Scottish Field’s online columnist Brash McKelvie sets foot onto the scales.
Here are the cast of characters that share the vicissitudes of life:
Scragend – a Rhode Island Red of indeterminate age and foul nature.
Shitting Cat – does exactly what it says on the tin.
The Beloved – a paragon of virtue and a self-appointed critic of most of my thoughts and actions.
Snr and Jnr Orifice – our fledged offspring.
Previously – Brash had to endure a set of scales in public (read more HERE).
I got on, fed it coins and stood stoically facing front.
The Italians were intrigued, they huddled closer together whispering. This was the most fun they’d had since coming to Scotland. The Matriarch of the group, a stout party complete with black tights, sandals, bag and cardigan, surged forward with her brood in her wake.
Scrutinising the machine, the penny dropped and she explained to her family that this was a public humiliation machine and that they were duty bound to make matters worse for me. ‘Si’ they all chorused.
Whilst I was standing on the scales I felt a small tug on my jacket and I turned round to ‘enjoy’ the sight of Mama pantomiming the fact that she would take my jacket and that she was more than willing to help hoodwink the machine. ‘No thank you – can’t you see I’m already dead inside?’ was what I was hoping to convey by turning away from her.
But the Italians were not to be deprived of their quotient of amusement, especially as it was still pouring outside.
Another tug at my jacket and I turned round again, the machine was by this time hysterical with disapproval at my inability to remain still and straight, to see Mama – eyes dancing with devilment – pantomime that if I gave her my jacket I would lose weight and become a lead dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet Troupe.
She got this particular charade across by putting her hands on her generous hips, sucking in her face and tilting her chin. The rest of the family took up the cudgel by performing a selection of miming techniques variously reinforcing the a) the slimming effects on losing all my clobber and b) my hatred for La Dolce Vita. They were having a ball.
Eventually ‘The Machine’ did its bit and true to form ejaculated the ticket of shame on the floor.
Before you could say ‘Fettucine’ Mama Italy was on it.
Usually I am a stickler for manners but on this occasion I snatched it out of her grasp and stalked off to the door, pushing the large automatic ‘open door’ button and sailed out.
Except that the door was not working properly, and I had to wait whilst a member of staff, moving at glacial speed, sloped over (having finished with what constitutes as multi-tasking, that is staring at, and ignoring, shoppers all at the same time) to wrestle with the door.
Eventually I made it outside, the grubby little ticket of shame burning a hole in my palm, with gusts of throaty foreign laughter following me.
I do so hope the weather improves before next week.