When it’s gone, it’s gone…

Mrs C has been arrested.

Not for anything serious, I hasten to add.  By which I mean she didn’t do it.  I’m not suggesting she makes a habit of getting herself arrested or that I condone such behaviour.

What happened was this.

A few days ago, she popped into town and purchased herself a raincoat in the summer sales.  In view of our current climatic conditions, it seemed a shrewd move, especially when advertised at ‘40 per cent off’, and  ‘When it’s gone, it’s gone!’

That last one has always puzzled me.  It goes without saying, surely, that ‘When it’s gone, it’s gone’.  I’ve never seen a sign that reads ‘When it’s gone, it’s not really gone,  we’ve got another one, so don’t worry yourself it’s the last one and that it’s gone.  It hasn’t’.   That would be pointless, as well as unnecessarily long-winded.   I don’t need to be told the blindingly obvious.  Nor do you, so I won’t labour the point.

She brought the coat home,  and hung it over a chair.   Mrs C is a cautious shopper, and likes to give herself time to reflect.  Clothes often look different away from the store.  No point wearing your new frock on the bus,  getting it covered in gum, then deciding it’s the wrong colour, size or otherwise unfit for purpose.  You can’t take it back and are stuck with the wretched thing until you die.

Or a man with a charity bag calls and says he’ll collect on Wednesday morning.  Then doesn’t turn up, because, on reflection,  he doesn’t want it, either.

Cut a long story short, it rained first thing this morning and Mrs C had to pop into town.  Snubbing the adverse conditions, she threw caution to the wind, ripped off the price tag, flung on her new mac and was off like a goat.

Spotting a much-improved sale in the same store – this time ’60 per cent off’ and ‘Everything must go!’ – she nipped in, had a quick look round, saw that everything decent had already gone,  then fled.

At speed.

That was her mistake.

She was scarcely through the door when she was wrestled to the ground by two large tattooed gentlemen, in peaked caps,  with little plastic badges proclaiming them to be ‘security’.  At which point she was indeed ‘secured’, and the police promptly summoned.

It seems that, three hours earlier, no fewer than four of these same raincoats – identical in every respect – had been removed without permission from the store in question.    And without payment, too, which only made the matter worse.

As luck would have it,   Mrs C had arrived at just the moment Clark and Wayne  had come on duty,  having been warned a gang of international raincoat villains was at work.

Mrs C having been spotted exiting the store at speed,  in a coat our heroes knew to be  ’40 per cent off’ and ‘When it’s gone, it’s gone!’, they leapt into action – without a moment’s thought for their personal safety – convinced their time had come.

An angry phone call followed;  after which it took me an hour to locate the receipt,  and a further 40 minutes to phone for, and catch,  a cab into town.

Mrs C was none too pleased and is now threatening to sue.  It didn’t help that the manager, who wore a pink shirt and looked as if he once sold burgers for a living, said it wasn’t his fault and that Clark and Wayne were only doing their job.   An officious police constable, having previously told Mrs C that women of her age were always up to this sort of thing, then announced he had better things to do with his time.  At which point Mrs C mumbled something under her breath about ‘guns’ and ‘shooting people’ and came close to being cautioned for her trouble.

She says she won’t be patronising the store in future and I doubt the coat will ever be seen in public again.

Not unless the man from the charity shop turns up on Wednesday morning as he promised.

(The more astute among you will have noticed that, strictly speaking,  Mrs C was never actually arrested.   But, on this occasion, I think you’ll agree – to claim she had been did make for an arresting start.)

Thought for The Day

‘A bargain is something you cannot use at a price you cannot resist.’

(I’ve no idea who said this, but that they were clearly wise beyond their years can’t be denied)


About Chester Crump

Chester J Crump has spent a lifetime in cheese. His company, CC Cheese Ltd, was voted Door to Door magazine’s ‘Smallest Retailer of the Year’ from 1985-2007. Cheddar Today described him as ‘Chester Crump, aged 45’, while the UK’s most successful broadsheet, The Daily Telegraph, has never mentioned him at all. In his spare time, and under a completely different name, Chester has written gags and sketches for a wide range of TV and radio shows both in the UK and mainland Europe (BBC1, ITV, S4C, Radio 2, Radio 4 and the World Service – among others). A published writer for children, teenagers and adults, he has also performed stand-up comedy across Yorkshire and, in 2011, at the Edinburgh Fringe. Ten years ago, he was rumoured to be the constant companion of Sarah Michelle Gellar – TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and, more recently, that girl out of EastEnders whose name no one can remember. When he’s not writing his blog, Chester attends second-hand hat conventions, and has what many believe to be the largest collection of used headgear in Yorkshire. He is married to a woman, and lives in a house. All the above is completely true – with the possible exception of the bits about cheese. And Buffy. And EastEnders. And hats.
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6 Responses to When it’s gone, it’s gone…

  1. Her Indoors says:

    Poor Mrs C. Watch her carefully because PSTD may set in. A similar thing happened to Her Indoors. Beware of the secret security tag lurking in newly acquired garments, behind the washing instructions label that no woman ever reads. Little did Her Indoors know but the non-removing of said tag makes all bells ring and brings out the heavy mob when passing out from shops. (I have it on good authority that Her Indoors nearly did.) Her Indoors had to empty all shopping bags in front of a whole crowd who had gathered to watch the unmasking of a would-be thief. Her Indoors was more embarrassed at having to empty her handbag in front of a braying mob. Any woman will tell you that her handbag is her most precious and private accessory and no-one, not even Him Indoors, gets to view its hidden treasures. All ended well when Mr Heavy Mob asked was she wearing newly bought clothes. The little blighter was located (fortunately it wasn’t her knickers), and Her Indoors was advised to go straight home and remove immediately (not the knickers, I hasten to add). Just a word of warning.

    • chestercrump says:

      Judging from your own experience, I think Mrs C got off lightly! If you ever start your own blog, drop me a line. I think it may be more fun than mine. And thank you for your continued support.

  2. bearbrain says:

    Oh, what lols I’ve had – thanks for brightening my day!

  3. Mr Rumpole says:

    are you sure Mrs C wasnt just in town on a shrewd shoplifting spree… hey i’ve got one of these at home and a bonafide receipt and look its now raining, i’ll just pop this one on, no one will notice and i’m covered if they do…

    • chestercrump says:

      If she was, then, with a name like yours, we know who to go to for help. And some healthy compensation, too.

      I’m sure we could pay your ridiculously exorbitant fee as we have some money put by for a rainy day – even if we no longer have the coat for it. 🙂 In the meantime, thank you for your learned interest, m’lud!

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