Burgers (Photo credit: Neil T)
It wasn’t my fault I got the boot from Penny Salerno’s Ma’s dressmaking stall at Greaty Market! I didn’t bank on Penny’s 17 year old cousin Zani being my work colleague on Saturday. Penny tells me his name is actually Zanipolo, but they call him Zani. As you might have guessed, Zani is Italian, and he growls in Italian as well!
Zani gave me the evils all morning every time Penny’s ma would turn her back. He’d stand in front of me so customers would go to him instead of me. At one point I was selling some turquoise voile to a woman.. I had her in the palm of my hand! When Zani stepped in front of me, took over, and completed the sale.. so he got the 2 quid owing to me from Penny’s ma. I was steaming!
‘Eh, That was my sale!’ I shouted.
He turned to me and put his nose up to mine ‘Vaffanculo!’, I didn’t have a clue what he said, but I knew it wasn’t ‘I’m sorry’. After staring each other out for what seemed like a life time, I turned and started calling to the customers again. Zani tapped me on the shoulder and I turned round, he screwed up his nose and spoke ‘ Sei uno stronzo!’
‘Yeah, to you too mate!’ I shouted. I knew he wasn’t inviting me to his house for dinner; this fella really hated me, and for what? Dickhead!
Then Penny’s ma went off to find the bog, and knew I was in trouble. Zani just kept staring at me and pushing me out of the way when customers showed any interest. I finally got a sale… spent ages priming this old girl, then when she came to hand over the cash for the pink velour curtain material, Zani does it again… he pushes me to one side and goes in for the kill, taking the money himself.
It wasn’t that which got me the sack from Penny Salerno’s Ma’s dressmaking stall at Greaty Market… it was the fact that I saw red.. I wasn’t thinking straight… I went for Zani; diving on him over the polyester tressol. I didn’t mean for my forehead to meet with the bridge of his nose, it’s just that the tressol collapsed to the ground, and when the ground broke Zani’s fall, my head kept moving… ’till it met his nose! It was a right stonker of a scouse kiss; right between the eyes. Ok, it sounds a bit aggressive now, but at the time I was just wanting to show him that I wasn’t the wimpy little push over he thought I was! He’d wound me up all morning, and he’s bigger than me, so he could have fought back if he’d have tried.
I knew I was out on my arse straight away, especially when I saw the gash between his eyes, and the blood running down his nose. At least he was conscious and holding onto his nose! So I did what any brave man would do… I legged it from the stall before Zani could find his feet and get his revenge.
I stopped at the other end of the market to check that no one was following me, then sat down on a plazzy garden chair next to a burger van to get my breath back.
‘Oy! If you’re not buying, you’re not sittin’!’ shouted the fella on the van.. he had a queue as long as the Mersey tunnel waiting for cups of teas and bacon butties.
I stood up ‘No I’m not buying, got no money’. I was about to walk away when he called me back.
‘I’ll give you a cup of tea and a beef burger with onions if you come and give us a hand for half an hour lad; I’m inundated here!’.
I didn’t need to be asked twice! My dirty apron was on and I was flipping burgers before you could say scouse kiss.
One door closes and another one opens… that’s what my mate Anthony always says.
God Penny.. I’ve got some explaining to do later!