They’re all the same. Only the addresses, and the colors of the dressing gown change. Three I’m in the back of the shop, trying to tidy it up a bit, when I overhear a conversation between Barry and a customer, male, middle-aged, from the If You Jingle My Bells I’ll Give You A White Christmas Sweatshirt of him, and certainly not hip in any way whatsoever. I’m looking for a record for my daughter. For her birthday. I Just Called to Say I Love You. Have you got it? Oh, yeah, says Barry. Course we’ve got it. I know for a fact that the only Stevie Wonder single we have at the moment is Don’t Drive Drunk; we’ve had it for donkey’s years and have never managed to get rid of it, even at sixty pence.
What’s he playing at? I go out the front to see what’s going on. Barry is standing there, smiling at If You Jingle My Bells I’ll Give You A White Christmas Sweatshirt; the guy looks a bit flustered. Could I have it then? He half-smiles with relief as if he were a little boy who has remembered to say ‘please’ at the very last minute. No, I’m sorry, but you can’t. The customer, older than I first thought and wearing a cloth cap and a dirty beige raincoat, stands rooted to the spot
I didn’t want to come into this noisy dark hell-hole in the first place, you can see If You Jingle My Bells I’ll Give You A White Christmas Sweatshirt thinking, and now I’m being messed about. Why not? Sorry? Barry’s playing Neil Young, and Neil has just this second gone electric. Why not? Because it’s sentimental, tacky crap, that’s why not. Do we look like the sort of shop that sells fucking I Just Called to Say I Love You, eh? Now, be off with you, and don’t waste our time.