Always nice to get a positive review for one of my books and even better when it comes from another 'ex-pat' Burtonian! Carol post...
Friday, 16 October 2015
Nifty Shades of Grey - A competition
The scene is set in the Menswear section of a department store. A very nondescript gentleman is wandering bemusedly around the various stands. A salesman approaches, optimistically:
Salesman: "Good morning sir, how are we today?"
Nondescript Gent: "I'm fine; I can't speak for you of course"
S: "I meant, can I help sir out at all"
NG: "I've only just come in!"
S: "Very droll, sir. Is sir looking for anything in particular today?"
NG: "I was thinking about clothes"
S: "I think of little else, sir. Any particular garment at all? I have a rather nice houndstooth jacket that might take your fancy?" [He plucks a sleeve from a rack]
NG: "Oh no, that would be far too…definite. I'm hoping for something irredeemably tedious"
S: "Irredeemably tedious, really? I do have a beige pair of trousers that many have said are quite dull, would that be what sir had in mind?"
NG: "Beige? it's a bit…colourful, isn't it?"
S: "Oh, not these, sir." [Flourishes a pair of very boring beige trousers from a nearby rack] "No-one could ever accuse these of anything approaching colour."
NG: "They're a little…dramatic for my taste. If I was thinking of anything, I suppose I was thinking of grey."
S: "Grey? Yes, I suppose sir would be. How about this?" [He produces a pair of smart, charcoal grey trousers]
NG: [shrinking back in horror] "They're very…very grey, aren't they? Very definitely grey"
S: [reproachfully] "Sir did say he was thinking of grey"
NG: "Well, yes, but thinking of it and it coming at you like that, out of the…out of the…"
S: "Out of the grey, sir?"
NG "Yes, yes, I suppose so. Well, it gave me a start, that's all"
S: "These are not to sir's taste?"
NG: "Have you anything that's not quite so definitely grey?"
S: [dubiously] "Not so definitely grey? Could sir perhaps give me some illustration of what he had in mind?"
NG: "Well, you know if you've washed a pair of white trousers with something black, by mistake, and the colour's run? That sort of thing."
S: "White trousers washed with black?" [he muses for a moment] "One moment, sir"
The salesman retires to a storeroom and there is the sound of packets being hurled about. Eventually he appears, with dishevelled hair but clutching a cellophane packet of trousers.
S: "These are from our Insipid collection. As you might imagine, it never really caught the imagination of the clothes-buying public and we now keep just a few items in stock for the, erm…discerning customer." [He produces a pair of trousers of indeterminate greyness from the packet] "Would these be the sort of thing that sir had in mind?"
NG: "Gosh, they really are rather dull, aren't they?"
S: "I think sir's term 'irredeemably tedious' rather sums it up"
NG: "Yes, yes, I think you're right. I almost forgot they were there, even while I was staring at them"
S: "I had much the same experience in the stock cupboard, sir. Shall I wrap them, or will sir wear them right now?"
NG: "Can you wrap them, please?" [conspiratorially] I rather want to delay the pleasure of wearing them until I get home."
S: [moving swiftly to the cash register, with some relief] "I quite understand. Will there be anything else, sir?"
NG: "I could do with a shirt to go with them. Do you have anything in off-white?"
S: [placing his hands over both eyes and sighing dramatically] "Off-white? Would sir mind if I enquired as to sir's occupation?"
This is where you come in. I can't think of a pay-off for this sketch, so the first person to come up with an answer that I like, not only gets to finish the sketch but also wins a free copy of any of the four books on the right. Put your suggestions in the comments below, please.