I back away in some concern. All I was after was some semi-skimmed milk.
The Village Shop Lady storms out through the door. I follow at a safe distance. There is a thunderous silence as she examines the new sign, a propped-up one that sits on the roadside to attract custom.
After a while I decide I should speak. “I’m sorry – I thought somebody would have already pointed it out.”
She glares at me and my milk.
“‘Pastries’ – you see – it doesn’t have an extra ‘e’ in the middle,” I say.
“I’m going to kill him,” she mutters again. If there is any reassurance in that sentence, it is that she is speaking of a third party (as yet unknown.) However her expression does little to allay my concern. There appears to be a risk that she may be looking for a surrogate person to kill.
“I should pay for my milk now,” I offer, in a soothing calm-down type voice.
We head back to the shop. “The other thing,” I mention, “is that where the sign talks about the ‘deli,’ actually – well, um, well he has done it like in the city in India.” I make sure to continue using my soothing voice so that this cannot possibly upset her any more.
“What?!? I’m going to kill him!!!” she shouts, running back to the sign.
I stand there with my semi-skimmed milk. I am in a bit of a hurry, as there is some important media work to do when I get home. But at least I am not a signwriter in fear of my life.