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The Saga of Moron Boy

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  • The Saga of Moron Boy

    I've been reminded of this tale from yesteryear by a tale from the main section of the site. Settle back, for this involves much of the munching of popcorn, and many slurps of the syrupy drinks.

    It's showtime!

    So, let us go to the time when I was caught up in a sticky web of intrigue otherwise known as retiail. Fruit, veg, meat - that calibre of thing. We sold food, and it was for the most part wholesome.

    It came to pass that on a summery day, a lady of mature aspect came in to buy some of said food, trailing behind her a youth of perhaps eight years of age at most. His vacant stare was the only warning I was to get of his brainlessness to come, but you cannot judge a child on first sight in this way.

    Around went the grandmother, filling her basket with all manner of goods. "Graps, you like grapes, don't you? Oh, some peaches, and maybe some plums. I think I'll have to get some bananas, and..." The basket filled at a rate that nearly made my eyes have pound signs, but since I can only aspire to be a cartoon character, I missed the chance.

    Basket at the ready, she came to the counter where the Boss watched with interest, and the ancient ritual known as the ringing up of the goods commenced. The total was presented, whereupon the lady brought out a list on a piece of paper. She compared this to the money she had, the total on the register, and what she still needed to get.

    "Hmm, she needs to get a magazine. I'll have to put the bananas back. Oh, some petrol as well - the melon and the grapes will have to go back." Item after item was ticked on her list, and food went back onto the shelves. "Hmm, she needs cigarettes as well," she mused. After this tick was made, the only thing left on the counter was one baking potato for the child's evening meal. I'll repeat that - one baking potato. The price? Less than twenty pence sterling.

    It is for this reason that I suspect the reason for his future behaviour was malnutrition.

    I'll continue this sorry saga in parts, partly as I remember them and partly as I have time. Some of you will remember a few details of these, especially when I mention that he was the son of the hairdresser, but that time was yet to come.

    To be continued...


  • #2
    Let us continue, though I will warn you that some of the strands of this sorry tale are probably out of sequence. This went on for a disturbing rate of time, and it's been over two and a half years since I was even there in retail, and the guilty parties left some time before that.

    The parade of shops (strip mall to those in the colonies) comprised two distinct blocks of retail units with offices above. On the block we weren't on was an optician, and a fine optician it was too. He was able to charge enough to employ one full-time member of staff to make appointments for him, despite him only turning up twice a week to hold them. He ran two shops by himself, and the inevitable closure of an expensive place that could not have been paying its way occurred. This is when the place became a clothing shop, which failed after a year, and then it became a hairdresser's.

    Things were great to start with when the hairdresser arrived, though the greater number of staff meant fewer parking spaces for customers, but they tried their best to keep it to a minimum. Not so the owner, for she was blessed with a rather expensive car - proceeds of a divorce, along with other optional extras. Said car had to be kept in full view at all times, for it was a mighty statement of her status.

    I think perhaps the first indication of anything being wrong with the son of the hairdresser was when he was caught playing a game of "Throw rocks against the wall above the manager of the bakery's car and hope they bounce back far enough to avoid scratching the paintwork". It's a cumbersome name, but since he got caught fairly soon after starting, he didn't have time to make up a more succint title. His defence was that he had only thrown two rocks. Many more than that were scattered around.

    Childish high spirits, right? We've all done stupid things, right? Most of us learn from them. Not so the child I was soon to christen '"Idiot Boy".

    The hairdresser was situated next to the local off licence (liquor store?), and the then-manager reported in dismay about how the owner regularly tried to get products for ludicrously cheap prices. "Any decent bottles of wine for a quid?" she asked on more than one occasion. The cheapest the place sold was perhaps three quid, and it could have stripped paint at twenty paces. "I've only got a quid on me and I need some wine." The bulging cash register next door was probably the last thing on her mind, since that would mean paying. I mention this for two reasons - the off-licence comes into play later, and you can see where Moron Boy got some of his attitudes from.

    Idiot Boy soon became renamed Moron Boy through a set of astounding events. His casual ignoring of signs forbidding roller skating in stores was one of them, and then doing it again and again despite being told repeatedly was one of them. Just wandering to the head of the queue and jumping it - or trying to - was another. Going into a newsagent with a can of pop (soda?) that they sell, but he'd bought elsewhere, was another, especially when he spilled it all over the lottery stand on a Saturday afternoon. A note for the readers outside of the UK - the lottery used to be drawn only on a Saturday, and many, many people only came in on that day because the numbers they used were luckier the closer they set them on to the closing time. Imagine a sticky mess over the counter specifically set aside for lottery tickets. Imagine Moron Boy not giving a crap about it.

