It is shut. As I am informed by the very serious-looking Police Officer standing outside the door. He volunteers no further information.
I light my second-last cigarette and think for a bit.
Random Youth: How. Gie ayes one a theym.
I normally decline such requests, but as he is a ‘yoot’ and has probably been standing around outside this off-licence for the past twelve hours, he may be able to shed some light on this whole non-cigarette-purchasing nonsense. I give him a cigarette.
Me: What's going on.
RY: Hah ya not hurd? The choppers an that? [I had been irritated by a low-flying helicopter that was quite rudely brandishing a searchlight around the back of my street. I had yet to get around to composing a letter about it.] Thu’ve bin robbed. Shooters an at.
Me: Oh. Right.
I now have no cigarettes and am quite unhappy.
The next day.
I give the off-licence the benefit of my custom in order to purchase a newspaper.
Troll Woman: £1.40 hen.
Me: Working last night?
I expected more than this. I am slightly irritated. My recent kitchen fire had been the talk of the off-licence for five whole minutes, despite my being very stoical about the whole thing.
Me: Have they got them?
TW: Divn’t knaw.
Me: [Getting quite exasperated now. Christ. I thought I was deadpan.] I say ‘them’. How many was it?
TW: Just the one.
It is clear she is not going to elaborate. Bloody hell. At least I managed to get a matter-of-fact story out of it and put it on my shit blog. This woman is just not making the effort. I try and wheedle further information from her.
TW: One’s enough.
Some time passes.
Me: Thanks then.
TW: Seeya hen.
A man had pointed a GUN at her. She might have elaborated. I’ve got a BLOG to write for God's sake.