beware, my ancestors, beware. she is onto us. she has vowed to catch me if she can. she swung her weapon to within a foot of me, and only quick dash into a chemist’s saved me. this time.
it started casually enough, shoppers perusing the wine shelf on a saturday afternoon, for the best wine within our respective budgets. i was looking at the reds, shiraz and merlot mainly, in a range of r35 to r40 a bottle. she was perusing the wines in the range of r60 to r70. a box.
as we perused away, she made casual conversation,”isn’t it scary how things just keep going up?”. a non-committal, non-verbal agreeing sound is all i made at that point. we were still 2 shoppers looking for an evening’s liquid.
it was only when she deftly recovered from an ever-so-slight stumble, hand already outstretched to grab my trolley handle, but not actually needing to, that my suspicions were first aroused. she quickly saved face by mentioning that the wine at the supermarket down the drag is cheaper, and that that is actually where we should be buying our wine.
i agreed verbally, knowing this to be a fact, and having found my choice of vino, moved on.
it was a few minutes later in the check-out queue that i was reminded of her presence, because i had actually already completely struck her from my consciousness. she sidled up to me, and in that practiced tone that we have all heard from time to time, casually mentioned that she was short of r10 for something she had bought on the other side of the shop, and would i be able to help her out.
as is usually the case with beggars, which she had now unmasked herself as being, i told her that i would unfortunately not be able to help her.
it was a mere minute later that i saw her at the next till with at least r70 worth of bank notes in her hand. cold hard cash.
it is this point that she would mark as the moment where i started the trouble.
standing next to my groceries, i asked her why she had begged me for cash when she clearly had so much in hand?
she did not take kindly to this, and told me that i should mind my own business. which i promptly did.
only problem is, this is not really what she wanted me to do. because she quickly decided that i needed to be told that i am a white bitch. this was delivered with some spittle exiting her mouth cavity.
i was caught between ignoring her and looking at her, and kept telling myself not to make eye contact. because each time i glanced up, it would set her off again – pointing a finger at me, yelling over the poor cashier, that i was a white bitch, and who did i think i was and that we had been slave owners and ,”you can’t do that anymore!”. That she would get me, that my people were evil and who did I think I was. and. and.and she was really upset and working herself up more and more, shouting louder and louder.
not liking this scene very much, i decided that i best keep quiet and ignore her.
she then promptly announced that she would be waiting for me outside the store. and walked away.
my mind raced to work out what the various exit options were from this store, while trying surreptitiously to keep a beady eye on her whereabouts.
while the cashier apologized, and the shopper in front of me lamented that she almost gave that woman some money, i saw her speak to a man not far away, but then disappear.
i took my bag and walked towards the exit – and promptly saw her walking towards me. with 3 of her male friends in town. i quickly kept my head down, hoping she would not notice me while in discussion with her friends, but no sooner had i passed them by maybe a foot or two, i heard a loud, “there’s he, the bitch!” yelled behind me.
and it was only through ducking into the side door of a pharmacy that her bag missed hitting me. she didn’t follow me in there, and to the stares of several shoppers, shop attendants and the i-almost-gave-her-money-shopper from earlier, i walked out the front door – being sure to check left and right in case she had decided to run around.
i suppose maybe i should have stood up to her, but you never know how she is going to lash out, especially when her 3 compadres are with her, and there was no security to speak of.
so, shoppers, beware the sweet lady with the scar on her upper lip and the booze on her breath, for she may just insult you and your heritage.