I ran into trouble in the car park again. I don’t think I should be allowed to park downtown on my own any more. I lost my ticket. I rang for someone to come and help me. I pushed the button at the entrance to the car park. I pushed the button at the car park exit. I pushed the button on the pay machine. The car park rang with ringing noises but no one appeared. I kicked the pay machine. An attendant came hurrying up. Oh dear. I explained that I had lost my ticket.
“It’s going to cost you lady”.
“Yes I know”
“Are you sure that it’s not in your bag?”
(Was that question idiot proofed?).
“Eh, yes. Can I pay by visa, debit card…”
“Ah no, cash only”
Of course, back up to the shopping centre. Queue for cash. Back down to the basement car park. Does your man have change? No, of course, not. Back up to shopping centre, get change. Fill in long form giving my name, id card no., car reg, make and model and swearing that this is not a scam. Am free to go. Blah.
Round at Glam Potter’s yesterday. She had had a difficult day. She had gone to IKEA to pick up a shoe baby L had lost there earlier in the week. As IKEA is planned so that once you’re in you have to see everything, she did a tour of the shop and bought some 99 cent chopsticks. She said that she felt a little odd in the queue as other people bought large items of furniture. Anyhow, on the way home, she ventured into the Brico to get wood to make bedheads (honestly, does that woman not have enough to do, she is disastrously creative). She asked the man at the check out to help her put the wood in her car. He said no, maybe his colleague would help when he returned from his break. Baby L felt that this was bad news and began to wail and continued to do so until the colleague came back from his break. Then she redoubled her efforts. The GP drove her car to the door and with the help of the Brico man started to load up her car. A random punter turned up with a trolley (please insert soundtrack of wailing child as background to the following dialogue)
“Please move your car” he said.
“I will, just as soon as I’ve loaded this up”
“Please move your car”
“I’m just going to finish loading this, or, you know, you could walk round the car”
(At this stage, sensing confrontation, the Brico man sidles off).
Conversation which has been in French up to now, starts being conducted in English.
“Your car is in my way”
“Yes, I know, I’m just finishing…”
“I will shoot your car, if you don’t move it”
“You’ll shoot my car, will you? With what?”
At this the man begins to ram our heroine’s car with his trolley. She hastily stuffs in the remainder of the wood and drives off with baby L still roaring. Very traumatic.
And finally, may I recommend that you check out Fluid Pudding for an excellent haiku on breastfeeding and mother’s day.
on 08 May 2004 at 00:52
New visitor to your site.
My dealings with Belgians are limited but I find that saying the words “Phillipe Albert” usually swings things in my favour.
Try it next time.
You never know.
on 11 May 2004 at 15:18
Ok, BykerSink, am willing to give it a go. Will let you know results. Do you think it works in Flanders too or only in Wallonia?
Jack, someday you will have to load a car with a small child wailing inside and these flippant words will return to haunt you…
on 11 May 2004 at 15:28
Somethings are only ever understood from the inside…
[Pity there’s not a smiley to indicate playfully ironic comment from one who knows…]