Thanks guys, you made a bald man very happy.
The idea for today's Blog was suggested by my dear Wife, in a 'Well, they liked that, so they'll probably like this too' kinda way - But it'll only be short.
I'm a confirmed Asda (Walmart) shopper - They're cheap, you often don't get food poisoning from their own-brand range and the opportunity for shenanigens is quite high. I mean, you try the sort of crap that you'd quite happily get away with in Asda in Sainsbury's and you're looking at being escorted from the premises quick-smart by a security guard with the peak of his hat so close to his face that he looks like a jobsworth Judge Dredd.
I quite enjoy just wandering around the place and looking at the people - I mean, don't get me wrong, it's no People of Walmart - But it gets pretty close on occasions, you get a few people in their pyjamas and crocs, who I just assume to be escaped mental patients, but most of the time things are pretty sensible.
That is, of course, until LARP season starts...
For those of you who have managed to live your lives without encountering LARP, it stands for Live Action Role Playing - Dungeons and Dragons but with a far higher incidence of personal injury - Rubber swords, people dressed as elves, the whole nine yards. Hundreds (literally) of people congregate in the grounds of the old Leper Hospital up the road and bash seven different kinds of poop out of each other with maces and swords and hammers made of sponge-foam and Duct-tape. It would be all too easy to dismiss these people as boobs, really, it would, but when you see the obvious time and work they put into their costumes and how seriously they take it, they demand a certain respect. Add a bit of cleavage, and a fair smattering of acne cream and shampoo and some of those guys could be classed as cosplayers. (I'm not going to explain that one too - You can't be on the Internet and not know what a Cosplayer is - look it up, it'll be educational) That is, right up until you see them in the cream cake aisle at lunchtime, with a basket full of sausage rolls, scotch eggs and chocolate flavour milk - The studded leather jerkins, ring-mail vest, thigh boots and studded flails lose a bit of their mystique under those circumstances.
But you didn't come hear to listen to me opine about people who choose a different entertainment lifestyle, you came to hear about things that caused my physical pain and/or embarassment.
I show off... A lot... I mean, give me an audience and I behave like a five year old. It's the main reason for this Blog. I'm constantly being told to grow up by my children and I often turn around after shower-juggling a couple of (full) wine bottles in any shop I've not previously been banned from, to be confronted with the rapidly retreating rear-ends of my family as they melt into the crowd slowly repeating their manta - 'He's Not With Us... He's Not With Us...'
One time, I performed a trick that I'd seen in a Calvin & Hobbes cartoon, where you run down a supermarket aisle throwing a watermelon to yourself. You know, that's when I found out that real-life physics and cartoon physics work slightly differently. I don't mean you can't do it, you can, the first three or four throws work perfectly, but as you gain speed, you have to throw the watermelon further and further ahead of yourself...
You've worked out what happens next already, right? I knew I could count on you.
Watermelons make an absolutely brilliant noise when they hit the floor from about 10' up, and the pieces go for miles - I think that I might have actually spread my arms wide, slowly spun around in a circle to the assembled audence and cried 'Tah-dahhhh!'. The look of horror on my wife and daughter's face was worth the price of entry alone. I'd never heard my wife growl before, and it's not a noise I care to get her to repeat.
'Pick... It... Up...' She growled,
'What?' I replied, as innocently as my ear to ear smirk would allow,
'The melon, Pick... It... Up... Now..."
Did you know: It's possible to fit an entire watermelon in one of those small plastic bags that come on a roll in the fruit and vegetable aisle? Providing you make the pieces small enough that is. The cashier, when we went to pay, was pretty confused too. She tried to put it through as melon slices rather than a whole watermelon.
My wife made me explain what had happened.
Then she made me apologise.
I felt very sorry for myself.
I have not been allowed to forget this momentary lapse of judgement since, as every time my wife meets someone new she introduces me thusly,
'This is my Husband, he likes to throw fruit at himself in Asda.'
I think it makes me sound mysterious and interesting.
Another Asda moment that has entered the annals of Dandy history started with an innocent trip to the shops to get the ingredients for a summer picnic. It was the middle of the kids summer holidays and the store was pretty busy. The weather was hot (well hot for the UK - Maybe 25 deg Celcius) and most of the clothing worn by the customers was of the shorts and t-shirt variety. In fact, some of the female customers were wearing less, with vests and the occasional bikini top on display.
Mrs Dandy had chosen to wear a somewhat structural top with what are called, I believe, spaghetti straps, which served to accentuate her more than ample feminine charms. I use the phrase 'served to accentuate' here as a synonym for the more vulgar 'struggled to contain', and obviously it was only so long before I resorted to childishness.
I waited until we were surrounded (mostly) by adults, turned to Mrs Dandy and... well... made the action with both of my hands that indicated that I thought my wifes... erm... jumper-lumps were some kind of squeaky-toy.
What happened at this precise time helped convince me of my Super-Villain status.
The 'Honk-Honk' noise actually sounded, in perfect time with the squeezing of my hands. I looked down at my hands as if looking at them for the very first time. The surrounding shoppers looked at me, at the rapidly reddening Mrs Dandy, at my hands, at her upper ladies area - all with their mouths hanging open.
I burst into raucous laughter, which, luckily proved infectious and of course I tried to do it again - But this time I was thwarted, it seemed that this particular Super-Power was a one time only deal.
It remains a mystery to this day, completely unexplained and unexplainable. We did see a guy dressed as a clown a little further around the store making baloon animals, and he did have one of those old-style car horns with the black rubber ball, but I don't think that had anything to do with it.
See you next week, Dandy-Fans