People, Places

Little Man, Big Man

by Karen J Mossman

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

She and dad were out shopping in the food hall in Bury, Lancashire. She was queuing up, waiting for her turn, when a woman pushed in at the front. Nobody said anything, 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 then scurried over to him, “Yer what? Yer what?” he said. “What you going to do about it, eh? Eh?”

At that point, everyone was looking at them. Mum said she didn’t like being the centre of attention, and neither did Dad usually. Her heart sank as the little man continued to be aggressive.

“Do you want to come outside then?” he said to drawing his fists up to Dad. “Come on, come on, we’ll sort it outside.”

Dadd, who was a lot taller than the little man, bent down and whispered something very quietly in his ear. The little man looked up at him and quickly scurried off.

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

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

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