"Look, the bag doesn't fit. It's the wrong size."
He begins what will turn out to be a very long stare and says:
"What model is it?"
"An Electrolux what?"
"I don't know. Just an Electrolux."
"You'll have to do better than that, mate. There's all
sorts of Electroluxes, loads and loads and loads of them."
"You said they would fit any model. You said they would fit
any vacuum cleaner. You've sold me these bags and they Do - Not
- Fit." Chimmie is getting annoyed, let me tell you now.
"So if you don't know the model, how do you expect me to
believe it doesn't fit ?" He nods very slowly, an "I
rest my case" nod.
Lower lip out, eyes glinting, flat cap pulled down, he looks like
he prowls around at night with a baseball bat, searching for ....
People Like Me, probably.
"I want my money back."
He says nothing. The other flat cap hobbles around uselessly
poking at a pile of lumber. The young one who smiles and looks
like a normal person, is squatting on his heels, an arm going
going up and down as if he is bouncing a ball in slow motion.
"I want to see the Manager."
"I Am The Manager," he smiles unpleasantly beneath a
moustache that could have grown on a prize fighter, and spreads
his arms out even more on the table.
But I'm no longer looking at him. I've just seen this Awful
In the narrow glass office enclosure behind him. I've never seen anything like this thing on the face of the Earth. I pause for a
"You won't get away with treating a Customer like this. This
isn't service. This is Nanoservice delivered with a load of
Waffle. I'm going to get Anne Robinson onto you."
"You Are the weakest link. Goodbye," says the Manager
of Appliances Direct.
I'm still staring at this thing: black, the size of a large
lunch box, knobs with crazy pointing arrows in place of eyes. At
the bottom there's a white dial curving up at either side like a
hideous smiley. Some toy to amuse racists, like a sci-fi magazine
cover version of a gollywog?
No. This is a device. It's For something and it has symbols
inscribed on it in strange upside-down writing. I have just time
to make out and upside-down A and V.
I'd better go. I turn to take my leave of Appliances
Direct. Behind me Hobble and Sunny Jim gather in giggles by the
villain with the black moustache.
"Look at that thing on his head. Mont -fucking- Gummery of
El Alamein, he thinks."
"El Al baggage handler, more like."
I think they're spies or something. "Something",
I can see I'm going to have to keep an eye on them.