I never intended to stop that day.
It was just a sudden urge.
Some sort of latent longing, maybe,
I just had to purge.
How could I resist?
I saw that huge B, yellow and towering
above the shop,
beckoning me, summoning me,
compelling me to stop.
“Good afternoon, Ma’am,”
said the uniformed assistant.
She smiled pleasantly,
probably gauging the nature
of my maternally-challenged resistance.
“Can I show you anything?”
she drawled, in a practised manner.
“Have you a colour preference, Ma’am?
By the way, I’m Hannah.”
Christian names seemed awkward,
so I just smiled and tried to chill,
but I couldn’t help clocking the
pound signs in her eyes, like a walking till.
“I’m just browsing,” I said, trying my best
to sound convincing.
I wished I’d built myself up more
with fish oils, garlic and ginseng.
“We have plenty of blues and quite
a lot of pinks,” she said, enthusiastic.
I made myself a promise not
to put one on my plastic.
About an hour later
I was driving down our street,
complete with impulse purchase
and accessories piled high on the seat.
To say I was a tad nervous
was to understate the fact.
I was racked with trepidation
of the fall-out from my act.
I was right.
“What’s that?” he screamed,
veins throbbing on his face.
“A baby girl – I got it from
the Fast Brood place.”
“My God!,” he cried in horror,
his mouth hung all agog,
“We wanted one a year ago,
but now we’ve got a dog.”
“Take it back!” he growled in anger,
“I bet it cost us dear.”
Sheepishly, I mumbled,
“Don’t book a holiday this year.
And anyway, there’s no returns
unless they’re fundamentally flawed.
You can see that this one’s perfect
and we couldn’t ask for more.
Now, while I mix some milk up
you can change the baby’s nappy.”
The face on him was calmer
but he wasn’t very happy.
I was feeling optimistic
when I heard his shriek of glee,
(very out of context as he’s
such a misery)
“Ah Ha!” he cried, “it’s going back.
Who’s been a silly billy?
She might be cute to look at
but, this girl has got a willy!”