It was as the historic bulk of King John's Castle receeded behind me that a sort of " skittishness" set in. Ahead, somewhere, was our goal- TKMaxx purveyor of cutprice bargains to the innocent. The problem was that the shop was in Limerick, a city so "edgy" in the Irish zeitgeist as to send my adrenalin racing. And when my adrenalin races, I have a tendency to Tourettes Syndrome. The result was predictable. Choruses of horn hooting fist waving and foul language,accompanied our progress from roundabout to roundabout, and that was just from me. My friend meanwhile sank deeper into her seat and had gone strangely silent - as had the dogs who were staring out the windows and pretending they had nothing to do with me. And then, out of the blue, there we were , outside the shop and ready to go.
It was like finding that Open Sesame really does work. Aladdin's cave lay open before us and we set to work.
I'm proud to say that at this point I had still not bought anything. However since I was there as a stylist for my friend, I was very busy spending her money, (an activity I could well adopt permanently). Then she spotted an occasional table. It was love across a crowded room before she'd even had a chance to touch it. We called for the manager to answer questions about damage and price. By now my blood was really up and I found myself eyeing the approaching Manager. The first thing to strike me was his age. I suppose he was old enough to vote but I bet he had to show ID before they'd serve him in the off-licence. I made a promise to myself when I got my bus pass, never to let a young man pass unscathed, so as he drew level I put out a restraining hand and smiling admiringly I asked if indeed he could be the manager. Surely a man so young and masculine with so much gelled hair could hardly have achieved such an exalted position. While he was taking this in ,I started to rub him gen tly on the chest almost like you'd wind a baby, telling my friend that we might take the gorgeous creature home with us. By now, the guy was perhaps a little uneasy and my friend took over and started demanding money off the table. At first he fought off her assault, but when he saw me bearing down on him again, like a client from some care in the community away day,his resistance crumbled. I swear, a bit more pressure and he have paid us to take the table away. We left the shop triumphant, with the table, a rug and a table lamp - plus a few other bits and pieces we'd somehow managed to pick up. Job done I think.