Shit Sleeves

That’s my name, don’t wear it out! Shit Sleeves. That’s what my wife calls me. I met my wife when she worked in an off-licence. She wasn’t poor or anything, her father owned the shop. It was my dog she really liked at first. Banjo. I hadn’t had him long and he was a cute puppy so she always made a fuss of him and, as a side-effect, spoke to me. I made excuses to go to the shop so I could see her.

One day I wore a new coat I’d bought to impress her – an American army parka – when I took Banjo to the shop. On the way Banjo did what dogs do. He did a load of pisses and a shit. He did the shit on the green and people were possibly watching so I picked it up. It was windy and the nappy sacks were blowing but eventually I got it, the shit, up and deposited it in the bin provided for dog shit.

I then went to the shop, hooking Banjo onto the post in front. The counter was near the front door and I hoped she would see the dog but if she did that day I don’t know. I went in and she was behind the counter and I brought the beer I bought to her. I hate beer but I hadn’t discovered red wine back then. I was feeling good in my new jacket and as I put a five pound note on the counter to pay a poo fell out of my sleeve and rolled around on the paper they use to wrap bottles.

The poo was the size of a large conker.

“Woah, would you look at that!” I announced and laughed as I could do nothing else. “Forget the change!” I shouted, rather too loudly, and I left the shop. My legs weren’t moving easily and the more I tried to walk normally the more stilted and unnatural my gait became. I eventually got home with Banjo but it was a long time before I went into that shop again. I guess I was worried that the girl would forever think of me as Shit Sleeves. So much for that. I’m going to have an affair.

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