A couple of weeks ago I popped into the Victoria Centre Blacks store in Nottingham. The object of my attention was a pair of Trekmates goretex socks, which I thought I had glimpsed in there many months ago. I walked to the back of the store and started to peruse the racks of socks displayed quite rightly next to the boots. I soon had this conversation with a member of staff:
Him, “Can I help you?”
Me, “Yes I am looking for some goretex socks, do you sell them?”
A minute passed whilst we both looked at the rack of socks.
Him, “Not sure, I will go and check”
I fondled some boots whilst he was gone. He soon reappeared.
Him, “Sorry we don’t stock goretex socks”
Me, “No problem”
Him, “But we do have some wool socks here that breathe just as well as goretex ones”
I left and plan never to set foot in a Blacks store again (except I have to because I still have one of their gift vouchers knocking about). Funnily enough this is the same store where a member of staff was exceptionally rude to my partner when she attempted to buy a platypus bottle. Apparently according to the woman who served her, you cannot buy a Platypus bottle without the full hydration system. When my partner corrected her and said that most other outdoor shops sold just the bottle, she was pretty much called an idiot and had to leave. If Blacks ever read this they can redeem themselves by sending me a pair of goretex socks and a Platypus bottle.
Many moons ago I went into another outdoor emporium in Nottingham called ‘Castle mountain and Moor’, which really should be called ‘The Berghaus shop’ as for some reason they seem to love Berghaus stuff in there. Now, things may have changed as I have not gone in there for years after a little exchange with a member of staff. In my early hiking days I used to wear Scarpa Manta boots for all of my hiking as I thought that was what ‘real’ hikers were meant to wear. I came to the conclusion then that they were not really suitable for mooching up Kinder Scout and a lighter pair of boots should be purchased. I set my heart on a pair of Scarpa Rangers and went to the shop to try on a pair. They fitted and I bounded around the shop feeling pleased with my impending purchase. To put the following conversation into perspective I recently binned these boots as they were beyond repair even for gardening duty. They are big leather clod hoppers, twice as heavy as my current heaviest footwear.
Him, “What are you planning to do with them?”
I wish that I had said, “Club you to death with them”
But instead I said, “I am off to Scotland for a week to bag some Munro’s”
Him, “You can’t do that in those, they are only designed for canal towpaths”
Guilty as charged.