Friday, 20 June 2008

Better Than What?

On a bus in Shropshire, heading from Whitchurch to Shrewsbury.

We pass through the picturesque village of Wem, where we have gained a contingent of pensioners who all seem to know each other.

As we trundle along the high street we pass a newish looking shop selling, as far as I can tell, womens' underwear and nothing else. There is nothing too skimpy or risque in the window, just colourful stripey things with a few decorative bows and frills attached to them.

'Did you see the new knicker shop... the new frilly knicker shop?' chimes up one of the female pensioners.

'It's the teenagers who spend money on that,' replies one of her acquaintances.

'The teenagers all go to Shrewsbury.'

'They should put some old womens' knickers in there!'

Much laughter.

If there is any disapproval in their voices it is far outweighed by the pleasure of having something this gossipworthy appearing in their small community.

One of the men begins to venture an opinion -

'At least it's a shop. It's better than...'

He is taking his time formulating his conclusion, and before he has done so one of the women interrupts him -

'It'll be gone in twelve months anyway,' she says dismissively, and the conversation moves on.

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