Sunday, July 5, 2009
Sally and the VooDoo Girls
Sally Sloop has simple tastes and asks very little of life. She is happiest when she’s wearing purple and having a cup of tea with the girls from Woolworths at Cloverdale’s Voo Doo Doughnuts.
Last week I stopped by VooDoo’s for a chocolate sprinkle surprise and a chocolate milk. I found Sally and the Woolworths girls at their table engaged in lively conversation. Their contagious laughter could be heard outside, even with the shop’s door closed. Of course, being of a friendly nature and curious - always curious, I stopped and asked if I could briefly join them until I finished my sprinkle. I offered them each a chocolate surprise to sweeten the intrusion. They agreed. Sally introduced me to the girls. She remembered me from my regular visits to Woolworth’s for this and that and vouched for my integrity and kindness. She once slammed her finger in the cash register while making change for one of my purchases. I went to the lunch counter, asked the attendant to fill a plastic baggy with ice and offered it to Sally. They say no good deed is left unrewarded. They are right. That day I was offered a brief audience with the VooDoo Doughnut girls.
“How’s that finger?” I asked while adjusting my chair into a more suitable place at the table.
“Very well thank you,” Sally responded. “He’s the gent that fetched the ice. Remember me telling you about it?” she asked the others. They all nodded and smiled in my direction. The conversation went quiet. Several of the ladies filled the void by sipping their tea.
“I heard the laughter from the pavement. I said hoping to jump start a conversation.
“We were having a laugh at our Sally,” said the oldest at the table. Her cat eyed glasses gave away the decade of her youth. Her Woolworth’s badge had a thirty year pin attached. “She’s went and gotten herself a date for Friday. Their going to the pictures.”
“Good on you,” I said offering my hand in congratulations. She took it. I promptly turned her hand, brought it up to my lips and gave it a quick kiss. “The gentleman is lucky such a lady agreed to step out with him. After all, she has a reputation to uphold in the community. May I assume he is a visiting prince or perhaps a Duke of noble heritage?” The table broke out into laughter, startling two ladies and young boy who happened to be walking by the shop. They stopped for a moment, looked at us through the window and then continued down the street.
“He’s the head of Men’s Wear at the store.” Madge said. “He’s not much to look at mind you, but he is single, responsible, and they say has quite a tidy sum set aside.”
“Hardly ever visits the pubs,” Sally added. “They say he’s a regular at St. Bartholomew's.”
“That makes him a Catholic,” Nancy interjected.
“Do you think we’re daft Nancy?” Madge slapped Nancy’s hand. “He must be Catholic if he goes to St. Bartholomew’s.” Nancy held her hand up to her mouth and laughed. The table joined in, startling the young girl admiring the doughnuts in the shop window. She ran away.
The baker brought the chocolate sprinkles to the table. “Thanks Love,” the ladies said, nearly in unison.
“My pleasure,” I replied. “There’s more where that came so eat up.”
“Is he trying to get us drunk on doughnuts?” Sally asked the ladies. “Just what are your intentions may we ask?”
“My tastes are simple, a chocolate sprinkle and the company of beautiful women.” I sat back in my chair wiping a sprinkle from my upper lip. Once again laughter filled the shop.
We startled several pedestrians over the course of the next fifteen minutes. I made many new friends and learned more about my village on the border where nowhere and somewhere merge.