    So far, I've mentioned items of general ignorance, and I neglected to mention the frequent fights in queues with his sister, a young lady I cheerfully named Miss Piggy. They usually took the opportunity to vent their frustrations at not being able to queue-jump on each other. However, it became genuinely malicious after a while.

    I mentioned the off-licence. Some time after the 'quid for a bottle of decent wine' incident, the manager changed. A nice lady, and yet another divorcee, she lived in a nearby block of flats with her daughter. We rather liked her, truth be told. Apparently she broke down in tears when the hairdresser burst into her shop, screaming about how her daughter was a drug dealer and trying to corrupt her angel.

    Moron Boy had gone to his mother telling her that L, daughter of the off-licence manager, had told him that if he got twenty quid from his mother's pruse, she'd get him some drugs. Oh, the horror - corrupting an innocent twelve-year-old! (I think that was his age at the time). Much was the screaming, wailing, and gnashing of teeth that ensued, until Moron Boy ambled in and said, "Oh, wait, it wasn't her. It was someone else. I forgot about that."

    An apology? Forget about it. The hairdresser just left without another word. The real tale came from L some days later. She's about two or three years older than Moron Boy, and he'd approached her and her friends to be popular with the older crowd. After they'd tried to shoo him away, he said he'd go and get twenty quid from his mother's purse, and if he did would she buy him some drugs?

    Other disturbing things came to our attention, such as the milkman reporting that Moron Boy was up at up to four in the morning watching TV still, which gives you an idea of how little parenting he received. His mother developed a penchant for Turkish waiters. Scuttlebutt from a very reliable source is that she went through three different ones as partners in three months. Maybe she wore them out - I don't know. Why Turkish? I don't know, but she spent long holidays there.

    Generally speaking, we kept a close eye on the stock if Moron Boy was in the shop, not to mention what he brought in with him. He managed to get banned from the convenience store across the road for a while, though this didn't stop him from trying to buy cigarettes there whilst underage, despite the staff here knowing him all too well. Still, in for a penny, in for a pound, eh?

    Next, the final chapter.



    • #3
      The final part of this sorry recounting of elder times approaches.

      Some things improve with age, yet Moron Boy did his level best to prove this adage wrong. He was often seen doing quite a few moronic things, but since we only sold (mostly) healthy foods we were (mostly) spared his activities.

      The Boss was occasionally allowed a holiday, and in such times the reins of the company fell to me. I had to set up the shop, as well as put it to bed every night. I had a limited time in which to do this, but Moron Boy ambled in one night as I was putting the finishing touches to the evening's removals. All the external displays were in, and I was just dealing with the last of the raw meat, when...

      "*gruntsnort* I need some mince." (Ground beef for those across the pond).

      "I've got some ready. How much do you need?" I asked.

      "I don't know."

      Off he ambled, and I knew what was coming. I had to get to the wholesaler on the way home before they closed, and he was going to stop this, unless I could get everything away and finished before he came back.

      The Fates looked down and hated me.

      "I think I need a *gruntsnort* either three pounds or four. Can I see that?" he asked, his eyes slightly more vacant than my bank account at the time.

      I sighed and brought a piece of meat for mincing up to the scales. It was about the weight he had claimed. "Wow, that's a lot," he said, vaguely drooling.

      "Do you need all that?" I asked.

      "I think so," he said, brandishing more cash than I would have entrusted to him.

      One of his mother's employees scrampered up to the door. "Your mother says to get some onions as well," she hissed. My eyes swiveled to where the onion bay was, behind several display racks.

      "I need some onions," he added, effortlessly not thinking. "I like raw onions."

      "Not really interested in having a girlfriend, then?" I quipped, but my heart wasn't in it.

      "Eh? I've got a girlfriend."

      Oh fuck. There's a chance of it breeding...

      I minced the meat, got him his onions, and missed the deadline for the wholesaler closing. After that, I came on here and posted about it, which was fine and dandy retribution.

      One of the hairdressers came in for some food once, and he was at the counter playing with something he took from his pocket. It was a prefect's badge. "It's Moron Boy's," he said. "He left it behind."

      "What?" I asked. "When I was at school, a prefect was someone who had proven that they could be trusted."

