Happy Birthday to me

It’s been a busy old week, and alongside knocking one’s pan in at work, there’s been a rash of birthdays to be dealt with, including my own. This was drawn to my attention by The Pensioner, when she tore a strip off me on the phone for being a neglectful auntie and forgetting everyone’s birthdays. This was slightly ironic as Mama, herself, had clearly forgotten what she was doing 44 years ago to the day and didn’t get round to wishing me a happy birthday. Like mother, like daughter, I thought to myself.

It was with the sound of the phone being slammed down still ringing in my ears, that I was accused of shoplifting at WH Smith’s the very next day. I was caught red-handed at the Post office counter, hurriedly stuffing niece number one’s birthday present into an unpaid-for Jiffy bag containing an unpaid-for birthday card with a cute kitten on the front. Just as I was writing the kisses on the card with a great flourish, I felt a hand on my shoulder. Simultaneously and, as usual, just a little too late, I realised what I was doing.

The hand belonged to the irate shop assistant who had been standing behind me saying “Excuse me…excuse me…EXCUSE ME!” in an ever louder voice. The fact that I seemed to be ignoring her only added to her suspicions. I now severely regretted my decision to ditch the hearing aid in favour of the i-Pod that morning, especially since its musical ear-muffs properties had already got me into trouble. Earlier, as I walked up a pedestrianised street, lost in thought, the van driver who had been following me at 2mph for 500 metres in an attempt to get past, made his own thoughts quite clear to me in Glasgow sign language.

Fortunately, the shop assistant dealing with the Jiffy bag incident seemed to be accustomed to disorganised and distracted people desperately trying to get last-minute birthday presents into the first post on their way to work. After giving a brief explanation of my errant behaviour, I was despatched, red-faced, to the till to pay for my accidentally stolen goods.

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