
Luckily for him one of the regular staff intervened at this stage.
"Hi Grandad! Nurofen? No problem. How many do you want?"
I know these people are only obeying orders but for fuck's sake, can't they recognise a mature adult when they see one? The grey beard should have been a small hint. That fact that I was probably old enough to be his grandfather might have been a small clue.
On the way out I retrieved Penny and kicked one of the kids.
It made me feel a bit better.
Blame the Nanny State.