      "They share it around so that everyone gets a chance," the hairdresser explained, which was the only way that he could have gained the position. I weep for the future generations who will be raised without prefects who knew how to play Dalek with the first formers, but that's their look out.

      Part of mummy dearest's divorce settlement (apart from a ready supply of Turkish waiters) had included that Moron Boy and Miss Piggy should be educated at great expense at a private school - large sums of money were handed over regularly in a vain effort to instil some sort of education into them, but I think they managed to find themselves trying to be parents. It's often hard to get expelled from fee-paying schools over here, since they really like to have your money.

      Slamming a fellow pupil's head in the locker several times while a teacher approaches is a pretty good method of getting expelled, though, and Moron Boy committed this act of good-natured love and affection. He was promptly expelled, his reputation as a wannabee gangster firmly entrenched in the public conscious. The shame! He ended up at a state school.

      He must have been well-liked there. In fact, he made so many friends that two weeks after starting there, he got off the school bus at the stop by our shop and two of his friends jumped him. What fun and frolics they had as they dragged him - face down - across the road. It was raining, by the way.

      A concerned local ran into the convenience store and demanded that they phoned the police about the assault. The staff had been watching from the doorway.

      "We saw nothing," they said as one, which gives you an idea of how much respect Moron Boy really had. He stumbled past, glowering at anyone and anything in passing. "Still not seen anything," they added.

      It should be obvious by now that Moron Boy fancied himself as a thug. He really, really wanted to be black. The fact that he was Jewish and whiter than someone who works in a tippex factory didn't really register with him - he was like Ali G without the comedy value (Sacha Cohen, who plays Ali G, is Jewish, hence the corresponding comment). There's an area near to the area where the shop was called Chapeltown. It's a predominantly black area, and for some reason he was often headed down there to join with his homies, despite only being about fourteen-years-old. This is important.

      The last truly stupid thing Moron Boy did was truly stunning. He threatened me.

      I'm just under six feet of height, and I have a reasonable amount of muscle. I cut up dead animals for a living back then, and I had a ready source of sharp blades. He - a mouth-breathing, chubby youth - threatened me. Let that sink in.

      This came about because he stormed into our shop threatening us because we'd apparently said something about his mother. It was the first we'd heard of it, but he was making all sorts of threatening noises about us and to us. he became the third person we ever banned (we'd banned his mother twice by this point, and one other person once - not bad for ten years). He shook his finger and made incoherent threats before storming out.

      I went out to accost him, leaving all knives behind. I saw red enough to continually call him 'boy'. Trust me, it stung him.

      "After all the money my family spends in here," he ranted.

      "Bloody don't," I told him. "That's why we're closing down."

      "Eh?" he asked.

      I pointed to the planning permission on the lamp post nearby. "Landlord's bought us out. We're off, and it's going to be a takeaway. You spend bugger all here. The only person in your family we're happy to see is your grandmother, and she doesn't deserve shits like you carrying on her legacy."

      "Don't say anything about my gran..."

      "I said she's a decent person, which is why I'm surprised you're such a shit, boy." He seemed less certain about things now, but he came back strong as the truly stupid are wont to, especially since he had a friend next to him. Both of them wore the sort of smirks only fourteen-year-olds can carry off to perfection.

      Matters drew on, and I had a small audience from the bread shop. They seemed amused. Moron Boy was doing his best to taunt me into hitting him, but it didn't work. I think his friend was there as backup in case the going got violent, but I had no doubts that I could have handled them both if they had thrown the first punch. I'm not stupid enough to do that myself, but I had doubts about their abilities to reason.

      "Fuck off," I told him. I save obscenity for special cases. "The only member of your family we'll allow in now is your grandmother."

      "Say anything about my mother again and I'll get ten black guys from Chapeltown up to do you," he warned.

      "What does race have anything to do with it?" I asked.

      "Guns!" he grunted, smirking and miming some sort of hand movement that he thought made him look black. "Guns," he moaned again, waggling his leg.

      "Have you wet yourself?" I asked, slightly concerned as I peered at his waggling leg.

      For a brief period, he became known in my mind as Retard Boy, but it was unfair to the genuinely mentally challenged.

      I don't think I have much to add to this tale of woe, but I can sit back safe in the knowledge that I'm going to outlive him. Either drugs or a drive-by will claim his sorry carcass, but I know that I'll be alive long after he's a horrible memory for all who knew him.