Angry Man Sells Buttons…
March 3, 2011 § 4 Comments
“Buttons! Buttons! Get your buttons! ‘Allo love, fancy some buttons? I gots big ones, small ones, some the size of your head, some that do look like a loverly bunch of coconuts! Round up! Get your buttons guvner!”
This is what I would imagine a man selling buttons would say. He would be wearing a straw hat with a candy-striped ribbon around it, look exactly like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins and sing in a barbershop quartet on weekends.
However, when my friend S and I went into the heart of the city to find a famous little button shop and get ourselves some pretty things, I was sorely disappointed with Melbourne’s version of Button Seller.
Now, I am not the defamatory kinda girl, so let’s just call this man Bob Buttons. As we walked into Bob Button’s cute little store, we passed a sandwich board with Bob Buttons giant face on it and ol’ Bob sporting a Cheshire Cat grin the size of Atlanta. So, of course, it would be fair to say that Buttons was a happy sort of fellow! We walked into the poky, little store and saw that behind the counter was a large sewing area with a few men going at some garments. We could hear someone yelling obscenities like a drunken sailor in the back of the room.
10 minutes later and we were picking up hundreds of heart-shaped buttons off the floor that S had dropped! It was then that we decided we should probably leave. So, I brought my 16 buttons to the front counter to pay and glimpsed a little man that looked like Bob Buttons. His face was writhing in anger as he spat out “Yes?!” and glared at little me. I started to cower. S hid behind me. I pushed my buttons toward this fuming furnace of a human. As he put the prices through the register, the phone rang, and with bulging eyes he picked up the handle and proceeded to scream at someone and then slam the phone down. After giving me a good stare, I realised he wanted me to pay. I slowly pulled out my card. He rolled his eyes and snorted at me, angrily pointing to a post-it note sized notice high above the counter…”CASH ONLY”.
This was it. I always thought I would die in my sleep at 89, not throttled in a button store by a man half my size and wearing more jewellery than Dame Edna. I nearly cried as I had no cash on me. Luckily, S gave me a lend and I handed my money over to Boiling Bob.
And suddenly, it was like the flames were sizzled out by cool water. I understood now. I had spoken his language.
Bobby opened up and he and I then had a lovely, leisurely 5 minute chat about how crap banks are, what the weather is doing with itself and I got the general vibe that the button business must be a stressful one. S and I left, still scared out of our minds!
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