People, Places

Little Man, Big Man

In the eighties, my Mum told me this story about an incident that happened in her local market.

She and dad were shopping in the food hall in Bury, Lancashire. She queued up, waiting for her turn, when a woman pushed in at the front. Nobody said a word instead, they just looked at each other. So mum spoke up. “Excuse me, but we’re all waiting, there is a queue.”

At that moment a little man came right up to Mum, obviously the woman’s husband, and put his finger in her face. “Mind your own business,” he snapped.

Just then a voice boomed out. It was Dad, “Get your finger out of my wife’s face!”

The little man scurried over to him, “Yer what? Yer what?” he yelled. “What you going to do about it, eh? Eh?”

At that point, everyone was staring. Mum said she didn’t like being the centre of attention, and neither did Dad normally. Her heart sank as the little man continued to act aggressively.

“Do you want to go outside then?” The man drew his fists up to Dad’s face urging him on. “Come on, come on, we’ll sort it outside.”

Dad, who was a lot taller, bent down and whispered very quietly in his ear. The little man looked up startled before scurrying off.

When they got outside Mum she asked what he’d said.

Dad shrugged. “I just told him politely to piss off!”

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