The Goddess Vanilla is in a mighty fine stonk. If it wasn’t enough being hit by pepper spray in the mall – I kid you not – silly *%^$#s – I've also had to deal with Guinea warfare.
But let’s rant in order, okay. (Ha, and there was me wondering what to blog about today…)
There I was in the store (for British readers, the equivalent of Marks & Spencer), paying for groceries at the till when everyone started coughing. As I started to leave the store, so my nose started burning (as if being addled by hayfever isn’t enough…) and I started hacking and wheezing. As I walked out someone muttered, “Shoplifter, pepper spray.” Huh? Since when does a store blast pepper spray because someone’s “lifted” an item? If it was an armed robbery and there were hostages it might have been different. So I came home, still hacking and wheezing, and, speaking with a deeply sexy and husky voice, I called the store manager. He, it turns out, was equally miffed. Evidently the incident had nothing to do with the store, but everything to do with the Blue Route Mall’s security “protocol”. Evidently the perp had lifted an item elsewhere in the centre, the security guards had chased and cornered said perp in the store I was in, and the perp had turned on them with pepper spray. Now from what I’ve been able to ascertain, you never try to apprehend the perp in the store or the centre because you have, no matter how many disclaimers you display, a duty of care to customers. What you are apparently supposed to do is to follow said perp out of the store and then take the necessary action. The store manager said he’d lost R30 000 in business in the 20 minutes he’d been closed and had had an asthma attack.
“I'd suggest,” he said, “that you phone the Centre Management and lodge a complaint.”
So I called up the Blue Route Mall’s Centre Management and asked to speak to the Centre Manager.
“No, sorry, the manager’s gone home for the day.”
Hmm, it was only 17h10. Evidently he keeps union hours. I was transferred to someone else.
“Yes?” barked the woman on the other side of the line, “So what’s your story?”
Story? My story?! At which point the Goddess Vanilla realised she could do righteous indignation, full frontal anger, icy disdain and a variety of other mean things without necessarily feeling any said emotions. Finally, all those years of speech and drama paid off. Yeah! I let her have it in tones that should have sent her cowering.
“Well, a person was caught shoplifting and that isn’t allowed,” replied the woman to my shower of “not acceptables” and clearly totally unimpressed with my display of outrage.
“Uhuh? And your protocol says it’s okay to endanger the well-being and lives of your customers in order to deal with a situation like that?”
What, I wonder, would have happened if the perp had been armed with a gun and started shooting at the guards and shoppers, rather than spraying pepper? Did anyone consider that? I guess not.
“Well, you’ll just have to call back on Monday,” she snarked without a word of apology or an “Are you okay, Madam?”
And call back I will. In the meantime I’ll lodge complaints on several local consumer websites and in the suburban press, because three hours later I’m still coughing and have had to use my inhaler which I haven’t had to use for years. Thank goodness it still works.
As I stalked through to relay the news to D, another situation met my beady eyes. Stroppy Old Fart was in the garden – and causing trouble. Stroppy Old Fart is the crankiest of guinea fowl with an attitude of note. He is bad tempered and cantankerous, not unlike Atyllah the Hen when crossed. SOF was standing at the feed-bin, hogging the whole thing to himself. The Guinea Family was feeding from seed scattered at the edge of the lawn and one small, and particularly tiny, peep decided she’d sup with SOF. Now one might expect SOF to be grandfatherly, you know, paternal. But no, not a chance. He just raised up onto his toes, started flaring his wings and aimed a savage peck at the wee thing. The Goddess Vanilla’s righteous indignation flared.
I shot out the door and stalked towards SOF.
But the trouble with SOF, like most stroppy old farts, is that he seems to think that age goes before beauty… He cocked his head at me and raised an eyebrow as I advanced and then, not taking the matter terribly seriously, he ambled off. I’m afraid it was his attitude that did it. I charged. SOF scuttled, he squawked and took off onto the roof, from where he regarded me with utter disdain. Hmm. I went inside. And as soon as I was “gone”, SOF flapped down and charged the entire Guinea Family. War. I was out like a shot, and damaged ankle notwithstanding, charged at SOF again, squawking in my own inimitable style. I swear I heard applause from the Guinea Family. SOF did a vertical take off that would have impressed the average Harrier pilot. He clattered onto the roof, cast me a glance over his shoulder and kept going. Hope that teaches the old bugger a lesson; harassing my little peeps in that uncivilized way! Tsk!
Oh bugger, now there’s a squirrel on my windowsill…
And the guinea fowl are hecking because it's Halloween and they are so not impressed...